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Amazon Kindle Fire HD review

Now comes in two size choices for the discerning tablet worrier

Battery life

Amazon claims that the Amazon Kindle Fire HD is good for 10 hours of use in between charges (this is actually down from 11 on last year's edition), and everything I've experienced in our hands-on time suggests that they're about right.

With the screen cranked up to full brightness and in heavy usage (video watching, gaming and web browsing) it came up a little short of double figures on the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, but it's still very respectable and in line with its big rival, the iPad mini.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD
Ten hours between charges? Sounds about right

After playing our standard self-installed test movie, which is 720p and one hour and thirty minutes long, with the screen brightness cranked up to full and Wi-Fi and notifications on, I was left with more than 80 per cent battery life in the tank. Not bad at all.

Arguably of more interest when it comes to battery life is Amazon's decision to omit a mains charger from both packages. You get a USB lead, which will charge the tablet through your computer or a generic USB mains adapter, but it's an odd omission nonetheless.

If you wish, you can buy Amazon's PowerFast charger, though this will set you a back a pretty wallet-busting £17.99. That's a bit steep, but it does promise to fully charge your Amazon Kindle Fire HD in less than five hours - although this is no quicker than the iPad mini, despite both having a capacity of 4400mAh.

Connectivity

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD is Wi-Fi-only, so you won't be able to carry them around and take advantage of 3G connectivity. Still, with tablets that's far less of an issue for most users. If you're planning on taking the tablet out on the road and connecting to the web, you'll have to plump up the extra cash and pick-up the Kindle Fire HDX model.

Amazon has ditched the MIMO (Multiple In, Multiple Out) technology that boosted Wi-Fi speeds on the last model, sticking to plain old Dual Band Wi-Fi this time around.

There is a bit of a noticeable difference between the two models, but I can confirm that my connection didn't drop in the slightest, regardless of where I was in my, albeit small, flat.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD review

I tried downloading a number of large email files on both Amazon Kindle Fire HDs and then did the same on my iPad mini with Retina display, but couldn't see much difference.

Outside of this, The Amazon Kindle Fire HD comes with just a microUSB connection. Sadly, Amazon has done away with the microHDMI port that last year's model had - so no outputting to the big screen.

The tablet also comes with Bluetooth for use with speakers, keyboards and other wireless peripherals. There's no microSD card slot.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Flash Memory Capacity32 GB
Processor ManufacturerTexas Instruments
Graphics Controller ManufacturerImagination Technologies
Graphics Controller ModelPowerVR SGX544
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
HDMIYes
Product FamilyKindle Fire HD
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformAndroid
Processor ModelOMAP4470
ColourBlack
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameAmazon
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Processor TypeOMAP 4
Screen Size22.6 cm (8.9")
Screen Resolution1920 x 1200
Weight (Approximate)567 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyIn-plane Switching (IPS) Technology
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Height238.8 mm
Width165.1 mm
Depth8.9 mm
Screen ModeWUXGA
ManufacturerAmazon.com, Inc
Product NameKindle Fire HD Tablet
Product LineKindle Fire HD
Aspect Ratio16:10
Manufacturer Part Number53000473
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.amazon.com
Marketing InformationStunning HD display

When it comes to HD displays, great resolution is just the start. Unlike many other tablets, Kindle Fire HD also delivers rich color and deep contrast from every angle, with an advanced polarizing filter and custom anti-glare technology.

Booming sound without distortion

Low quality sound can ruin your HD entertainment experience. That's why Kindle Fire HD 8.9" features exclusive, custom Dolby audio, dual stereo speakers, and auto-optimization software for clear, crisp, balanced audio.

Fastest Wi-Fi of any tablet

When it comes to HD content, bandwidth is everything. Without it, you get video buffering, slow downloads, and dropped connections. Kindle Fire HD solves this issue by using state-of-the-art dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi for over 40% faster speeds.

Limited Warranty1 Year