Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 2 release date, news and features

What to expect from the new Kindle Fire

With the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 (2014) now among us, we know exactly what changes Amazon has made and what it's kept in place. Originally though, we had a fairly long wish list of what we wanted to see from the new tablet, which you can read below.

Of course, several of these features haven't made it into the revamped tablet. But then again, there's always the Amazon Fire HDX 3 to look forward to.

What we want to see

The Kindle Fire HDX is a great tablet, with fairly high end specs, an affordable price tag and some handy Amazon features, like Mayday and access to Amazon Instant Video.

It's not perfect though, so here's what we'd like to see this time around from the new Kindle Fire HDX 2.

1. Google Play access

The Kindle Fire HDX range runs Android, but its a heavily forked version that Amazon has locked down. As a result users have to get apps and other content from the Amazon App Store.

That's not the end of the world as it's actually pretty well stocked, but Google Play has it beat, not to mention the fact that on most Android devices you can use Amazon or Google for apps, rather than just being locked into one. It would be great if the Kindle Fire HDX 2 had this functionality too.

It's pretty unlikely to happen though because of course Amazon wants you to buy things from its own store and if it ever did add Google Play access it may end up raising the price of its slates to compensate.

2. A greater app selection

This ties into the first want, but if Amazon isn't going to let us use Google Play then it needs to improve the selection in it's own store.

It's not bad at all but it's got a far smaller selection of apps than Google Play or the Apple App Store, particularly when it comes to games and productivity software.

3. A more premium design

The Kindle Fire HDX range is focussed on value for money and when it's undercutting it's competitors you can forgive things like an underwhelming build, but that doesn't mean we wouldn't prefer a better one.

Not only is the Kindle Fire HDX heavy on the plastic, it's also just a little bit dull, so a more eye catching, inspired and ideally premium design on the Kindle Fire HDX 2 would certainly be a welcome change.

4. A water and dust proof build

Phones are increasingly becoming water and dust resistant and Sony has even packed the tech into its Xperia Tablet Z and Xperia Z2 Tablet, so we'd love to see Amazon follow suit and make the Kindle Fire HDX 2 water and dust resistant.

Sure, you're not likely to take your slate swimming, but you probably will sometimes want to put a cup of coffee down next to it and it would be nice not to have to worry about bricking it with an accidental spill.

5. A microSD card slot (or more built in storage)

Amazon isn't especially stingy with storage, as the company sells its Kindle Fire HDX with up to 64GB built in, but tablets are all about media and with a mix of films, games and music you could quickly fill even that up. So we'd love to see the company up the storage size to 128GB in the next model, or add a microSD card slot. Better yet, do both.

6. A bigger screen

Amazon has the 7 inch tablet market covered, but the larger Kindle Fire HDX comes in at a slightly awakward 8.9 inches rather than the 10.1 inches favoured by most of its rivals. We're sure there's a big market for an 8.9 inch slate but if we want a big tablet we want, well, a big tablet, and 10.1 inches is tried and tested as a nice balance between size and portability, so a 10.1 inch Kindle Fire HDX 2 would be a good addition to the range.

7. Front-facing speakers

The audio quality on the Kindle Fire HDX is pretty good, but the speakers are on the back, which just doesn't make any sense to us despite it being the normal place for tablets to have them.

Think about it, if you're listening to music it doesn't much matter which side the speakers are on and if you're watching a video or playing a game it makes more sense to have them on the front so the sound is coming towards you. It might make the front of the tablet look a little messy but we can live with that.