San Francisco: Online retail giant Amazon, after a series of rumours, has finally pulled the curtain off a new set of Kindle Fire tablets, dubbed the Kindle Fire HD and a new set of e-readers called Kindle Paper-white. The Kindle Fire HD is an expected upgrade to the already popular Kindle Fire tablet that was released in 2011. There are three variants of the Kindle Fire, one that measures 7 inches and the other two with 8.9 inches of viewable real-estate. The 7-inch Kindle Fire HD features a 1280×800 pixel resolution, putting it in the same ball park as the Google Nexus 7. The display features polarizing filters and anti-glare surface for better readability, even under direct sunlight. There’s even a slight bump in the processing power, going from the Kindle Fire’s 1GHz dual core processor to a 1.2GHz OMAP4460 dual-core processor. A notable update to the Kindle Fire comes in the form of dual Wi-Fi antennae on the Kindle Fire HD, allowing for better and faster connectivity.
The Kindle Fire HD comes in a souped up 8.9 inch version as well, featuring a stunning 1920×1200 pixel resolution, with a 1.5GHz OMAP4470 dual-core processor and a dedicated graphics chip to power the display. The 8.9 inch version also includes the dual band Wi-Fi, but also comes in 4G LTE flavors. A nice addition to the bigger tablet is the Dolby certified dual audio speakers for what Amazon claims to be an amazing auditory experience.
The Kindle Fire HD tablets have Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS buried somewhere deep under the custom skin that Amazon is notorious for infusing their tablets with. Kindle Fire HD has dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus, making it the first to have such a feature on the tablet market.It also has a feature called WhisperSync Voice, allowing users to sync between an audio book and the text version of the book.
The 7in Kindle Fire HD with 16 gigabytes of storage will cost £159 in the UK, and the lower-end Kindle Fire £129. Both will be available for delivery from 25 October.
The 8.9in Kindle Fire HD is only being released in the US at this time, where it will become available in November.
Amazon said the first Kindle Fire had captured 22% of the US tablet market – the only country it was sold in. Technology analysts thought the devices could pose a serious challenge to the market leaders.
There is also the new e-reader from Amazon, called Kindle Paperwhite. Kindle Paperwhite is a black-and-white e-reader with a front-lit display. The screen allegedly has 25% more contrast and overall 62% more resolution, bringing the pixels per inch count to a gorgeous 212. The Kindle Paperwhite e-reader has 8 weeks of battery life, making the device highly power-efficient.
According to Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, the new screen means the Kindle Paperwhite is “perfect in the bedroom, perfect in direct sunlight.”
“People are going to love this device, and they’re going to love the light. In fact, they’re going to love it so much they’re going to leave it on all the time,” he said.
The Paperwhite also comes with a new feature called Time To Read – which tracks your reading speed and calculates how long it will take you to finish the book.
US prices for the 3G and Wi-Fi Kindle Paperwhite are $179 and $119 respectively, with the device shipping from September 14. Unfortunately, there’s no word yet whether this device will be launching in the UK.
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