Amazon Unveils 7-Inch And 8.9-Inch Kindle Fire HD Starting at $199; Upgraded Kindle Fire For $159

After months of rumors and speculations, Amazon has launched a family of Kindle Fire tablets at a press event in Los Angeles.

Amazon introduced an upgraded version of Kindle Fire and also unveiled Kindle Fire HD – the next generation of Kindle Fire.

Kindle Fire:

The upgraded version of Kindle Fire comes with with a faster processor, twice the memory and longer battery life.

Kindle Fire HD:

The Kindle Fire HD will come in two sizes: 8.9 inches and 7-inches.

Here are some of the features of Kindle Fire HD:

  • The 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD features a display with a resolution of 1920×1200 and 256 pixels per inch, which Amazon says “are indistinguishable to the human eye”, which is Retina Display in Apple’s words. The 7″ Kindle Fire features a display with a resolution of 1280×800.
  • Support for 4G LTE networks
  • Amazon claims that the custom HD display with in-plane switching, Advanced True Wide polarizing filter and custom laminated touch sensor reduces glare by 25% with rich color and deep contrast from any viewing angle.
  • Kindle Fire HD comes with improved networking  by adding a dual-band 2.4GHz/5GHz receiver, two antennas, MIMO radio technology. Amazon claims it offers 41% faster downloads than iPad 3 and 54% faster than Google’s Nexus 7.
  • The tablets are powered by Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 processor, which Amazon says outperforms the Tegra 3.
  • Dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus audio
  • Kindle Fire HD 8.9” weighs only 20 ounces and is just 8.8 mm thin.
  • Kindle Fire HD will be available in 16GB and 32GB storage capacity.
  • 7″ Kindle Fire HD offers 11 hours of battery life
  • It comes with Front facing HD camera

Amazon has also announced a slew of new software based features:

  • Whispersync for Voice – it will allow users to start reading a book on Kindle Fire and seamlessly switch to listening to the companion audiobook, picking up exactly from where they left off.
  • Whispersync for Games – it syncs a user’s place in the game and saves unlocked levels to the cloud, so they can pick up from where they left off from any Kindle Fire device.
  • Kindle FreeTime – it will allow parents to control their kids screen type by content type. It’s a nifty feature as parents could limit access to videos and games, while giving them unlimited time to access books.
  • X-RAY for movies will allow users to look up any actor in the movie, see what other movies they have been in, and view photos, biographies and more. The X-RAY feature will also be available for books and textbooks.
  • New version of Amazon’s cloud-based Silk browser
  • All-new email and calendar app

Pricing:

  • Amazon has also dropped the price of Kindle Fire to $159 from $179.
  • 32GB Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 4G LTE Wireless is available for $499, 64GB Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 4G LTE Wireless is available for $599. Amazon has tied up with AT&T to offer 250MB/per month for 12 month 4G LTE data package for just $49.99. You also get 20GB of cloud storage, and a $10 Appstore credit. Users will also have the option to upgrade to 3GB and 5GB data plans, though pricing information was not revealed.
  • 16GB Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ is available for $299, 32GB Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ is available for $369
  • 16GB Kindle Fire HD 7″ is available for $199, 32GB Kindle Fire HD 7″ is available for $249

Availability:

  • You can pre-order Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ now, it’s expected to ship on November 20.
  • You can pre-order Kindle Fire HD 7″ now, 16GB is expected to ship on September 14 and 32GB on October 25.
  • You can pre-order Kindle Fire now, it’s expected to ship on September 14.

Amazon is clearly targeting Apple’s iPad and the rumored iPad mini with its next generation Kindle Fire HD tablets and also other Android-based tablets.

What do you think about Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD? Will it give Apple’s iPad a run for its money?

[via Amazon]

  • MuscleMass

    well. now my kindle fire is history. i should throw it in a real “fire”.

  • Alan

    Amazon seems to be the only company that’s a real threat to Apple in the tablet market place They also seem to have interesting ways to compete with Apple like slashing the price of Kindle because of the rumored iPad mini and the $50 4G LTE data package. Competition is always good.

  • Emöke Dimeny

    Great competition for the iPad! Just root this and enjoy. Apple need to compete with aggressive pricing if the iPad mini only comes with 1024×768