Like the Kindle Fire HD but wish it were a bit larger? Amazon is hoping you'd say that since they're released the Kindle Fire HD 8.9", a tablet that's a little bit smaller than the iPad and appreciably more roomy than 7" tablets. The Fire HD 8.9 starts at a very reasonable $299 for the 16 gig WiFi model, making it an appealing budget tablet with better than budget features. Like all Kindle tablets, it runs a heavily modified version of Android, so this tablet is best for those looking for easy consumption of Amazon's products and services (ebooks, music, Amazon Prime video, magazines and apps) rather than a jack of all trades and hackable tablet like the Nexus.
Everything here is the same as the Kindle Fire HD 7" model we reviewed two months ago except the tablet size, display resolution and CPU. A larger screen begs for a higher res display and Amazon delivers a very sharp 1920 x 1200 IPS display with pleasing, accurate and rich colors. That's the same resolution as the Asus Transformer Infinity TF700, but a bit lower than the larger Nexus 10. To push all those extra pixels, the CPU is a bit faster vs. the 7" Fire HD. It's a 1.5GHz dual core OMAP 4470 and it benchmarks faster than the 7" Fire HD, though not as fast as Tegra 3 tablets by a long shot.
The tablet is is a third of an inch thick with the same styling and Dolby stereo speakers as the 7" version. The bezel sizes are the same as is the soft touch finish and fiddly power and volume controls. At 1.25 lbs. it's lighter than many 10" tablets on the market, but then it is an inch smaller as well. The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is available in larger storage increments and there's an AT&T LTE 4G + WiFi model for $499 with 32 gigs of storage.
Here's our Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9" video review: