Ever since Amazon rolled out the budget Kindle Fire tablet last year, critics have complained about how underpowered the device is, about its small screen, and about it’s underwhelming features. Today, Amazon is moving up the tablet chain.
The company announced 2 new Kindle Fire HD tablets. The tablets, which will feature an OMAP 4470 processor from Texas Instruments, also is the first tablet to include dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus.. Amazon also brags that the device has dual antennas and the best Wifi support available. This technology, known as MIMO has higher speeds and longer range. Amazon claims the Wifi on the Kindle Fire HD is 41% faster than that on the iPad 3, 57% faster than Nexus 7. The device will start with 16GB of storage. With better sound, wifi and storage, Amazon is clearly taking a big step in positioning this as the best media consumption device available.
Integrating their vast services together, Amazon is introducing WhisperSync for Voice which will synchronize your place in an audiobook with the accompanying ebook, and X-Ray For Movies will allow you to touch an actor on a screen in a movie to find out more about him. The device features improved email with Exchange support, a front facing HD camera, and integration with Skype. Amazon is also heavily promoting the device for gaming.
Kindle FreeTime feature allows parents to set limits on how much time their children can spend on various types of activities on the Fire HD.
There will be two versions of the device a 7 inch($199) and an 8.9 inch($299). The 7 inch version will ship September 14, the 8.9 inch will ship November 20.
How are they so cheap? Bezos says “We want to make money when people USE our devices, not when they BUY our devices”