Amazon announces new Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, and Kindle Paperwhite. No smartphone in sight
Amazon hit gold with its Kindle Fire Android tablet late last year. And that obviously made it want to release new tablets. These have been announced today (as expected), and, yes, there are two of them.
First of all, we’ve got a new 7 inch Kindle Fire, which isn’t called Fire 2, as previously rumored. It’s just the new Kindle Fire, just like Apple’s latest iPad is the new iPad. There aren’t too many things changed on the new Kindle Fire – but it offers 40% paste performance, thanks to a faster processor, and double the amount of RAM. The new tablet also provides a longer battery life. It will be available starting September 14, costing $159 – hence less than the original model, which was released for $199.
But the real breaking news from Amazon is the announcement of the Kindle Fire HD, which exists because the company wants to be no. 1 not just when it comes to affordable tablets.
The Kinde Fire HD is obviously a high-end device. Its sports a display with 1920 x 1200 pixels and 25% less glare, and is only 8.8mm thin.
Amazon didn’t say if the Kindle Fire HD uses an Android-based UI, but it most probably does. Anyway, here’s what else the HD tablet is featuring:
- Dual-core TI OMAP 4470 processor, touted by Amazon as being faster that Nvidia’s Tegra 3 (which powers the Google Nexus 7, among others)
- Custom Facebook and Skype apps
- Dual stereo speakers, Dolby Digital Plus sound
- Two Wi-Fi antennas (2.4GHz and 5GHz)
- MIMO – it is the world’s first tablet to incorporate this technology
- Kindle FreeTime – allowing you to set time limits for kids when using the tablet for various activities (reading, games etc)
- X-Ray fro movies and books – providing quick access to related info
- Whispersync for games
The Kindle Fire HD will be available in several versions:
- 7 inch, 16GB, starting at $199; launches on September 14
- 8.9 inch, 16GB, starting at $299 – pictured below; launches on November 20
- 8.9 inch, 32GB, 4G LTE connectivity – $499, also launching on November 20. You’ll require a data plan if you want to use LTE, and Amazon is offering one for for $49.99 a year, including 250MB of monthly data, as well as 20GB of cloud storage and a $10 Amazon app store credit
(8.9 inch Kindle Fire HD vs. new 7 inch Kindle fire. Image via The Verge)
Amazon has also announced the Kindle Paperwhite e-reader, which comes with a new display technology (called Paperwhite), and font-changing option. It will ship starting October 1, for $119 (Wi-Fi only version), or $179 (Wi-Fi plus 3G).
In case you’re wondering, that rumored Amazon smartphone hasn’t been unveiled today. But maybe the company decided it will need a separate event for that. We’ll see.