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$230 or $140? We pit the Kindle Fire HDX against the Kindle Fire HD

Amazon has taken the wraps off its new Amazon Kindle Fire HDX, but that doesn’t mean the Kindle Fire HD (no X) is going away. Amazon’s opting to keep the Kindle Fire HD around, dropping its price to $140 and giving it a very basic refresh – one that won’t change many of the specs of the device but instead repackages it a bit. Luckily, with its new price, the Kindle HD doesn’t need any internal changes – it’s packing plenty to compete with other tablets in its price range. The Kindle Fire HDX appears more than ready to take the place of its predecessor, but if you’re looking at Amazon tablets it may be hard to tell which is right for you. We put the new and old side by side to see how they compare with a spec showdown. 

 

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

KindleHD

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX

KindleHDX

Size 7.6 x 5.4 x 0.4 (in) 7.32 x 5.04 x 0.35 (in)
Weight 12.2 oz 10.97 oz
Screen 7.0-inch LCD 7-inch LCD 
Resolution 1280 x 800 pixels 1920 x 1200 pixels
OS Android 4.2 with Fire OS 3.0 UI  Android 4.2 with Fire OS 3.0 UI
Storage 8/16GB 16/32/64GB
SD Card Slot No No
Processor 1.5Hz dual-core TI OMAP 2.2GHz Quad-cord Snapdragon 800
RAM 1GB 2GB
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, 4G LTE
Camera None Front Camera with 720p recording
Bluetooth Yes, version 4.0 Yes, version 4.0
Battery 10 hours of use 11 hours of use
Charger Micro USB Micro USB
Marketplace Amazon Appstore Amazon Appstore
Price $140+ $230+
Availability October 18, 2013 October 18, 2013

The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX is an upgrade in almost every way over the Kindle Fire HD. It has a full 1080p HD display, a speedy Snapdragon 800 processor, double the RAM of its predecessor, improved battery life, and the addition of a camera that the Kindle Fire HD lacks. But, the Kindle Fire HDX is now in a different category than the Kindle Fire HD. The HDX should be blowing the HD out of the water – the HD is a budget tablet now.

As far as budget-friendly options go, the Kindle Fire HD should have no problem dominating the pack. With a processor that is still capable of performing most tasks, a decent display, and an updated operating system that appears more promising than previous versions of Amazon’s modified Android OS, the Kindle Fire HD offers some good features and name recognition for the price of an off-brand option. It’s lacking in comparison to other, $200+ tablets and it’d have been nice to see a basic camera in the HD (there is a front-facing camera available in the 8.9-inch model), but Amazon did everything it could to keep the price down.

The Kindle Fire HD is definitely a good budget offering, but the Kindle Fire HDX won’t exactly hurt your wallet either. Starting at $230, it’s built to compete and could go toe-to-toe with the spec sheet of most tablets out there, including the Nexus 7, and even ones in a higher pricing tier. Amazon is keeping the price low and banking on people using the tablet to buy Amazon content – apps, movies, games, TV shows, music, etc – which is where the company will make its money back.

You’ll be able to try out both the refreshed Amazon Kindle Fire HD and the new Amazon Kindle Fire HDX starting October 18, 2013.

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