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CNET First Look
The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is the Fire to getWith a faster processor and larger screen, the latest version of the Kindle Fire is the best one yet.
The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is essentially an Embiggen version of the 7-inch Fire HD. It has the same basic design with a front-facing camera, volume rocker, power button and headphone jack, micro HDMI, and micro USB. The powerful clear speakers are still located on the back. The interface is the same one used on the 7-inch, which included many upgrades from the original Kindle Fire. Check out this 7-inch Kindle Fire HD first look or the full written reviews of either Kindle Fire HD tablets for details on some of those changes. I will say that the interface feels more at home on the larger screen where the big high-risk icons are even really pop and more of the navigation tabs can be seen without having to scroll. Also, the faster OMAP 4470 processor makes navigating the sometimes very busy menus much smoother and zippier than it was on the 7-inch. The 8.9-inch screen has a 1920 x 1080 resolution and this really makes everything from magazines to book text, but that much crisper. One new addition since the Fire HD's launch is free time. A downloadable app that allows parents to set up parental control profiles for the kids. The content for each profile can easily be limited and even daily limits for each content type can be set. There's even a useful blue background that lets parents know that their kid is still using free time and hasn't hacked his way into the full OS. 3D games performance was good. N.O.V. A. 3 ran at a good clip as did Need for Speed: Most Wanted, but Riptide seems took a bit of a dive in the frame rate department. The 4G version delivers incredibly fast speeds even besting Wi-Fi during certain task. The Fire HD 8.9 starts at $299 for 16-gigabyte storage and $369 for 32 gigabytes. A 32-gigabyte version with 4G LTE starts at $499 and $599 for 64 gigabytes. Those prices may seem pretty high, but they're actually pretty good deals considering what you're getting. Thanks to its great performance and fantastic looking screen, this is the best Kindle Fire yet. Once again, this is Eric Franklin and this has been a first look at the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9.