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Kindle Fire HD 6" and HD 7"

Tablets preview

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Posted: October 3, 2014

The Kindle Fire brand has been a standard for affordable, well-made tablets since it was first introduced by Amazon in 2011. Budget tablets have only become more popular in the intervening years, and the trend is clearly toward smaller, more portable devices. It's a growing market, and one that Amazon hopes to tap with the newest additions to the Kindle Fire line.

Kindle Fire HD 6"

It's clear that Amazon's primary focus is on building budget devices without making the hardware sacrifices typical to most low-end slates, and in that regard they've succeeded. The Kindle Fire HD 6" is well-made, featuring gorilla glass and a durable composite body that comes in five colors. It's not the lightest or thinnest device on the market, but it feels like a premium device. It's fitted with a solid 1,280-by-800 pixel display and is powered by a 1.5-gigahertz quad-core processor that delivers considerably more performance than expected from a typical tablet in its class. Best of all, it manages to do so with a price tag under $100.

On the software side, the Kindle Fire HD 6" also sees several appealing additions. The new Fire OS 4.0 brings with it a number of Amazon's most popular features, including the unique Advanced Streaming and Prediction technology found on the Fire TV. The Firefly "scan-to-buy" feature also makes an appearance, allowing consumers to snap a photo of an item and quickly add it to a shopping cart for purchase. Other features include multiple user profiles, as well as a utility for sharing apps and other media between family members.

Kindle Fire HD 7"

Other than the form factor, the Kindle Fire HD 7" is largely identical to the 6-inch slate. It employs the same 1,280-by-800 pixel display, albeit with a slightly lower pixel density given the larger screen. The difference is hardly noticeable, however, and the IPS panel still looks just fine on the larger device. The slate itself is as well-built and durable as its smaller sibling, and it certainly feels like a tablet that can stand up to some abuse. That's a rare thing indeed for such a wallet-friendly tablet, and it makes it easier to forgive the less than inspired styling.

It's natural to compare the newest Kindle Fire HD 7" with the previous version, which Amazon released in 2012, and in this regard it's more a refresh than a total reboot. The display is very similar, though the device itself feels better and more sturdy than the already solid 2012 7-inch slate. The 1.5-gigahertz quad-core processor, meanwhile, is a definite upgrade over its predecessor's often sluggish hardware. Things have also improved on the software side. Whereas the 2012 Kindle Fire HD sometimes felt like little more than a tool for Amazon to push sales of its content and many other products, the new 7-incher has a lot to offer outside of basic content consumption.

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Side by side comparison

amazon-kindle-fire-hd-6
 Tablet  Amazon Kindle Fire HD 6"
 Rating  Ratings
 OS  Fire OS 4.0
 CPU  Quad Core - 1.5 GHz
 Storage  8,16 GB
 RAM  1 GB
 Display  IPS - 6.0 inch
 Resolution  1280 x 800 px - 252 ppi
 Camera  Front 0.3 / Back 2.0 MP
 Weight  0.29 kg / 0.64 lbs
 Battery life  8.0 hours
 Released  2014-10
 Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7"
 Ratings
 Fire OS 4.0
 Quad Core - 1.20 GHz
 16,32 GB
 1 GB
 IPS LCD - 7.0 inch
 1280 x 800 px - 216 ppi
 Front 0.3 / Back 2.0 MP
 0.34 kg / 0.74 lbs
 10.0 hours
 2014-10

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