Amazon Reveals $299 8.9" Kindle Fire HD, $499 LTE Model with $50 Yearly Data Plan
September 6, 2012 2:05 PM
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Kindle Fire HD 7"
Kindle Fire HD features 8.9" IPS display with 1920x1200 resolution
As the only company that has released a tablet that has managed to take a dent out of Apple's iPad sales (the Kindle Fire accounts for
22% of U.S. tablet sales
), many people are looking forward to seeing what Amazon's next generation Kindle Fire has in store. The first generation Kindle Fire made a splash with a $199 price point and 7" form-factor, but Amazon is looking to expand the lineup’s appeal with second generation the devices.
The first up is a refreshed 7" model. It keeps the same look as the original, but includes a faster processor and twice the RAM. In addition, the price has been slashed from $199 to $159. It's hard to argue with faster performance and a cheaper price tag.
But the big announcement is the Kindle Fire HD. This new tablet is available with a 7" (1280x800) or 8.9" IPS display (1920x1200). The 8.9" Kindle Fire HD is only 8.8mm thick and weighs just 1.25 pounds. Powering the Kindle Fire HD is a Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 processor.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos even took at a dig at the Apple iPad by announcing that the Kindle Fire HD comes with dual stereo speakers that feature Dolby Digital Plus technology. The Kindle Fire HD also includes dual Wi-Fi antennas an MIMO compared to a single Wi-Fi antenna on the iPad and Nexus 7. Bezos says this allows its Kindle Fire HD tablets to outperform all competitors in Wi-Fi bandwidth tests.
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" showing "FreeTime"
Another interesting feature that Amazon is introducing with the Kindle Fire HD is FreeTime. FreeTime allows a parents to setup profiles on the device so that children will only have access to "kid-friendly" content while the grownups can still have access to entire spectrum of content. The profiles will also allow parents to limit how much time their child plays on the device.
The Kindle Fire HD will be available with 16GB of storage capacity and also includes HDMI out and Bluetooth. The 7" model will be priced at $199 (ships September 14) while the 8.9" model rings in at $299 (ships November 20).
Amazon also announced one additional member to the Kindle Fire HD family. The Kindle Fire HD LTE 4G model is priced at $499, includes 32GB of storage, and comes with an amazing data package. For just $49.99/year, you get 250MB of bandwidth per month, 20GB of cloud storage space, and a $10 in Appstore credit. Can you say game changer?
The Kindle Fire HD LTE 4G will ship on November 20.
For those that prefer Amazon's more traditional line of e-readers, the company also today announced the Kindle Paperwhite. The Kindle Paperwhite features a higher resolution screen with 212 ppi (62 percent more pixels than previous model) that offers whiter whites and blacker blacks.
The capacitive touch screen device is 9.1mm thick, weighs just 7.5 ounces, and had an 8-week battery life. It costs $119 and will ship on October 1. The Kindle Paperwhite 3G will also ship on October 1 for $179.
Even further done the e-reader ladder is the standard "Kindle". Amazon has updated the Kindle to include new fonts and crisper text, and has dropped the price from $79 to $69. It will ship on September 14.
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RE: Guess this confirms
9/6/2012 6:43:48 PM
IF you are referrign to my first "shot" above, saying "Apple will sell a ton of each of those to their loyal fans, and the rest of us that know better will get better products for cheaper prices"
That is absolutely 100% true to anyone that looks at it objectively. Compare the $399 iPad2 to the $299 FireHD. Compare the $199 fire HD to what will likely be a 1024x768 ipad mini at $249 - $299.
For anyone to look at those products and say Apple has any benefit over its cheaper competition would be like saying this $10 bill is worth more than that $20 bill.
RE: Guess this confirms
9/6/2012 7:39:52 PM
Your argument holds water if you ignore the iPad 3. The iPad 2 is obviously not competitive now, but if you have a higher budget then the choice is simple.
The benefits at a higher price (better hardware and software) are obvious, but it is also perfectly valid if you want to spend less. It all depends on your budget in the end. It seems unreasonable to rule either option out given that they are both appropriate at their respective price ranges.
Your reasoning is similar to people who only supported netbooks and called anything more expensive a waste of money. Of course it isn't.
RE: Guess this confirms
9/7/2012 7:45:27 AM
I am not seeing a benefit of a $499 ipad 3 over the $299 Fire HD. Both plenty fast, both have insanely great res screens. One is clearly priced way better, thus the assertion, those that know better get better products for cheaper.
"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken
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