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6 things Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 does that Nexus 9 can't

Al Sacco | Dec. 15, 2014
Both the new Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 and Nexus 9 tablets are top-quality, high-end tablet options, but each outshines the other in a number of notable ways. Here are six things the Fire HDX 8.9 does that the Nexus 9 can't.

The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 has Amazon X-Ray features for movies, music and TV. X-Ray lets you quickly pull up on-screen information about actors while watching a film or TV show or jump to the actors' other movies. You can also use X-Ray to display song lyrics as you listen to music.

These are just a few examples, but if you're invested in Amazon's content ecosystem, you'll get a lot more out of a Kindle Fire tablet like the Fire HDX 8.9 than if you're not an Amazon customer.

2) Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (2014) Has More Storage, Configuration Options
Neither the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 nor the Nexus 9 support memory cards, so what you see is what you get when it comes to on-board storage. Both tablets are very much multimedia oriented, so storage space is key.

The Nexus 9 offers two storage options, 16GB and 32GB, while the Kindle Fire is available with 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of storage. If you need more than 32GB of fixed storage space, the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is a better option than the Nexus 9.

3) New Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (Mostly) Outshines Nexus 9 in Specs, Value
In a straight comparison of hardware specifications, the new Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 outshines the Nexus 9 in the majority of categories -- but not all of them. Here's a quick high-level tech specs comparison.

The Kindle Fire HDX's 8.9-inch display is longer and a bit thinner than the Nexus 9's 8.9-inch screen. The Fire's 2,560 by 1,600 pixel display packs more pixels per inch (339 ppi) than the Nexus 9's 2,048 by 1,536 screen (288ppi).

The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is both thinner (7.8mm) and lighter (375 grams, Wi-Fi version) than the Nexus 9 (7.95mm and 425 grams, Wi-Fi version). The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 has a 2.5 Ghz quad-core Snapdragon processor, and the Nexus 9 packs a 2.3 Ghz NVIDIA Tegra processor -- though the Nexus CPU is 64-bit, while the Nexus processor is 32 bit. (You can read more about what the 64-bit processor, and a few other ways the Nexus 9 beats the Kindle Fire HDX in specs, in our companion story.)

The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is also a bit more affordable than the Nexus 9. You can get a 16GB, Wi-Fi version of the Fire HDX 8.9 for $379, if you agree to enable Amazon's ads on your home screen. (You can pay an additional $15, for a total of $394, to remove those "special offers" and customize your own home screen.) The 16GB, Wi-Fi Nexus 9 costs $399. The price differential increases, as well, as you add storage. For example, the 32GB Wi-Fi Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 costs $50 more than the 16GB version ($429, with special offers), while the 32GB Nexus 9 costs $80 more than its 16GB counterpart ($479).


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