As tablets become more a part of our daily lives, being able to use them anywhere is increasingly important. Amazon figured out a way to make the display on its new Kindle Fire HDX stand up to bright light, so you don't have to worry about a terribly washed-out screen when you take it outside.
When I tried a press sample of the 7-inch version of the company's latest tablet line, it looked better to me than an Apple iPad in a similar setting. When you turn on the auto-brightness setting on the Kindle HDX, it not only adjusts the brightness, but it also makes the dark areas of images lighter so they're not lost in the glare of bright light, including sunshine.
Here's what else I found after taking the Kindle Fire HDX for a test drive.
The 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX has a screen resolution of 1920x1200, with 323 pixels per inch, so I expected a great picture. I wasn’t disappointed. When I watched a video, I found the picture smooth, pretty much glitch-free, and sharp.
The HDX also produces accurate color, covering the full range (sRGB) you’d expect on a digital device. Colors on the HDX appeared as good as those on the iPad, accurately represented, neutral, and well saturated.
The screen was also bright, with reduced glare that made text as easy to read as on the most-readable tablet we’ve tested.
The 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX has stereo speakers, but they sounded tinny and were not loud enough for enjoying music. You'll want to use headphones for that.
This new tech-support service from Amazon is available free, 24/7. According to Amazon the support service isn't fully staffed yet, because the tablet hasn't started shipping to consumers. Still, I gave it a try and found the response to be fast and helpful. The agents were able to quickly answer my questions.
When I needed to, I could move the Mayday box (with video of the live agent) around the display to get it out of the way of something onscreen. The agent also used drawings to point things out to me on the screen. If Amazon can keep up with demand once the tablet is shipping, Mayday will be a much-appreciated service.