Amazon has released an upgrade to its Kindle Fire Android tablet called the Kindle Fire HD along with a much needed upgrade of its Kindle e-book reader, which it calls the Kindle Paperwhite. The older Kindle Fire too received a price cut and at the same time some improved hardware specs. Also Read - Amazon India slashes Kindle Fire HD prices
The Kindle Fire HD will be available in two screen sizes – 7-inch and 8.9-inch – and both feature IPS displays with a resolution of 1280×800 pixels and 1920×1200 pixels respectively. The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD will run on a TI OMAP 4470 processor while the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD runs on a TI OMAP 4460 processor. The dual-core processor is clocked at 1.2GHz for the 7-inch version and 1.5GHz for the 8.9-inch variant. Both the tablets also come with dual speakers and Dolby Digital Plus audio. Amazon is also touting dual Wi-Fi antennas with support for dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz that would offer over 40 percent faster speeds. Also Read - Next generation Amazon Kindle Fire HD to be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU and 1080p screen
Amazon uses a forked version of Android 4.0 ICS and has added a number of tweaks to the UI. Multiple users can create individual login accounts to maintain privacy and parents can place controls on what features kids can use on the tablet and for how long. It has also tied up with IMDb for a X-Ray for movies feature that would let users pause a movie and know more about the actors in that particular frame. Of course, considering it is forked Android, it won’t have support for any Google Mobile Suite that includes Gmail client, Google Maps or the Google Play store. Amazon has its own e-mail client as well as its own app store. Also Read - Amazon launches Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle in India, shipping from June 27
Both the tablets will be available in 16GB and 32GB variants. The 7-inch Kindle Fire HD, which will start shipping on September 14, is priced at $199 for 16GB and $249 for 32GB. The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD will start shipping on November 20 and is priced at $299 and $369 for the 16GB and 32GB variants respectively. There is also a 4G LTE variant of the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD, which would work only in the US and is available for $499 for 32GB variant with a $50 annual subscription plan for 250MB of 4G LTE data every month. The older Kindle Fire is now priced at $159 and has received minor hardware updates.
Amazon finally brought a lit display to its Kindle e-book reader, which means users will no longer have to buy a flashlight accessory for it. It features a patented front-lit display in which the light falls from above the display rather than from behind as it happens in traditional back-lit displays. Amazon reckons it will put less strain on the user’s eyes. The display has a pixel density of 221 pixels per inch, which results in crisp and sharp text making it ideal for an e-book reader. The previous generation Kindle had a pixel density of 167 pixels per inch.
The Kindle Paperwhite will start shipping on September 14 and will be available for $119 for Wi-Fi only version and $169 for 3G and Wi-Fi variant.