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|Operating System||Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)|
|Dimension (in)||9.4 x .35 x 6.4|
Dolby Audio, WiFi, Micro USB, Micro HDMI, Camera, GPS, Bluetooth, Microphone
|Battery Life||10 hrs|
The name alone will sell this unit in droves until the next model is released, but the good news for skeptics is that the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9” edition lives up to both brand name and hype. Most impressive in specs, design and apps, the Kindle Fire HD in its larger form should definitely be a trendsetter in eBook readers.
In terms of design, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 anticipates the iPad Mini, though with dual rear speakers. The hardware specs tell us that the Fire HD packs a super quick 1.5 GHz dual-core OMAP processor; performance is quite good with the custom Android 4.0 OS. There’s 16 GB of RAM, expandable up to 32 GB. Portability is no issue with the Fire HD, either, at a slim 8.89 mm (0.35”) in thickness and a weight of 567 grams (1.25 lbs).
High among the features touted in the Fire HD is the dual-band Wi-Fi support at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The upper-end model also includes 4G compatibility and 32 GB storage space. Though pricy at about $500, this is *still* about $225 cheaper than its iPad counterpart.
And from the world leaders in eBook technology, the touchscreen is impressive with resolution at a fantastic 1900×1200px (or 254 ppi) on the 8.9” screen. Oodles of ways to make eBook reading more convenient and comfortable are embedded into the works of the Fire HD, including the interesting Immersive Reading app. This one allows the user to play an audiobook while the text is highlighted in an eBook as it is read – sounds like some educational possibilities exist there.
All in all, while the Kindle Fire HD 8.9” may have earned a reputation in advance thanks to the Amazon name, this price with that screen makes this tablet a winner for eBook aficionado and beyond.