Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9

The contender

Whereas the 7in Kindle Fire HD made a great web browser, e-reader and small screen for movies, this 8.9incher should make more sense as a fully blown tablet. That said, it’s necessarily bigger and bulkier than either the Note 8.0 or iPad Mini, and that grown-up tablet feel makes it harder to accept Amazon’s walled garden approach, which cuts off whole chunks of the Play Store from its users. What do you get in return? A mesmerising Amazon shop window, rendered in crisp 1920×1200, with easy access to its prodigious library of books, music and movies, and a solid all-day battery life.

Eight and great?

The Fire HD’s screen earns its name — text is rendered more cleanly than on the Mini while photos and flicks display luscious colours, so it’s only the off-whites that let it down. Amazon’s heavy skin of Android is big. bold and welcoming -much more so than anything Samsung or Sony has come up with lately. But it masks what the 8.9 can do: email, browsing and file playback are pushed back, which is frustrating if you know your way around Android. Coupled with just a single camera for video calls and a ponderous Silk browser, the Fire’s bulk is writing cheques that its functionality can’t cash.

Tech

Android 4.0 dual-core 1.5GHz OMAP4470 1GB RAM 16/32GB 8.9in, 1920×1200,254ppi up to 10hrs battery 1.3MP camera HDMI 239x163x9mm 567g Price £240 (16GB), £280 (32GB) / amazon.co.uk

★★★★☆

Ideal for tablet newbs, but both the Note and iPad outgun it

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