In terms of Amazon's evolution as a hardware (and specifically tablet) company, the Fire HDX 8.9 is a markedly improved device from previous generations. It's thinner, lighter at just 13 ounces, and more powerful with a 2.2 GHz quad-core processor and improved software.
But how does it match up to the competition this holiday season?
John seems to think that this next-gen Kindle Fire has finally achieved “productivity status,” moving from a reader on steroids to a full-fledged computing device. I'm not as convinced, but I also haven't been able to spend quite as much time with these Fire HDX tablets as him.
Would either of us save $100 and choose the HDX 8.9 over an iPad Air? Probably not, based almost entirely on the iPad's ecosystem and App Store.
However, both of us feel that the smaller size tablets are a better idea for the average consumer.
Unless you require a larger screen for reading, or use the tablet almost exclusively to watch movies and TV, a smaller device like the seven-inch HDX or the iPad mini with Retina are more portable and comfortable options.