The Amazon Kindle Fire is the most popular Android tablet in America. Today Amazon has announced new Kindles with updated specs.
Amazon Tablets: The Original Kindle Fire
Over the last year Amazon’s Kindle Fire has earned itself a solid reputation as an Android tablet. It was a solid media-consumption device that was only available in the US. Amazon claims that the Kindle Fire has captured 22% of the tablet market in the US. Last week Amazon announced that they were completely sold out.
That was pretty good for an company’s first stab at creating a mobile device. This is remarkable given that it was running a highly customized version of Gingerbread (Android 2.3). Android was not ready for tablets during the 2.x iteration. Android 3.x was for tablets only, but was not made available to the public (which Amazon was a part of). It was not until Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.x) that Android worked well on both smart phones and tablets.
In a press conference today Amazon released information on their latest mobile offering. Amazon’s belief is that users do not want gadgets. They believe that users want services that improve over time. That is why the Kindle Fire was such a success.
Amazon Today: Kindle Paperwhite
The Kindle Paperwhite replaces the Kindle Touch. It is a front-lit e-ink Kindle that sports 25% more contrast than previous Kindles and has 212 PPI (less than the new iPad). The Paperwhite claims to hold a massive 8 weeks of battery life even with the Kindle on. It has a two powerful new feature:
- Time to Read - A counter that displays how much time it will take you to finish the current chapter based on your current reading speed.
- X-Ray – Search character names for a bio and lets you easily jump to different parts in a book.
The Wi-Fi only version of the Kindle Paperwhite will be $119, while the free 3G wireless version will sell for $179. These devices will be available starting October 1st. There is a $10 discount to the regular Kindle to bring the total cost down to $69. This version will be available September 14th.
Amazon Today: Kindle Fire 2nd Generation
The Kindle Fire is receiving an update. They have doubled the RAM, and made it 40% faster and improved battery. The new Kindle Fire is priced at $159 and ships September 14th. This is a $40 discount from the first Kindle Fire.
Amazon Today: Kindle Fire HD
The Kindle Fire HD is an even further improved version of the Kindle Fire and comes in 7 and 8.9 inch models. They contain a There are dual stereo speakers and Dolby Digital Plus audio. It has HDMI out, bluetooth, mini USB for charging, a volume button, and a front-facing HD camera. There are no SD slots on this device. There is no word on which version of Android this Kindle originated from, nor did they make any mention to the Silk browser.
Screen specs were only given for the 8.9 inch display. This display touts an impressive 254PPI (10 PPI less than the new iPad) with a 1920×1200 resolution.
It will also be the first tablet to support MIMO (multiple input and multiple output). This means that it will have two radios that connect to Wi-Fi and results in a stronger signal strength. This means that Kindle Fire HD is 41% faster Wi-Fi than the new iPad, and 54% faster than the Google Nexus 7. It supports dual band 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz in addition to MIMO.
The Kindle Fire HD supports a new feature called Whispersync for Voice. This feature allows you to listen and read at the same time. Additionally it supports Whispersync for Games will lets you pick up where you left off on another Kindle device.
It also supports X-Ray for movies. They say that it would have been impossible without IMDB as part of the Amazon Family.
For you parents out there it supports they have introduced Kindle Free Time. Kindle Free Time lets parents to set a time limit on various types of content. When you reach the time limit the screen will turn blue. This means that parents can tell from across the room what the children are up to. This is especially handy now that the Kindle Fire supports multiple profiles for kids and parents.
For you games out there they now support the ability to buy physical products with one click inside the game.
The 16 GB 7 inch version will be available for $199 starting September 14th. The 16 GB 8.9 inch version will be available for $299 starting November 20th.
Amazon Today: Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE
This is Amazon’s attempt at an iPad killer. Priced at $499 will feature the same specs as the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD model and comes with 32GB of storage. The 4G LTE capability requires a data plan on AT&T. This data plan allows for 250MB of data per month and 20GB of cloud storage. The data plan is priced at $50 annually. The Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE will cost a $549 for 12 months — this is $400 cheaper than the iPad 3 with a data plan!
What do you think of the new Kindle Fires? Are you interested? If so, what is your favorite version?