Make us your home page
Instagram

New Kindle Fire HDX impresses

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos shows off the new Kindle Fire HDX models.

Amazon

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos shows off the new Kindle Fire HDX models.

Amazon has just released the new Kindle Fire HDX. It costs $230 (and $380 for its 9-inch sibling), and it's terrific. The battery goes for about 11 hours. The stereo speakers sound great. The plastic case weighs less than the prior version. There's a mediocre camera on the front for video chatting (not on the back on the 7-inch model). The one big misfire was putting the power and volume keys on the back; you'll spend the first week hitting the Off button by mistake.

The screen packs in 323 tiny dots per inch, making the iPad Mini's 163 dots per inch look coarse. The home screen still features a sliding horizontal "carousel" of everything you've had open recently — books, movies, music, apps. Below that carousel, you now see a traditional grid of icons, just as on other tablets.

Amazon has started to bring its X-Ray trivia feature to movies and music. Some of the songs you buy from Amazon now display scrolling lyrics. And watching a movie with the X-Ray panel open is great fun; it identifies the actors in the scene before you, their bios one tap away.

Boldest and most stunning of all, though, is Mayday: a button that places an instant, free video call to a 24-hour help technician. The agents can see your screen, but can't see you. You can see the agents, and accept their invitation to take control of your Kindle or draw with virtual highlighter pens around elements of the screen.

The Kindle Fire is still clearly intended to show off the books, TV shows, music and videos from Amazon. But there's still no GPS navigation, no speech recognition, no to-do list or notes app.

It doesn't run standard Android apps. About 100,000 apps have been tailored for the Fire, but lots of important ones are missing — including Dropbox, SkyDrive and anything by Google. Meanwhile, Amazon has dropped the price of the Kindle Fire HD to $139.

New Kindle Fire HDX impresses 10/06/13 [Last modified: Sunday, October 6, 2013 7:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, New York Times.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming

    Roads

    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  2. A sports rout on Wall Street

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Sporting goods retailers can't shake their losing streak.

  3. Grocery chain Aldi hosting hiring event in Brandon Aug. 24

    Retail

    BRANDON — German grocery chain Aldi is holding a hiring event for its Brandon store Aug. 24. It is looking to fill store associate, shift manager and manager trainee positions.

  4. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  5. Trigaux: Look to new Inc. 5000 rankings for Tampa Bay's future heavyweights

    Business

    There's a whole lotta fast-growing private companies here in Tampa Bay. Odds are good you have not heard of most of them.

    Yet.

    Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, fills a glass for his employees this past Wednesday as the young St. Petersburg personal advice business celebrates its landing at No. 25 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Taylor, still in his 20s, wins kudos from executive editor Alexis Grant for keeping the firm's culture innovative. The business ranked No. 32 last year. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]