Check out our full review of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 tablet.
The Kindle Paperwhite wasn’t the only big debut at today’s Amazon event. In addition to the all-new, super-slim Paperwhite e-reader, Amazon also revealed a huge upgrade to the Kindle Fire, and unleashed a whole new lineup with the Kindle Fire HD.
The original Kindle Fire will see improved aesthetics, a more rounded body, a faster processor, twice the amount of RAM, and better battery life. It will ship September 14 for a dropped price of $159.
The newer and more notable Kindle Fire HD will include two sizes: 7 inches and 8.9 inches. The larger Kindle Fire HD sports an 8.9-inch screen, 1920 x 1200 resolution (254 PPI), and a polarizing filter that should cut down on any glare while improving contrast and sharpness. It’s a mere 8.8 mm and weighs in at 20 ounces.
It runs a TI OMAP 4470 processor, and with MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output — this implementation is a first in tablet land), Wi-Fi use should be much snappier. According to Amazon, MIMO will offer Wi-Fi performance 41 percent faster than the iPad and 54 percent faster than the Nexus 7.
Also new to Kindle with the HD models is a front-facing camera, Whispersync for Voice (so you can pick up right where you left off in audio books), Immersion Reading for book narration, and X-Ray for movies – a very, very cool addition that lets you look up information about the actors you’re watching without having their names. There’s also a new feature called Kindle Free Time, so parents can monitor and limit kids time spent using the tablet.
The 7-inch, 16GB Kindle Fire HD will cost $199, while the 8.9-inch model will sell for $299. They both ship November 20.
Just to thoroughly round out the Kindle Fire family, Amazon is also revealing a 32GB, 4G LTE Kindle Fire HD, which only comes in the 8.9-inch size. The kicker: Amazon will offer 4G LTE data service for $50 a year, providing 250MB a month. It also comes with 20GB of cloud storage and $10 credit for the Appstore, and will cost you $499 – competing head to head with Apple’s iPad. It ships November 20.
We’ll be bringing you hands-on coverage with the new devices shortly.