Amazon today announced its latest Kindle Fire offerings, which are set to give the Google Nexus 7 and Apple iPads a run of their money. The new devices are the Kindle Fire (2012), Kindle Fire HD 7-inch, Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch and Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch (LTE).
Amazon claims that the new Kindle Fire offers 40% faster performance due to its upgraded processor (TI OMAP 4430 dual-core 1.2GHz) and 1GB RAM (double that of the original). It also boasts a longer battery life as the device has been optimized for better power management. On paper, it can provide up to 9 hours of reading, web surfing, video and music playback. You can pre-order the Amazon Kindle Fire at US$159 and it will start shipping on 14th September.
The Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7-inch sports a higher resolution display (1280 x 800 pixels) and a newer processor (TI OMAP 4460 1.2GHz). The 7-inch display has reduced screen glare as it has a new laminated touch sensor with no air gap.Similar to the Google Nexus 7 and ASUS tablets, the Kindle Fire HD uses In-Plane-Switching (IPS) technology for improved color reproduction.
The Kindle Fire HD is reportedly the first tablet with dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi for 40% faster downloads and streaming compared to the Apple iPad (2012). It also features exclusive Dolby audio and dual-driver stereo speakers for virtual surround sound.
It measures 193 x 137 x 10.3mm and weighs 395g, which makes it fairly portable compared to the other 7-inch tablets. Its battery life is rated up to 11 hours of reading, web surfing and multimedia consumption.
It is available in two storage capacities: 16 and 32GB with no memory card slot. You can pre-order the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7-inch for US$199 (16GB) and US$249 (32GB). Shipments will begin on 14th September.
Amazon introduces a new 8.9-inch form factor instead of the 10-inch variant which was rumored. The 8.9-inch display boasts a higher resolution at 1920 x 1200 pixels, which translates to a pixel density of 254ppi. In comparison, the Google Nexus 7 has a pixel density of 216ppi.
The Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch runs on a newer and faster TI OMAP 4470 dual-core 1.5GHz processor, which Amazon claims to have 40% more memory bandwidth than the NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processors.
Due to its larger form factor, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch weighs 567g, a weight category that is dominated by 10-inch tablets. Fortunately, it maintains a sleek profile of 8.8mm.
There is also a LTE variant with a custom-designed 4G wireless modem that supports 10 bands; when you are in a place with no 4G LTE network, the device will fall back on the fastest available network.
The Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch is priced at US$299 (16GB) and US$369 (32GB). Shipment will begin on 20th November. The LTE variant is selling for US$499 (32GB) and US$599 (64GB). Shipment is expected to ship on the same day as its non-LTE variant.