The new Kindle Fire HDX is the flagship device in Amazon's tablet lineup, and not only does it have the power to turn the Android tablet market on its head, it is also the first real competitor to Apple's iPad mini.
Starting at $229, you get a lot of tablet for your money. You get a high-definition 1,920 x 1,200 display, a powerful 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor backed up by a dual-core Adreno 330 GPU, a 720p front-facing camera for video-conferencing and selfies, and storage that starts at 16GB. All of this is packed into a lightweight and stylish magnesium unibody chassis that's both thinner and lighter than last year's offerings.
The hardware is certainly both solid and very well put together.
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On the software front of things, you get Fire OS 3.0, a highly customized version of Google's Android Jelly Bean. Built into this operating system is not only a conduit to all things digital available from Amazon, but also a raft of features such as virtual private networking (VPN) support and encryption that will appeal to the BYOD crowd.
And if at any point a user has problems or needs assistance, there's a Mayday button close to hand that connects users to tech support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Fire OS 3.0 is a mature and well-rounded mobile platform.
The bottom line is that here we have a $229 tablet that appeals not only to those who want to play Angry Birds or stream movies easily, and also to those looking for a tablet to take to work with them.
Broad appeal plus a price tag so low that it makes you do a double-take suggests to me that Amazon isn't going to have any problems selling these tablets.
The 16GB Wi-Fi-only iPad mini retails for $329.
About the only drawback to the Kindle Fire HDX I can come up with is that it isn't a true Android tablet and instead it is tightly bound to the Amazon ecosystem. That said, the iPad mini isn't an Android tablet, and is instead bound tightly to the Apple App Store.
It's swings and roundabouts. But given Amazon's $100 price advantage over the iPad mini, and the fact that its app store is well stocked with quality apps, those looking for a tablet for home, BYOD or enterprise might well find that the Kindle Fire HDX ticks most, if not all, the boxes.