We knew it was coming and it’s finally here. Amazon have unveiled their latest line of Kindle Fire tablets. A new look Kindle Fire HD and a brand new Kindle Fire HDX which effectively replaces the current HD model. Amazon have also announced their new software the Fire OS 3.0 “Mojito” which is a heavily skinned version of Android Jelly Bean.
Amazon this morning announced two Kindle Fire HDX tablets, one is the 7-inch version we’re all used to and the next is an 8.9-inch version. We’ll begin with the smaller 7-inch tablet first which comes with a new type of screen which makes both the 7 and the 8.9-inch much, much lighter. Amazon has done away with the two-layer Capacitive display stack and have merged the touch layer directly onto glass display. The 7-incher has a screen resolution of 1920 x 1200 with 323ppi and the 8.9-inch has a 2560 x 1600 resolution with 339ppi.
Both tablets come with a 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors with 2GB of RAM and Adreno 330 graphics which makes the new Kindle Fire HDX four times quicker than the current HD model. No details of the storage space has been included but we can expect either 16 or 32GB.
The camera on both of the HDX models has been thought about this time with a front-facing HD camera for video calling and taking selfies. The 8.9-inch however has a rear facing 8 megapixel camera with LED flash making the 8.9-inch model more of a tablet than an e-reader. In the US there’s also the option for users to purchase a 4G version for using the web on the go, but no details of a 4G release in the UK just yet.
Audio is still at the forefront of the Amazon Kindle with the HDX coming with dual stereo speakers and Dolby Digital Plus audio.
Finally the old Kindle Fire HD, it’s had a refresh and it’s thinner and lighter than the previous model but keeps the same internals as the higher end Kindle Fire from before.
Amazon has also updated their OS, the Fire OS 3.0 or “Mojito” as they’re calling it. It looks a little more full, but cleaner too. According to Amazon it includes “hundreds of updates, including new email, calendar, and productivity apps, X-Ray for Music, Second Screen, and—in addition to streaming—you can now download Prime Instant Videos and watch them offline.”
Amazon are also keen to push their new Mayday feature which allows users to talk to an Amazon expert via Video Chat 24×7, 365 days a year to “co-pilot you through any feature by drawing on your screen, walking you through how to do something yourself, or doing it for you—whatever works best” and what’s more? It’s free.
Let’s discuss pricing. As of now the Amazon Kindle HD and HDX only have US pricing, The 7-inch HDX is priced at $229 (around £140) and for the 8.9-inch you’ll be paying $379 (around £230). Finally the 4G versions will be $329 (£205) and $479 (£299) respectively. You can pre-order the Kindle Fire HD and HDX now with an expected launch date of 18 October for the 7 incher and from 7 November for the 8.9 incher. The 4G LTE models will ship from 14 November and 10 December respectively.
In terms of the Kindle Fire HD the 7-inch version will be the only model available at launch but the price is something to “oooh” and “ahhh” over. For the Kindle Fire HD you’ll be expected to pay $139 which I presume will get a UK price of £89.
We’ll keep you updated on the UK side of things as and when it happens!