I received this today despite having only ordered it yesterday afternoon. Cleary Amazon have plenty of HDX 7 inch models in stock. I went for the cheapest option - 16Gb of memory, (Wi-Fi only of course), and `with special offers' to cut the cost further. This is the third generation of Fire released in the US market and the second UK version. I purchased one of the first US models which has worked well for the last couple of years. The new model is a significant improvement on this.
Headlines, well first, the screen is absolutely fantastic. The colours are vibrant and the screen very bright, so bright in fact I've turned down the brightness settings. The screen has a far better resolution compared to the iPad Air (263 pixels per inch v. 323) which I bought last week and text is sharper and colour reproduction seems more realistic. Needless to say the screen is a long way away from the original Fire.
Second, and a little unexpectedly, the Fire is a lot lighter. I see its lighter than the last 7 inch HD version, and is considerably lighter than my original US-only model. Not that any of the 7 inch Fires have seemed too heavy to hold one handed for reading. The new Fire just makes it easier still.
Third, the tablet is a lot faster. The Fire uses the same processor that's in my Sony mobile phone and I've noticed a significant improvement with that compared to the last generation of chip. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor seems likely to be future proof for another couple of years.
Fourth, using the tablet with LoveFilm results is really high-quality film viewing. There's little reflection on the screen, on my BT Infinity internet link there's no delay in films downloading and no video stutter with images in brilliant quality. Partly this may reflect also the `ultra-fast' dual band Wi-Fi now built in. For printed content books are easy to read but I've never suffered from eye-strain reading from LCD screens. Others will be better able to comment on this. Magazines look brilliant making full use of the outstanding screen.
Finally, the sound is easily good enough to watch films with but I'd recommend headphones for music.
There are other features that I doubt I'll use much if at all. The `Mayday' function seems a little pointless especially as the most common problem I'm likely to experience is Wi-Fi connectivity issues! I purchased the 16Gb storage capacity as I tend to use the Fire mostly for reading and watching streamed films and Amazon's Cloud service. As a result additional memory is not needed for me. Nor do I need a rear camera (just as well as this 7 inch model doesn't have one) and I won't much use the front camera although it will work well for occasional video Skype call.
Potential downsides remain from other versions of the Fire. Although the version of Android is newer is still has a very heavy Amazon skin and you don't have access to the Play store. But for my use of the Tablet this isn't a problem especially as so many Apps are now available from Amazon.
Overall a dramatic enhancement on my old Fire, a brilliant screen, and a lightweight tablet which has a high build quality. For the price it's very good value for money. As a result highly recommended. I'll post an update on battery life after I've used the tablet for a couple of weeks. The specifications suggest this is a further area that's been improved on.
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