Kindle Fire received an upgrade and a cut off in price, but the nicest surprise of yesterday’s Amazon press event was the launch of Kindle Fire HD tablet, available with 7-inch and 8.9-inch displays for $199 and $300, respectively.
After testing the cheap tablet segment with the first-gen Kindle Fire, Amazon is now attacking whole tablet market with not less than three different versions, focusing on all the user categories, in terms of price and performance.
The new generation of Kindle Fire kept the name of the version launched last year, as well as the technical specifications of the IPS touchscreen multitouch display: 7-inch (diagonally), 1,024 x 600 pixels resolution, Gorilla Glass protection, and anti-reflex treatment.
The revampled Kindle Fire sports a more powerful chipset (an evolution of TI OMAP solutions of the first gen), 1 GB of RAM and bigger battery, which, according to the company, will bring 40% more battery life.
Kindle Fire HD models have became la piece de resistance of Amazon’s tablet line up. The tablet will be available in two versions with 7-inch and 8.9-inch displays, sharing a similar hardware platform. The 7-inch Kindle Fire HD comes with a 1,280 x 800 IPS display, while the 8.9-inch model has a resolution of 1,920 x 1,2000 pixels, with an impressive density of 254 ppi.
The hardware platform is underpinned by dual-core processors manufactured by Texas Instruments, members of the OMAP tribe, while the storage options start with 16 GB. In terms of portability, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is 8.8 mm thick and weighs in 567 grams.
The 7-inch Kindle Fire HD comes with a dual-core TI OMAP 4430 CPU clocked at 1.2 GHz, 7-inch IPS display with 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, WiFi with two antennas 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz and the fastest WiFi available on the market, faster than the speeds available on slates like the New iPad or Google Nexus 7.
On the other hand, Kindle Fire HD comes with 8.9-inch IPS display with 1,920 x 1080 pixels, dual-core 1.5 GHz TI OMAP 4470 CPU, which, according to Amazon is faster than Nvidia’s Tegra 3, 1 GB of RAM, WiFi with MIMO support, Dolby Digital Plus and 16 / 32 / 64 GB of internal storage.
Even though Amazon tried to focus on the multimedia aspects of its tablets by integrating two speakers and Digital Dolby Plus technology, the main attractions of the Kindle Fire HD are the connectivity options. The WiFi connection can now speed up to 31 Mbps, compared to the 22 Mbps of the new iPad, thanks to a second wireless antenna that was paired with one that works at 5 GHz. For the North American market the online retailer giant will launch a 4G version, packing LTE technology developed by Amazon.
Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD 7 and Kindle Fire HD 8.9 will also come with loads of software goodies. The most interesting ones are “Whispersync for voice,” whihc syncs an e-book with the correspondent audio-book, allowing you to read and listen to the same book in the same time, “X-Ray,” which allows the user to receive IMDB information about a certain actor by simply touching his face on the the screen while watching a movie, or “Whispersync for games” which synchronizes the settings and progress of a game, in case you want to reinstall it.
Considered a worthy rival for Google Nexus 7, the upgraded Knidle Fire has also received a cut off in price, and will now cost $159 when the shipping will start, on September 14th. The Kindle Fire HD release date is September 14th, too, and will have a price of $199 in the 16 GB version, therefore Amazon will be a major player of the cheap tablet segment.
Meanwhile, the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD and 16 GB will cost $299 and will become available for purchase on November 20th. The 32 GB model with WiFi + 4G will be priced $499.