Just as the tech world was on the verge of completely forgetting about Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX 8.9, formally introduced back in September, the amazingly cheap tablet has started shipping.

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 tablet shipping at last, pricing starts at $379

Amazingly cheap all things considered, or at least compared with some of the competition (cough, iPad Air, cough), because $380 is still a pretty penny. But it’s nothing when you get a gizmo with a stunning 2,560 x 1,600 pixels resolution screen and explosive quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU in exchange.

That 8.9-inch display in particular has been praised by a number of online reviewers and pundits, some of which consider it crisper, brighter and more vibrant than even iPad Air’s Retina unit. And why shouldn’t it be, when it boasts a record 339 ppi pixel density, considerably north of Apple’s 264 ppi?

Yet the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 tale is not all about display pixel count and whatnot. It’s also a tale of raw power, as the 2.2 GHz S800 chip, doubled by 2 GB RAM, makes the thing fly in everything from browsing to multimedia playing to gaming.

Then there’s design. Granted, the 8.9-inch Fire HDX is probably not the sturdiest gadget in the world, nor does it come with an elegant aluminum unibody. But it’s incredibly slim, measuring 7.8 mm in thickness, and light as a feather, at 374 grams.

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 2 Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 tablet shipping at last, pricing starts at $379

Other breathtaking features include an 8 MP rear-facing camera and Dolby Digital Plus sound enhancement, whereas on the software side of things you’re dealt a hand that you either go all-in with or back out of the game entirely.

It’s a simple matter of love or hate when it comes to Amazon’s heavily skinned version of Android Jelly Bean, with an ecosystem that’s very much limited and sealed in many ways.

The cheapest Fire HDX 8.9 costs $379 and is an ad-enabled Wi-Fi only flavor with 16 GB of built-in storage. Sadly, that’s actually the only model that appears to be in stock and shipping at the time of this writing, with 32 and 64 GB versions due out between November 20 and 26. As for tabs packing Verizon and AT&T’s 4G LTE speeds, those are slated to land on or around December 10.

Source: Amazon PR