Is there anyone who can threaten the reign of the iPad and Nexus in the tablet realm? Microsoft is trying to do so with its new Surface 2, but so far, the reviews have been less than stellar. Dell is even introducing three new tablets at once, but this over-diversified approach might prove to be a poor strategy choice. And then there’s Amazon. If we were to judge the Kindle tablet by the first two models, we would have to conclude that Amazon just hasn’t got a horse in this race. But the new HDX might just be the biggest underdog success story of the year.
I should start out by saying that the Kindle Fire HDX is a niche tablet: if you’re looking for a device which will exacerbate your productivity, or do exactly the opposite, providing the sweetest gaming experience on the market, this device probably won’t appeal to you that much. But if you want a completely media-focused tablet, which provides the most emphasis on the content itself, you’re in for a treat.
The Fire HDX has the same price as Nexus 7, but is armed with a faster SoC and a longer battery life (about 11 hours to 9). Also, the tablet runs on FireOS, not on Android, but most of the system’s glitches have been seriously refurbished. What makes this device truly great are a couple of completely original features. First of all, the Mayday function allows you to contact the expert Amazon customer service team in a matter of seconds (about 30, to be precise). They’ll answer any questions you have, 24/7, via free video call, and no other device on the market offers this kind of consumer-based approach.
But the real beauty of the device comes in apps like the X-Ray, which attempts to answer any question you might have about a movie, a book or a song in advance, and prepare the answers for you should you make the inquiry. This way you don’t have to pause the experience to go find out what you want to know online, but are rather emerged in the media without any breaks. So if you’re watching a movie, and you can’t seem to remember the name of the actor in the scene, or the name of the song playing in the background, you just tap the screen, and a menu pops up on the left of the screen, giving you those exact information. And if you decide to keep the app open, it continues to update the info throughout the film, book, or a song. A character from 5 chapters back reappears? X-ray will get you caught up with his roles and experiences earlier in the book.