Amazon revamps Kindle Fire, goes big with 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD

amazon kindle fire hd

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.

x ray movies

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. 

Check out our full review of the Amazon Fire HD 7.