Amazon announces $159 Kindle Fire 2, 8.9in Kindle Fire HD

Amazon announces 9 Kindle Fire 2, 8.9in Kindle Fire HDAmazon has raised the Android tablet bar in a serious way by unveiling a cheaper-than-ever 7in Kindle Fire 2 and a new step-up Kindle Fire HD available in both 7in and 8.9in variants.

The new 7-incher upgrades the original Kindle Fire's meagre feature set across the board, but somehow manages to come in at just $159, a full 20% less than the current model.

It boasts a faster processor, double the RAM, and longer battery life.

But it's the Kindle Fire HD that really looks the real deal. Featuring either a 7in display or an 8.9in 1920 x 1200 IPS screen, it measures just 8.8mm thick and comes equipped with a serious technological arsenal under that high-quality display.

The processor is a OMAP 4470 from TI, which Amazon boss Jeff Bezos pointed out can perform 50% more floating point operations per second than a Tegra 3, and boasts significantly higher memory bandwidth.

Dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus should ensure the Kindle Fire HD has class-leading audio too, and impressively the tablet boasts twin antennae and matches the New iPad with its ability to tap into both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi signals. And given its HD credentials it's no surprise to see on-board storage boosted to a minimum of 16GB.

But as much as Bezos clearly enjoyed showing off the new Amazon hardware on stage at the Santa Monica launch event, it's clear that Kindle is all about software and services.

So while Android remains very much the glue holding the whole thing together, Amazon's own touch is more pronounced than before, and the new Kindle Fires are packed full of proprietary features.

These include the likes of Whispersync for voice, which lets you synchronise the book you're reading with the corresponding audio book for multi-sensory reading, and X-Ray for movies, which enables you to tap and characters in a film you're watching and pull up their IMDB page on the spot.

All that comes for a rather impressive $199 for the 7-incher, and $299 for the 8.9in variant, with shipping dates pegged at September 14 and September 20 respectively.

Image via Engadget

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14 comments

Pondlife  Sep. 6, 2012 at 20:01

That x-ray feature sounds interesting.

Are they bothering with anywhere other than US anyway?

JanSt / MOD  Sep. 6, 2012 at 20:29

The Fires also feature a laminated screen - designed to reduce glare. I'm interested to see that in action.
Also the new eInk kindle:
Mr Bezos also unveiled a new dedicated e-book reader called the Kindle Paperwhite which will be released at the start of October.
[...] said the Kindle Paperweight's battery could last for up to eight weeks

It can display sharper text and more detailed images than previous models and features a "patented light guide" to illuminate its touchscreen, allowing it to be used in the dark

Interesting

matt101101 / MOD  Sep. 6, 2012 at 21:12

All still US only? That's ridiculous, if so.

JanSt / MOD  Sep. 6, 2012 at 21:17

No word on Amazon.co.UK... in the US you can pre-order. The new Kindle Paperwhite looks pretty interesting, but 6in screen? Sticking with the DX, methinks. They should make 7 or 8 inch eInk panels.
Well... Kobo just launched a 5 incher - hello? Wait, lets turn of that 4.8 inch SGS3 to switch to the 5inch Kobo

Pondlife  Sep. 6, 2012 at 21:58

Pre order on uk site Fire october 25th £129
Fire HD 7" 16gb same date £159
32gb £199

Interesting pricing exactly same as Nexus 7 but higher capacity

No mention of the larger ones on uk site though

SpeedyG  Sep. 7, 2012 at 00:17

Those tablets look too big to swallow (cup half full).

But those prices seem more palatable.

:p

blizzard7  Sep. 7, 2012 at 00:22

Paperwhite Kindle and 8.9" inch Kindle Fire are US exclusives for now.

SpeedyG  Sep. 7, 2012 at 00:25

At least Amazon didn't forget us completely this time. :)

matt101101 / MOD  Sep. 7, 2012 at 00:46

At least Amazon didn't forget us completely this time. :)
They just deprived us of the only interesting device: the 8.9" Fire.

repouk  Sep. 7, 2012 at 10:34

$159 in the US, £159 in the UK. Go **** yourself Amazon.

JanSt / MOD  Sep. 7, 2012 at 10:58

$159 in the US, £159 in the UK. Go **** yourself Amazon.
Tax... it's not unique to Amazon, unfortunately. Have you NOT noticed the price differences in iDevices and other tech goodies?
I recently imported something totally tech-unrelated from the US - $390 turned into €850 courtesy of Irish/EU import customs, tax etc etc....

Pondlife  Sep. 7, 2012 at 20:23

Actually it's not even tax, repouk just simply completely ballsed up the comparison, the $159 is £129, the $199 one is £159.

blizzard7  Sep. 7, 2012 at 21:31

Actually it's not even tax, repouk just simply completely ballsed up the comparison, the $159 is £129, the $199 one is £159.

Well it is tax (mostly the 20% VAT) as well as a ballsed up comparison. I'll forgive you anyway because you said "ballsed up", which I like.

Pondlife  Sep. 7, 2012 at 21:42

Cheers. :) True, their whine was that it was $=£ when it's not though.

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