Amazon is adding two computer tablets to its line, the Android tablet Kindle Fire HDX and a lower-cost, upgraded version of the Kindle Fire HD, which are being touted as significantly lighter and faster than its predecessors.
The Kindle Fire HDX is the company’s new flagship model. It comes in two versions, a 7-inch and 8.9-inch version, both of which will have sharper, more colorful displays than older models. Additionally, both HDX versions will have more pixels per inch than the latest iPad, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
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The models have up to 11 hours of battery life for mixed use and will run Google's Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system.
To separate its product from competitors’ and keep with the brand’s customer-first reputation, the tablets offer live customer service with “Meydey,” a feature that allows users to summon a representative in a separate window who can troubleshoot problems and even control the device from afar.
"You shouldn't have to be afraid of your device," Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said.
The 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX will start shipping on Oct. 18 and will cost $229 while the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDX will start shipping on Nov. 7 and will cost $379. Additionally, the 4G version of the 7-inch HDX will ship Nov. 14 and the 4G version of the 8.9-inch version will ship Dec. 10. The devices are available for preorder today.
The Kindle Fire HD will start at just $139. The device is very similar to the original Kindle Fire HD that Amazon announced last fall, but the price is $60 less, according to Boy Genius Report.
The new version has more pixels, a faster processor, and upgraded players for music and movies.
Stephen Baker, a consumer technology analyst with research firm NPD Group, told CS Monitor the HD’s price cut will boost sales and give Amazon leverage in the tablet market,
as most 7-inch tablets from other manufacturers are $150.
"That's where that model needs to be priced," Baker said. "A big focus in that 7-inch category is just price."
Other new features:
Amazon Prime videos, offline:
HDX owners will be able to download videos from Amazon Prime without having an Internet connection.
X-Ray is now available for music, and songs will display lyrics simultaneously even when users are offline. Also, X-Ray for Movies and TV now displays the name of the song playing in a given scene, according to CNet.
Users will be able to hook up their Kindle Fires with PlayStation 3s (and SamsungSmart TVs later this year) and browse the web alongside content that plays on the TV.
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