The Last Word on...the Kindle Fire HDX

Jason Gilbert
Yahoo News
View photos
Amazon opens pre-orders for Kindle Fire HD and Fire HDX in the UK and Canada

The Kindle Fire HDX is Amazon's third attempt at a handheld tablet, and its well-selling competitor to Apple's iPad mini and Google's Nexus 7. And if you're thinking of buying one, combing throguh all of the reviews of the Kindle Fire HDX can take hours, and even days if you're a really slow reader.

That's why we've collected all of the most important, summarizing paragraphs from the best reviews and put them in one place. We call it...The Last Word.

Ed Baig, in USA Today:

Amazon now claims more than 80,000 third-party apps in its app store, but that's a fraction compared with what Android and iOS have available.

That's one of the reasons why it's still hard to declare the Kindle Fire HDX as the best tablet at any price. But I like it a lot. And it's very good for people seeking an affordable and solid tablet.

Brian Heater, in Engadget:

The software continues to be somewhat limiting for power users, due to a content-based UI and a lack of Google Play access, but Amazon has sprinkled in plenty of new features, including Mayday, Second Screen, a grid layout and additional X-Ray functionality. If you're searching for that perfect starter tablet for a loved one, the HDX is a compelling proposition with plenty of user-friendly features and specs that match the Nexus 7 blow for blow.

Om Malik, in GigaOM:

Great as it might be, the Kindle Fire HDX isn’t going to be my primary tablet. I am going to stick with iPad Mini — it feels lighter, it has a better ecosystem of applications (that make sense to me) and more importantly, I find it easier to use for emails and lightweight document creation in addition to some photo editing.

That said, I am actively and seriously considering making the $229 16 GB version of Kindle Fire HDX as my auxiliary tablet and ebook reader.

 Eric Limer, in Gizmodo:

The other big contender for best small tablet of the year--the second revision of the iPad Mini--is still shrouded in mystery and also right around the corner. Apple's big iPad event is (almost certainly) this October, and who knows what the next small iPad has in store.

But for the time being, the Kindle HDX has eked out a victory, pulling waaaay ahead on the hardware front in a year where the Nexus 7 sort of let off the gas. There's still time in this race for Apple to make a move, but the HDX has established one hell of a lead to beat.

Lance Ulanoff, in Mashable:

The combination of the utterly unique (for tablets, at least) May Day tech support and effective FreeTime parental controls makes the Kindle Fire HDX a near-perfect first-time tablet. If I switched from iOS to Android, the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX would be my first choice and it’s definitely the 7-inch Android tablet I’ll be recommending to friends.

John Biggs, in TechCrunch:

Who should get the HDX? I’d recommend it to people who are looking for a second screen and may not treat their tablet as a primary personal information management or email machine. While these features are available on the Kindle, they are not the software’s strong point.

Chris Davies, in SlashGear:

The Kindle Fire HDX ticks the right boxes across the board, in that case: ebooks look great and can be read for longer; movies and TV shows will soon have the clever Second Screen functionality; and Prime subscribers get the benefit of offline playback. It’s fast, portable, and well constructed, and if you’ve bought into the Amazon ecosystem – or are looking for a one-stop-shop in which to set up your digital life, that isn’t Apple – then the Kindle Fire HDX makes a compelling argument to be that shopfront.

Anna Attkisson, in Laptop Mag:

The increasing number of very good sub-$200 tablets is making it harder to justify the premium for more expensive devices such as the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX. Nevertheless, this $229 (for base model) device is a fantastic value. You get a superior HD display for enjoying movies and games, along with best-in-class performance in a sleeker design. Plus, only the HDX gives you one-touch access to personalized tech support.
Overall, the Kindle Fire HDX is easily one of the best tablets of the year.

JP Mangalindan, in Fortune:

If there's anything to dislike about the Kindle Fire HDX, it's that, despite all the improvements, users are very much wedded to the Amazon ecosystem. And although iPad mini is pricier and features older components (for now), if you're a Mac user, there's undeniably more synergy among Apple devices. Also, Fire OS 3.0 still trails behind iOS7 in some features and polish. Email threads have yet to make an appearance into Fire OS, for instance, but will arrive in a software update later this year.

That still doesn't diminish what Amazon has done this year with the HDX. For the first time, truly, the company has made a product that won't make some users feel like they're compromising an excellent user experience for a cheap price tag. Because now, Amazon's tablet line has both.

Andy Inhatko, in TechHive:

I don’t expect to see Apple lower the price of the 16GB iPad mini below its current $329. For the life of me, I don’t know what Apple could do to enhance the iPad mini to make me recommend it over the Fire HDX, provided that the person asking my advice had little interest in productivity or gaming. A 7-inch Fire HDX will give you a superior content experience and leave $100 in your pocket—which you can spend on books, music, and movies.