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HolidayBuyer's Guide

The new and improved Fire HDX 8.9

Same smashing design

Fire OS 4.0 Sangria

Firefly

Sharp design and screen

8-megapixel rear camera

Subtly sleek

A successful sequel

Amazon refreshed its 8.9-inch Fire HDX tablet with a few new features and a faster processor. Click through the slideshow to get to better know the new hot new slate.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

No need to rub your eyes in disbelief -- the new Fire HDX 8.9 looks exactly like last years.

The tablet sports the same edgy angular design and for good reason -- it's one of the slimmest and lightest models around.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Amazon's new Sangria operating system builds upon the foundation Mojito 3.0 laid down and adds some family-friendly features.

Now, like most Android tablets, you can create individual profiles for users -- including children-specific profiles -- and soon you will be able to access a shared library of your Amazon content on multiple Fire devices.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

One of the most exciting new features is Amazon's Firefly function. Previously only seen on the Fire smartphone, the feature can identify songs, TV shows, movies, text, QR codes and more.

You simply aim the camera at your point of interest -- there are individual buttons for identifying video and music -- and within seconds you're given details on what actors are in the scene of the TV show you're watching or which ex-member of Destiny's Child is featured on the remix of that song you're listening to.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The Fire HDX 8.9's sharp screen is still one of the best in its category and it displays sharp details with lifelike colors. Now with Dolby Atmos technology, the enhanced and immersive audio is the cherry on top for this great media consumption tablet.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Packing a an LED flash next to it, the 8-megapixel camera isn't half bad. It captures details that sharply hold up at full resolution, however dimly lit photos suffer from extraneous digital noise. Good thing there's a built-in flash.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Also making a return are the concave, easy to find buttons on the left and right edges.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Though it looks identical to the 2013 model, the new version is indeed different. It's a low-key tablet with high-end features that's tailor-made for taking full advantage of your Amazon Prime membership.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
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