tablets

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 inch Tablet Review

A notable size upgrade over the first Kindle Fire HD, the 8.9 inch version falls a bit short.

November 29, 2012
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Screen

The bigger, badder brother of the Kindle Fire HD is built around a 7.625 x 4.75 inch screen, with a resolution of 1920 x 1200. With a high pixel density, any eBooks you decide to read on this piece of hardware will be very legible, but the color performance is terrible and the contrast is thoroughly average.

Front Image

Indoor & Outdoor Use

indoor-outdoor.jpg

NOTE: The images above are shot with a variety of lighting sources, which may cause some color shift.

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Legibility

With a very high pixel density, all text and images (assuming they’re properly sized) will appear very sharp and crisp. You may see some resolution issues if you have telescopic eyesight or press your eyeballs directly on the screen, but on the whole the picture is quite well-rendered.

legibility.jpg

Reflectance

Where the Amazon Kindle Fire HD’s screen does shine is in terms of reflectivity, though the idiom is a bit ironic as the screen does not shine much in bright light. As it only reflects 9% of all light shone on the screen back at the user, we’ve seen far worse tablets in this regard, and you’ll be able to use it in brighter lighting conditions no sweat.

Screen Size & DPI

Given that the Amazon Kindle Fire HD has a 7.625 × 4.75 inch screen with a resolution of 1920 × 1200, we can do the math out to figure that the Kindle Fire HD has a pixel density of 252 pixels per inch (PPI), which is very close to the density often termed “retina” by other tablet manufacturers. If you’re going to be holding the tablet at a natural position, you’re not going to notice individual pixels if your vision is anything less than perfect.

Blacks and Whites

Despite the acclaim given to the Amazon Kindle Fire HD’s screen, the contrast performance is not very inspiring. While it does net a good contrast ratio by having not only a good black level of 0.44cd/m2, but a decently high peak brightness of 343.2cd/m2, its gamma (how well it transitions from each value along a greyscale) is very poor and inconsistent. Right now you’re probably thinking: “whatever, nerd who cares?” Well, if you’re a fan of horror flicks, you’ll probably be unable to see the monsters lurking in the shadows of your movies, and this may get annoying after a while.

Blacks and Whites Chart

Color Gamut

When compared to the rec. 709 standard, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD’s color gamut leaves much to be desired. Not only does it undersaturate reds and greens, but it also shifts the deepest blue values towards a more cyan color. You may not notice this unless you demand absolute perfection from your screens as a cinephile, but it’s something to make a mental note of.

Color Gamut Chart

Battery Life

After running the gantlet of our rather unforgiving battery tests, we’ve come to the conclusion that you can reasonably expect the Amazon Kindle Fire HD to last 5 hours, 52 minutes reading an eBook, and 6 hours, 22 minutes playing a video file. In our tests, we crank the backlight and disable all wireless and additional apps, so deviating from this mode of operation will give. you different results.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Product Tour
  3. Screen
  4. Battery & Controls
  5. eReader
  6. Music & Audio
  7. Movies & Video
  8. Email & Web Browsing
  9. Internet Apps
  10. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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