DisplayMate got their hands on the not-yet-released HDX 8.9 and the just-released iPad Air and put both tablets through a bevy of tests in their lab.And just to make things fun, they also tested last year's Nexus 10 (guess which device came last).
The tests showed that the screen on the HDX is brighter, less reflective, and has higher contrast. We of course new that the HDX had a higher resolution screen, but did you know that the screen on the HDX uses considerably less power ( 3.4 watts vs 4.8 watts)?
All in all, these tests results should not have come as a huge surprise. Apple's last major improvement to the iPad screen was released in early 2012, while the Kindle Fire HDX is shipping this week - almost 20 months later. Amazon has had a heck of a long time to come up with a better screen, and today's results reflect the relative release dates.
BTW, the screen on the iPad Air does show incremental improvement over the screen on the iPad 4, but when I compared the results from last year's test of the iPad 4 to the results posted today I don't see a huge difference in the results.
I guess we'll have to wait for the next iPad before Apple will have a chance to wow us again.