Amazon is slashing the price on its top-of-the-line Kindle Fire tablet right before Christmas, coincidentally on the last day you can order one with two-day shipping before the big day. All of the various Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 models are 30% off today. There are technically twelve different buying options for the HDX: 32GB or 64GB, Wi-Fi or GSM LTE or Verizon LTE, and with or without advertising on the screensaver.
Picture yourself on a couch. Now, across the room is a television. It's just a 48" 720p flatscreen, hooked up to a digital cable box Time Warner sent you like 8 years ago that is slow as molasses and has no remaining DVR space, and beside that is the old Xbox 360 you haven't touched in many a fortnight and is presumably home to a small but happy civilization of dust-eating molds and fungi who are probably as old as the component video cable you have attached to it.
If nothing else, Amazon is ambitious. When they launched Prime, which offered free and guaranteed two-day delivery to subscribers, it seemed like Amazon was doomed to regret the project. Just under 10 years later, Amazon has its eyes on making shipping remarkably faster at no added cost. Prime Now, which will be bundled with existing Prime subscriptions, will offer free two-hour delivery in New York City and, soon, a number of additional cities.
The set-top box market has basically exploded over the past couple of years, with companies like Google, Roku, and Amazon leading the way. The good news is that there's no indication it's going to slow any time soon; in fact, it keeps getting better. Amazon's Fire TV stick is the perfect example of that – it's essentially a Fire TV crammed into an HDMI stick, but at a fraction of the price.
Want to stuff a couple of stockings for the holidays? Here's a cool suggestion from Amazon: the Kindle Fire HDX 7" 4G LTE. This is last year's Kindle Fire generation but still the newest HDX 7" available — Amazon didn't update the HDX 7" line when it released the new HD 6, 7, and HDX 8.9" this past September. The 4G LTE models are being discounted 50% today only through Amazon Gold Box, while the regular Wi-Fi only models have kept their regular price.
A few weeks ago, Ryan and I tag teamed the Kindle Fire HD 6 and 7 in a review that left us both pretty dang impressed with what Amazon has cooked up in its newest budget-friendly tablets. Since then, I've been playing with the Fire HD Kids (6" - $149; 7" - $159), Amazon's attempt at entering the kids' tablet market. I'm using the six-inch model for this review, but the tablet is also available in a seven-inch model.