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Amazon intros 7'' and 8.9'' Kindle Fire HD, 4G LTE variant

updated 03:45 pm EDT, Thu September 6, 2012

Adds more RAM, faster processor to original Kindle Fire

Amazon has shown off three new HD additions and an upgrade to its Kindle Fire tablet line. Teased in an unexpected TV advertisement, the Kindle Fire HD will come in three different versions with two screen sizes, including a 7.0 and 8.9-inch option, with the larger of the two also available with 4G LTE connectivity. The original also receives some improvements to its internals, as well as a price cut.

The 8.9-inch version has a resolution of 1920x1200, 254 pixels per inch, while the resolution for the seven-inch variant drops to 1280x800. The display has an advanced true-wide polarizing filter, allowing users to see the full spectrum of color from all angles, while the laminated touch sensor is said to reduce glare by 25 percent. Both will use a Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 processor, which Amazon claims outperforms the Tegra 3. Wi-Fi is also improved by using both 2.4GHz and 5GHz, using two antennas and MIMO radio technology. Sound will be provided by two speakers with Dolby Digital Plus processing. Storage is set at 16GB, while HDMI-out and Bluetooth rounds off the connectivity options.

An option to have the 8.9-inch model with 32GB of storage and 4G LTE wireless was also announced, along with a data plan using the extra connectivity. At a cost of $50 per year, users get a 250MB bandwidth allocation per month, 20GB of cloud storage, and a $10 credit for the Amazon App Store.

The original Kindle Fire with a seven-inch display gets some updates, including a 40-percent faster processor, double the RAM and a longer battery life.

The smallest Kindle Fire HD will cost $199 and will be shipping on September 14th. Both 8.9-inch models will ship on November 20, with the 4G LTE and 32GB storage version costing $500, and the Wi-Fi and 16GB version going for $300. The standard version will go on sale for $160, also with a September 14 release date.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    I'll wait till the reviews come in to make a final judgement, but thus far the Kindle Paperweight (sorry, PaperWHITE) looks to be the best deal of the lot. It's everything the Kindle reader should have been in the first place, and should be great for people who want a dedicated e-reader.

    The Fire, as described, could have been a real contender -- last year. I suspect iOS 6 + cheap iPad mini + maybe five months to the next iPad will keep its numbers low (well, high in the "non-Apple tablet" category). It might do reasonably well as a budget alternative, but so far ... once people realise that it doesn't have the iOS App Store, into the drawer it goes ...

    Still, you can't say they're not trying. And anything that forks Android is OK in my book.

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