Amazon launches Kindle Fire HDX and Fire HD tablets and Kindle Voyager
Amazon has updated its range of Kindle tablets and e-readers with the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDX assuming the position as the online retailer’s flagship device and the six-inch and seven-inch Fire HD tablets hoping to expand its market share and the reach of Amazon services.
The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is built from a single piece of magnesium and claims to be 20 percent lighter than the iPad Air. Underneath this case is a 2.5GHz quad core processor and a 70 percent faster graphics engine that allows it to offer better support for games.
A new 339ppi HDX display automatically adjusts colour settings depending on the light, while the tablet is the first to support Dolby Atmos audio, and has a front facing camera for Skype calls and an eight megapixel rear camera. Also on board is support for 802.11ac MIMO, which should mean faster Wi-Fi speeds.
Fire HD X flagship
The device runs Fire OS 4, a forked version of Android based on version 4.4 KitKat which heavily promotes Amazon’s digital content and services. Fire OS 4 brings new features such as user profiles, family sharing of content and ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction), which predicts what video content the user might want to watch and pre-buffers it.
The operating system also provides unlimited cloud storage for photos and access to customer support through MayDay, which provides users with access to Amazon experts.
“The team has packed an incredible amount of technology and innovation into the new Fire HDX,” says Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. “Fire HDX combines best-in-class hardware with exclusive features and services from Fire OS 4 including Firefly, the Mayday button, Family Library, ASAP, and more.”
The new Fire HDX will be released in October costing $379 for the standard version and $479 for the 4G edition. It will be offered alongside the existing seven-inch HDX and the new six-inch and seven-inch versions of the HD Fire, which were also announced by Amazon.
Fire HD updates
Both Fire HD devices are powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, Fire OS 4 and will be available in five colours – black, white, cobalt, magenta and citron. The 6 inch costs $99 and the 7 inch is $139, prompting Bezos to declare the former as the “most powerful tablet under $100.”
A child-friendly version of the Fire HD will also be available, complete with a two year guarantee that allows parents to get a replacement if their child breaks the tablet. The Fire HD Kids Edition also has parental controls that can limit access to a certain type of content to a few hours and also blocks access to the Amazon store and in-app purchases.
It also includes a one-year subscription to children’s’ content through Amazon Free Time Unlimited. The 6 inch costs $149 and the 7 inch is $189.
Of course the Kindle range started with e-readers and Amazon has revealed the seventh generation of its flagship device, the Kindle Voyager. Costing $199, it has a next-generation light-adaptive display, and will be offered alongside an updated $79 budget Kindle.
The company confirmed that Fire OS 4 will be made available to its recently launched Fire phone in the new year. The Fire Phone has received mixed reviews since it debuted in the US, where the entry level version is now available for 99 cents.
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