On the heels of Apple’s new, lighter iPad, Amazon has come out with a full-size pill that weighs even much less but sports activities a sharper show and a lower cost tag. Though Amazon’s Kindle Fireplace HDX eight.9 hasn’t obtained as a lot consideration because the iPad Air, it’s rising because the strongest challenger but to Apple’s system.
The brand new Kindle shares lots of the options present in a smaller model that got here out Oct. 18.
A row of tabs on the high of the display provides you fast entry to Amazon providers akin to e-books, music, video and buying. Just lately used apps and content material seem within the center so you’ll be able to return to them rapidly. The underside row has icons for incessantly used apps akin to e mail and the digital camera.
Need assistance? Simply hit the “Mayday” button. You may be related inside seconds to a reside customer-service consultant, 24 hours a day, seven days per week. You see the representatives in a video field, however they will solely hear you and see what’s in your display. They’ll additionally assist information you by putting orange markers in your display or taking management of your system utterly.
I discovered all of the reps to be affected person as they walked me by way of makes an attempt to find a lacking e book, play a podcast and obtain gadgets from the Dropbox storage service. In a single case, the consultant referred to as my cellphone as promised an hour later to comply with up. We by no means discovered an answer on Dropbox, although – however extra on that later.
The most effective a part of the brand new Kindle is its value. Amazon.com Inc. begins transport it Thursday, beginning at $379. That is cheaper than the brand new $399 iPad Mini, which has a show that measures 7.9 inches diagonally. The total-size Kindle Fireplace HDX has an eight.9-inch display, simply in need of the iPad Air’s 9.7 inches. Even cheaper is the 7-inch Kindle Fireplace HDX, which prices $229.
Should you can afford a $499 pill and are not a heavy consumer of Amazon providers, you would possibly nonetheless contemplate the iPad Air.
Sure, the Kindle is lighter, at about zero.83 pound, or 17 % lower than the Air. However I could not actually inform the distinction holding the 2 facet by facet.
And sure, the Kindle has a sharper display, with a decision of 339 pixels per inch in contrast with the iPad’s 264 pixels per inch. However I could not actually inform the distinction watching the Pixar cartoon “Monsters College” facet by facet.
The place the Air shines is within the construct. I discover the Air extra nice to carry due to its curved edges. The Kindle has a smooth, rubber-like again, nevertheless it does not make up for the boxy edges. The Kindle guarantees extra battery life – at 12 hours, in contrast with 10 hours for the Air. However I discovered the 2 gadgets drained battery at roughly the identical price when watching Hulu streaming video.
As well as, the Air has entry to all kinds of apps out there by way of Apple’s app retailer. The Kindle makes use of a modified model of Android and may run a wide range of Android apps – however not all of them. In reality, the brand new Kindle does not run all of the Android apps which are speculated to work with Kindles, together with the app for Dropbox. Many of those apps must be up to date each time a brand new Kindle system comes out, whereas they merely work when new Android gadgets are out, simply as iPad apps work on new iPads.
In case you are drawn by the Kindle’s value and do not thoughts the restricted choice, although, the Kindle is a superb choice. That is particularly so when you’re a frequent Amazon buyer. The Kindle is tied to your Amazon account, making it simple to purchase all the things from audiobooks to hoover cleaners with a click on or two. You additionally get Amazon’s suggestions for extra issues to purchase, based mostly on bodily and digital purchases you’ve got made on Amazon up to now.
With a $79-a-year Amazon Prime membership, you additionally get fast entry to 1000’s of free films and tv episodes and the power to borrow one e-book a month from a choose checklist. You’ll be able to obtain the free Prime video to observe wherever you might be. On older Kindle Fires and different gadgets, you are restricted to streaming, which requires a continuing Web connection.
One other unique Kindle characteristic known as X-Ray. Once you’re studying a e book, you get details about characters and locations from Wikipedia and different sources. Once you’re listening to music, you see lyrics for chosen songs. Once you’re watching a film or TV present, you get info on actors, character summaries and trivia. Whereas watching “Monsters College,” I notably favored the callout to a pizza truck that seems in most Pixar films. Somewhat be aware pops up within the decrease left nook.
I am going to forgive the truth that it truly exhibits up through the mistaken scene. I did not get any supplemental materials in any respect with the iPad.
One other factor I did not get with the iPad is reside assist. I had bother enjoying “Monsters College” on the iPad initially as a result of I hadn’t completed downloading it but. I had to determine alone that I needed to swap to a unique app to do this. Each the iPad and the Kindle allow you to begin watching because the obtain continues.
The brand new full-size Kindle is a good deal at $379. It would even make a pleasant reward to your tech-challenged associates and family members, as they will name Mayday relatively than you. The Kindle is not pretty much as good because the iPad Air, nevertheless it’s a wonderful selection for its value.