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Next Kindle Fire may have an 8.9-inch screen

Amazon Kindle Fire - hand modeled

The rumor mill is turning again. Before its first tablet has even hit shelves, Amazon is rumored to be prepping its next Kindle Fire, which will have an 8.9-inch screen. The first Kindle Fire has a 7-inch screen and is being sold for $200, which is either at cost or losing Amazon money with each unit sold. We imagine that a large screen would mean even higher costs, but it’s hard to know what the online retailer has planned. The Kindle Fire is seen as a loss leader. Amazon may lose money on the hardware, but it plans to make it back by selling apps, games, music, books and other media on the device. 

DigiTimes reports that Amazon’s current 7-inch screen suppliers, Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT) and LG Display (LGD) have begun preparations to manufacture 8.9-inch displays for a future tablet device. The site also says that after Amazon launches its 8.9-inch tablet, the company may move to a 9.7- or 10.1-inch model in 2012. 

Honestly, from our experience with tablets so far, 8.9 inches may be the perfect tablet size, as we noted in our Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 review. It’s small enough to hold and thumb type on, but not so small that it feels like an oversized smartphone. You get the benefit of a full-screen experience without the bulk that comes with larger screens.

If this rumor is true, it would mean that Amazon may announce an 8.9-inch tablet fairly early in 2012. This seems odd as the company usually sticks to a yearly product lifecycle for its Kindle e-reader products. The tablet market is moving quickly, however, so it’s hard to say what will happen come CES in January.  

To learn more about the Kindle Fire, check out our full impressions of the new tablet. 

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Jeffrey Van Camp
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As DT's Deputy Editor, Jeff helps oversee editorial operations at Digital Trends. Previously, he ran the site's…
Amazon bashes iPad Air in new ad for Kindle Fire HDX
amazon appstore christmas offers kindle fire hdx

With the holiday shopping season well underway, major tablet makers have been rolling out ads to knock the iPad Air in a bid to wrestle a few sales from Apple in the run up to Christmas.
Amazon is the latest company to have a go at the Cupertino company’s big-selling tablet, with the release over the weekend of a 30-second ad (below) comparing its largest Kindle Fire HDX tablet to the Air.
The ad’s format is simple – some guy with a British accent praises the iPad on a particular feature, followed by a narrator with an American accent noting how much better the 8.9-inch Kindle HDX is on the highlighted point.
It’s not sure why Amazon has gone for a Brit accent for the Apple role; if it’s supposed to be an impersonation of Jony Ive – the tech company’s British design guru who usually appears in promo videos following the launch of a new Apple product – then it’s a pretty poor one.
First up we have the Apple guy telling us how great the iPad’s display is, followed by Amazon’s rep noting that the HDX 8.9 has a million more pixels.
Next we hear that the iPad Air is “astonishingly light”, before we learn that Amazon’s competing tablet is “actually 20 percent lighter” than Apple’s offering.
Then, somewhat bizarrely, we’re told, “But the iPad is only $499.” We’ve never heard anyone describing an Apple product as costing “only” whatever it costs. The Kindle HDX 8.9 costs $379, by the way.
Following this final piece of information, the iPad Air slinks out of view, ashamed at being shown up by Amazon’s recently revamped and far superior Fire tablet.
Microsoft, too, has been bashing the iPad in a slew of ads rolled out in recent days. Like Amazon’s latest ad, each one highlights areas where it claims its revamped Surface tablets excel over Apple’s offering.
Do you think Amazon and Microsoft are taking the right approach by including the iPad in their respective marketing efforts of should they instead focus solely on their own tablets in ads without making any reference to the competition?
By the way, if you’d prefer a less bias overview of both tablets, do take a moment to check out DT’s reviews of the iPad Air and Kindle HDX slates. And while you’re at it, you might also want to check out the Surface 2 and Pro 2 reviews, too.

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Everything we know about the Kindle Fire HDX [Updated]
Kindle Fire HDX

Check out our review of the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX tablet.
Tablets are improving almost as fast as smartphones, and that means year-old tech like the Kindle Fire HD is already starting to show signs of age. Amazon has rebooted the tablet line with two new Kindle Fire HDX models, one with a 7-inch display and one with an 8.9-inch display. The specs and design offer significant improvements over the last generation of Amazon tablets, but the real innovation lies in Amazon’s unique Mayday feature. Let’s dig into all the details and see exactly what the new HDX line has to offer.
Updated on 9-26-2013 by Simon Hill and Jeffrey Van Camp: Updated the old rumor roundup to show which rumors were true and which were false. Also added a new page showing the specs, features, and release dates of the new Kindle Fire HDX series.
Kindle Fire HDX 8.9
The headliner is the larger Kindle Fire HDX which will be competing with the iPad and the Nexus 10.
Hardware Specifications

Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 0.31 inches
Weight: 374g (13.2 oz)
Display: 8.9-inch LCD, 2560x1600 pixels, 339 PPI
Processor: 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800
Storage: 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB
Connectivity: LTE, HSDPA, HSPA+, GPRS, EDGE, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS
Battery: Unspecified, up to 12 hours mixed use
Operating system: Fire OS 3.0 Mojito (based on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean)
Camera: 720p front-facing camera, 8MP rear-facing camera with LED flash

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Amazon’s new Kindle Fire comes with a Genius Bar inside it (and a lot more)
Kindle Fire HDX

Check out our review of the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX tablet.
Amazon didn't hold a press conference to unveil its new Kindle Fire HDX lineup, but it should have. The new tablets have some really cool new features that set them apart from the pack. And they still start at only $230.
Amazon's new Mayday feature could be one helluva selling point for the Kindle Fire HDX. You and I probably won't need it, dear reader, because if you're reading this, you're far more likely to know tech a little more than your peers. But for your mom, your non-techy friend, and the millions of other people who buy tablets but don't necessarily know how to make the most of them, this feature could be a godsend. Honestly, it should be something that comes with every phone, tablet, computer, and gadget.
Kindle Fire's Mayday feature takes Apple's Genius Bar idea to the next level.

If you pull down the options menu of the HDX, you can see a button that looks like a round life saver (not the candy) with the word "Mayday" on it. Tap this button and a video window will pop up and an Amazon tech support person will answer and help you through your problems 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can see the tech support person, and they can hear, but not see, you. They can help you verbally, draw on your screen, or even take over your tablet (if you let them) to help solve problems. The best news is that it's completely free. You don't even have to sign up for Amazon Prime.
We have no idea if, or how well, this service will work, but the idea is fantastic. Not only will it save you some calls for help from your friends and family, it has the potential to really broaden everyone's knowledge on how to use the Kindle Fire HDX. It takes Apple's Genius Bar idea to the next level and should really help Amazon build a strong tech support reputation and more loyal customers. It's also one great reason to choose a Kindle Fire HDX over competing tablets like the Nexus 7 and iPad Mini.
If other manufacturers copy Amazon's Mayday feature, and it becomes an industry standard, everyone will be better off for it. It's easy to buy a tablet, but learning how to use it is not always a piece of cake. This is the kind of subtle, but game-changing feature we normally expect out of Apple. It's great to see Amazon stepping up to the plate.
Offline Prime video viewing
Streaming video services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime are fantastic, but they have a major weakness: you can't watch video if you aren't connected to Wi-Fi. Tablets are built to be taken on the move, but most of them only come with Wi-Fi connections, and most of the services we use are reliant on a constant Internet connection. Amazon is the first streaming provider to change the rules.
Owners of the Kindle Fire HDX will be able to download offline copies of any Amazon Prime videos. We're hoping that this feature will work better than downloading purchased Amazon Instant Video on the iPad (it takes forever), but we applaud it either way. You can keep offline copies of a TV show or movie for up to 30 days. And once you start watching it, you have 48 hours to finish. New Kindle owners will get a month of Amazon Prime for free, which also includes free two-day shipping on select items and Kindle Library Lending – a feature that lets you borrow a book a month for free. Prime costs $79 a year.
For those who wrote off Prime video a while ago, it might be worth checking out again. It has some good exclusive shows like Under the Dome, Downton Abbey, Justified, and many more. There is an Amazon Instant Video app for iPhone and iPad, but not one for Android devices, yet.
Second Screen Video to TV sharing
Chromecast is popular because it's a cheap way to get video from your phone, tablet, or computer to your TV. Getting your TV to display the Internet programs you want, easily, is one of tech's biggest challenges today, and Amazon is jumping into the ring. It won't be available at launch, but soon after, an app called Second Screen will become available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Samsung Smart TVs. Hopefully broader support will come in the future.
Second Screen will let you use your TV as your primary screen for Kindle Fire HDX video, allowing your tablet to be used to see secondary information. A new X-Ray feature connects to IMDB to let you tap characters onscreen to view more information about them and browse what films they've been in before. This is reminiscent of how Amazon's Wii U video app works. It uses the screen in the Wii U GamePad to view actors and show information from IMDB.

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