In September, inside an airplane hangar in Los Angeles, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made a series of bold statements about the company's two brand-new Kindle Fire HD tablets. The Kindle Fire HD 7, he said, was the best tablet at a certain price. But with the larger Kindle Fire HD 8.9, "we made the best tablet at any price," Bezos said, in a not-so-subtle jab at the iPad.

When we reviewed the smaller of the two Kindle Fire HD siblings, we found it to be a mixed bag. As a platform, a service, an appliance — a window into everything Amazon is and offers — it's a phenomenal success. But as a tablet overall, compared to the iPad and Nexus 7, it faltered thanks to some performance issues, lacking app selection, and a few absent features.

The $299 Kindle Fire HD 8.9 takes the 7-inch model's formula and puts it into a bigger package with an even better screen — all the more space to enjoy Amazon's massive content ecosystem with. There's also a version with AT&T-supplied LTE connectivity, which comes at a hugely discounted price. Do the better screen and omipresent connection make the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 into an even better Amazon machine? How about a better overall tablet?