Amazon has just introduced an updated Kindle Fire tablet, packing a faster processor, increased RAM, and better battery life. The updated 7″ Kindle Fire has also received a price drop, now ringing in at just $159. Amazon says they want to have “the best tablet at any price”.
In addition, the company is launching a new 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD. The Kindle Fire HD measures just 8.8mm thick, and weighs in at a paltry 20 ounces. The display is an 8.9″ 1920 x 1200 HD IPS display, with a stunning 254ppi pixel density. Inside, the Kindle Fire HD runs on an OMAP 4470 processor. Amazon is putting a heavy emphasis on content consumption using the Kindle Fire HD, so they’ve included dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus. The Fire HD also features improved wireless networking specs, supporting dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi, two built-in antennas, and MIMO.
The Kindle Fire HD will actually be available in 3 models. The 8.9″ WiFi-only Kindle Fire HD comes with 16GB of storage, and will ship on November 20th for $299. A 4G LTE variant will also be available, coupled with an increased 32GB of storage, and a higher price tag of $499, also shipping November 20th. Finally, a 7″ Kindle Fire HD with 16GB of storage will ship September 14th for $199. Specs for the 7″ model remain the same for the most part, but the screen resolution is yet to be confirmed. All models are available to pre-order today.
For LTE service, Amazon is offering a $50/year data plan that includes 250MB of data per month, 20GB of Amazon Cloud Storage, and a $10 Amazon Appstore credit.
Amazon is adding a bunch of new features to the Kindle Fire software, including “X-Ray for Movies”. You can tap on an actor while watching a movie to instantly bring up their IMDb page! In addition, Amazon has updated the Fire email client with “world-class” Exchange support, contact & calendar sync, improved sync reliability, and faster access to new email. Amazon is also including a custom-built Facebook application, which looks much like the Facebook app for iPad, and a Skype application will be available for video calls using the Kindle Fire’s new front-facing camera. As of now, it is unclear if these features will be available to both Fire models, or just the Kindle Fire HD.