Since launching the Kindle Fire in 2011, Amazon’s small tab has slowly grown into a viable competitor. Last year’s Fire HD was a solid upgrade, with a more refined design and faster guts. But the online retailer’s latest offering, the Kindle Fire HDX, is by all accounts Amazon’s masterpiece. It might be the best small tablet money can buy—even better than Google’s Nexus 7, which is currently the reigning champ.
What makes the Fire HDX such an exciting follow up is that Amazon has become smarter with its upgrades. The company made internal tweaks, sure, which is an expected part of yearly iterations. But Amazon also improved its software experience—there’s an actual app drawer now—and introduced a unique component that no other competing company offers: Mayday, which is literally live streaming tech support 24/7/365.
In addition, the device itself sports a new, more angular design that stands out compared to other tablets; it’s still recognizable as a Kindle tablet, however, which have all gotten better design-wise each successive year. The HDX is no exception. Specs of the device include a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 chip, 2GB of RAM, 16GB/32GB/64GB options, custom Android 4.2.2 and a 7-inch IPS LCD screen (1920×1200). There’s also an 8.9-inch version—same everything, save for an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera—which starts at $379.
We loved the Kindle Fire HD that came out last year, so we’re particularly excited to give this one a go. We’re especially curious about Mayday, and how much value it’ll add to Amazon’s increasingly impressive Kindle ecosystem. Check out our quick unboxing, and stay tuned for more Kindle Fire HDX coverage.