New Kindle Fire tablets officially announced

While it does seem that the news of new Kindle Fire tablets leaked out several days ahead of time, Amazon has now confirmed it will launch two new models of its Android-based tablet at its press conference today in Santa Monica.

Engadget reports that the biggest news comes with the introduction of a new Kindle Fire HD. It will have an 8.9 inch screen and a 1920x1200 resolution.

There are some impressive hardware specs on this product, including two WiFi antennas, dual band 2.4GHz and 5GHz band support, and MIMO support, all of which Amazon claims makes the WiFi speed of the Kindle Fire HD 41 percent faster than the current Apple iPad. The device runs on an OMAP 4470 processor, and storage options start at 16 GB.

There will be a seven inch Kindle Fire HD that will sell for $199 and is due out on September 14th. The 8.9 inch model will sell for $299 and will go on sale November 20th. Amazon will also sell a 32 GB version of the Kindle Fire HD with 4G LTE for $499. It will come with 250 MB of data per month, along with 20 GB of cloud storage and a $10 Amazon store credit for an additional $50 a year.

The original Kindle Fire is still sticking around but Amazon is giving the seven inch model a hardware makeover, with a faster processor and 16 GB of memory. It's going to sell the tablet for just $159 starting on September 14th.

There's been some changes made to the Kindle Fire's user interface, along with some new additions such as Kindle FreeTime which will allow parents to set up time limits for kids on their devices for movies, music and games.

While there were some rumors that Amazon might announce an Android-based smartphone, this press conference had no such reveal today.

Source: Engadget | Image via Endgadet

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I do a lot of business with Amazon and Prime is nice. I passed on the first Fire because it just looked too weak and I wanted a bigger screen. I'm tempted by this offering but also want to see what else is coming out. Looks like we're finally going to see some good stuff for around $300.

I liked the Nook Tablet over the Kindle Fire but skipped those first generation tablet "readers" because I wanted at least 720p video support. The Nexus 7 was the first I seriously considered but I'm waiting to see the competition before I jump in. This is a nice play by Amazon and if it can be flashed with Jelly Bean easily then it's my leading candidate right now. That said I'd like to see what B&N does to compete with the Nook and how Surface RT is priced before I make my final decision. Competition is good though!

Aletheia said,
I need to wait for MS Surface before I make a decision.

MS is going to have to price the RT version pretty cheap to compare with this. On the other hand none of this is going to touch Surface Pro since it has full PC compatibility but you'll pay for that.

Aletheia said,
I need to wait for MS Surface before I make a decision.

Thats exactly what I am doing. I am absolutely jonesing to go digitial with my programming books and need some type of Kindle, app or hardware. Ive been holding out on the Win8 tablets because i could just use the kindle app on it. But if surface is too pricey, I may just get the PaperWhite, and a cheap Win8 tablet from some one other than MS.

exit said,
Was hoping for voice support for Skype or Goggle voice and a camera

The Kindle Fire HD does have Skype and a Camera. (both 7 and 8.9" models)

Asmodai said,

The Kindle Fire HD does have Skype and a Camera. (both 7 and 8.9" models)

Don't know how I missed that. Thanks

Aletheia said,

New Kindle Fire HD uses ICS and not Jelly Bean. This is why some reviewers prefer Nexus 7.

http://gizmodo.com/kindle-fire-hd/

4.0 is no excuse for lag like they described. I looove the snappiness of the 4.1 Nexus 7 but 4.0.4 on my phone is still fast. I would flash it anyway if I ever got one but they apparently have a bit of optimization work to do (wonder how the bigger version performs).

BeLGaRaTh said,
Get a Kobo, cheaper and better than this piece of crap.

Kobo is brutally bad.. they are the cheaper touchscreens and slower processors.. the Blackberry playbook is 10 times better then the Kobo and is only 150 bucks right now..

theyarecomingforyou said,
And if they can't be bothered bringing it to the UK like the previous version that I couldn't care less. There is more to the world than just the US.

agreed, I want one!

theyarecomingforyou said,
And if they can't be bothered bringing it to the UK like the previous version that I couldn't care less. There is more to the world than just the US.
Get a Nexus 7 so.

SHoTTa35 said,
Umm they are coming g to the UK. £129 and £159.

Yeah, Germany too, preorders via amazon.de are now possible. No word about the 8.9 though.

theyarecomingforyou said,
And if they can't be bothered bringing it to the UK like the previous version that I couldn't care less. There is more to the world than just the US.

not really.. they make all their money on selling services so why would they sell this in places where their services are not completely set up? They are a US based company for services so they will focus there and push their apps on other platforms elsewhere..

theyarecomingforyou said,

I was tempted but it's a bit smaller and has a lower resolution.

the Nexus 7 has 7" 1280x800 resolution same as the 7" kindle fire and also gives ya a Tegra 3 quad core with 12 core graphics .

seebaran said,
Your move, Apple.

Err... what exactly is better on it than the iPad, besides the price?
Their Wifi claim is plain BS.

If Apple releases an iPad "mini", anybody that buys one of these will throw it in the drawer next to their Android tablet. (/s)

Astra.Xtreme said,

Err... what exactly is better on it than the iPad, besides the price?
Their Wifi claim is plain BS.

If Apple releases an iPad "mini", anybody that buys one of these will throw it in the drawer next to their Android tablet. (/s)

Free books and movies if you're already an Amazon Prime subscriber.

But... that's about it.

threetonesun said,

Free books and movies if you're already an Amazon Prime subscriber.

But... that's about it.

Ah ok. I guess that's cool for the people with that subscription.

Astra.Xtreme said,

Err... what exactly is better on it than the iPad, besides the price?
Their Wifi claim is plain BS.

Besides the price? I'll say that's a big factor combined with these nice hardware specs. And I would guess it'll be a bit lighter than the imo too heavy recent iPad which should make reading more comfortable. Also please show me proof that the WiFi perfomance of the Fire HD won't be superior.

Only real problem with this device is the availability outside of the US.

dr_crabman said,

Besides the price? I'll say that's a big factor combined with these nice hardware specs. And I would guess it'll be a bit lighter than the imo too heavy recent iPad which should make reading more comfortable. Also please show me proof that the WiFi perfomance of the Fire HD won't be superior.

Only real problem with this device is the availability outside of the US.

MIMO and dual-band are features that can help deal with interference. They don't magically make your connection faster.

dr_crabman said,

Besides the price? I'll say that's a big factor combined with these nice hardware specs. And I would guess it'll be a bit lighter than the imo too heavy recent iPad which should make reading more comfortable. Also please show me proof that the WiFi perfomance of the Fire HD won't be superior.

Only real problem with this device is the availability outside of the US.

They make money on the services and not the device so selling it outside of the US does not make alot of sense.. the US is where the majority of their services are and not in places like in Canada.. its better to push this is the US and rely on other tablets apps for other countries

threetonesun said,

Free books and movies if you're already an Amazon Prime subscriber.

But... that's about it.

I'm not sure about free books, but Amazon released an Amazon Prime Instant Watch app for iPad not too long ago that gave access to the same free instant watch TV eps and movies that the Kindle Fire can access.

Astra.Xtreme said,

Err... what exactly is better on it than the iPad, besides the price?
Their Wifi claim is plain BS.

If Apple releases an iPad "mini", anybody that buys one of these will throw it in the drawer next to their Android tablet. (/s)

The WiFi claim is BS because (1) you would need a 5GHz wireless router and (2) there would need to be enough interference for the 2.4GHz band to make the 5GHz worth using and faster than the 2.4GHz.

But beyond that, who cares how fast your Kindle Fire can connect to your home network when the most anyone is doing on the network is accessing the Internet. The Internet router and the service connection speed is going to be the bottleneck.

All of that being said, this does look like it is going to be a really nice improvement to last year's kindle fire. The price and the resolution does make it pretty good competition for the iPad and Kindle also has some good brand name recognition.

dr_crabman said,

Looks like that could already be enough to make the Fire faster in that regard: https://discussions.apple.com/...812929?start=0&tstart=0 iPads WiFi reception really isn't something to brag about.

I have to agree with Astra.Xtreme on this one. Dual-band is a solution for high interference areas and don't magically make your connection faster.

Ok, so some folks have problems with iPad WiFi reception not being up to snuff (perhaps they are "holding it wrong?"). That may be a valid complaint, but the assertion of 41% faster isn't really valid if they are comparing a good signal on the Kindle Fire HD and a bad signal on the iPad. They could say that the Kindle Fire HD has better WiFi reception than the iPad. But to compare the speed, they would need to compare good signal to good signal (apples to apples, as it were).

Shadrack said,
but the assertion of 41% faster isn't really valid if they are comparing a good signal on the Kindle Fire HD and a bad signal on the iPad.

Sure, who knows what they compared. Maybe the iPad can't use 100% of the bandwidth even under optimal conditions? I mean Apple has a long history of highly dubious and overly optimistic comparisons that fall to pieces under scrutiny, so it seems to have become par for the course to throw numbers around without backing them up.

Edited by dr_crabman, Sep 6 2012, 10:55pm :

dr_crabman said,

Sure, who knows what they compared. Maybe the iPad can't use 100% of the bandwidth even under optimal conditions? I mean Apple has a long history of highly dubious and overly optimistic comparisons that fall to pieces under scrutiny, so it seems to have become par for the course to throw numbers around without backing them up.

Well, here is some data for you: my iPad 3 on a Speed.net test gets 18mbps which is the same as my wired PC gets.

Shadrack said,

I'm not sure about free books, but Amazon released an Amazon Prime Instant Watch app for iPad not too long ago that gave access to the same free instant watch TV eps and movies that the Kindle Fire can access.

True, forgot about that. The books are definitely Kindle only.

Shadrack said,

Well, here is some data for you: my iPad 3 on a Speed.net test gets 18mbps which is the same as my wired PC gets.

Exactly. I tested the same thing on my iPad and PC, and they also got the same results. Thanks for testing that too.