The New Amazon Kindle Fire HD Tablets

Amazon has announced its new Kindle Fire HD tablet today. Amazon's Kindle Fire HD comes in two different display sizes, an 8.9-inch HD display and a familiar 7-inch HD display, with the resolution of 1920x1200 (254ppi) and 1280x900 on the 7-inch variant. On the outside, the Kindle Fire HD is slimmer than its predecessor coming in at 8.8mm thick (7-inch Fire HD is 10.3mm thick) and employs a polarized filter to reduce glare by 25% offering better contrast and sharpness. Under the hood though, the Kindle Fire HD has a lot to offer with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor (the 7-inch Fire HD has a 1.2Ghz dual-core processor), a PowerVR graphics core, superior Wi-Fi performance over the iPad 3 thanks to its dual-band 2.4GHz - 5GHz using dual antennas, back-firing stereo speakers enhanced using Dolby's audio engine, front-facing HD camera with Skype and HDMI output.


Specs out of the way, Amazon's Kindle Fire HD features a similar carousal home screen interface and soft-touch matte coated backside finish as the Kindle Fire. You'll also find pre-loaded custom Facebook and Skype apps, Whispersync cloud storage syncing for Voice and Games that'll save your game playing, levels and audiobook listening progress right were you left off. Another notable Kindle Fire HD feature is FreeTime - a kid-friendly parental control mode that allows parents to set usage durations per activity.

The Kindle Fire HD 7-inch tablet is priced at $199 and $249 for 16GB and 32GB, respectively. The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD tablet is prices at $299 and $369 for 16GB and 32GB, respectively. Both will be available to pre-order starting today. Shipping starts September 14th, while the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD will only ship out on November 20th. But that's not all! Amazon has also announced a 4G LTE equipped, 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD model with 32GB and 64GB of storage for $499 and $599. It'll ship on November 20th with a 250MB AT&T monthly data plan at $50 for a full year.

Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions

Amazon's new fiery hot $200 Kindle Fire tablet is finally here with us. We're going to give it the unboxing treatment it deserves so be sure to check out the gallery down below. Amazon has a very strong ecosystem that is shown when using the Kindle Fire. Music and videos are streamed from Amazon's cloud service and apps can be purchased and downloaded from Amazon's very own Appstore. Although the Kindle Fire sole heart is an Android operating system, the Kindle Fire is heavily skinned and customized per Amazon's taste creating a more unique user experience that differs from other Android tablets on the market. Though after using the Kindle Fire, it seemed to be a bit sluggish and not quite up to par with other tablets in terms of speed and responsiveness.

The Kindle Fire boasts a 7-inch IPS touchscreen display with 16-million colors at 1024x600 resolution, WiFi, dual-core processor and 8GB of internal storage plus 5GB of free Amazon Cloud storage. The 7-inch form factor feels absolutely great to hold with one hand and feels like you could take it with you everywhere you go without sweating a single drop. It also makes it more comfortable to type on the on-screen keyboard that has a spacious key layout. The back is coated with a black soft-touch rubbery texture found on Amazon's Kindle e-readers and it adds a good level of grippyness to the device, but also easily shows oily fingerprints. The screen is crystal clear, bright and reading text on it is very pleasant. I'm amazed Amazon managed to keep the price so affordable yet built a very solid tablet with a great screen. Aside from a power/sleep button at the bottom, the Kindle Fire doesn't have any other buttons or switches. There are two large speakers at the top which aren't as loud as the iPad 2's speaker, 3.5mm headphone port and a micro-USB port for charging at the bottom.  

Browsing the web feels a bit slow even though Amazon's praised Silk browser that is said to handle most of the rendering of pages via the cloud doesn't come close to the fast loading speeds of the much pricier iPad 2 over a WiFi network. Granted you should not compare the two against each other as these are both completely different tablet categories. On the other hand, streaming videos and movies is amazing. Each load in the blink of an eye and start playing instantly with respectable picture quality. This is where Amazon's own services show a very strong presence in the Kindle Fire that not even the iPad competes with iTunes for instantly streaming content. Also, Amazon Prime members get access to Amazon Instant Prime library of over 10,000 movies and TV shows and can stream all of that for free.

Amazon's Appstore isn't what we would call a thriving ecosystem and it isn't filled with quality apps and the vast selection you would find in Apple's App Store or even in the Android Market. Don't worry, you'll be able to get your Angry Birds fix with the Kindle Fire as well as many other apps tailored to run on the Kindle Fire. 

The Kindle Fire comes to your doorstep inside Amazon's famous frustration-free, eco-friendly packaging with only the bare essentials included inside that is a wall power adapter. There's a slew of sleeves and cases already out for the Kindle Fire, we recommend Amazon's own Zip Sleeve for a quick protection solution, although it is overpriced. We'll have a review on it very soon. The Kindle Fire might not be the snappiest tablet around, but as a budget tablet, the Kindle Fire is worth its price without any doubt. It'll make for a nice present this holiday season for someone who uses Amazon more than anything. And that's just our first impressions with the Kindle Fire after only a day!

Nir Schneider


Amazon Kindle Press Conference Video Now Up

Amazon has released the press conference video of yesterday's announcement of all-new Kindles including the kindle Fire tablet with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos delivering the keynote. 

Amazon Unveils New Android Based Tablet For $200: Kindle Fire

Rumors of an Amazon tablet have been circulating since last year but Amazon finally went public today at its 10:00 AM invitation only news conference. Its name, Fire, is no surprise following the Amazon Kindle. After watching many Android tablets fail to upend the Apple iPad, Amazon came right out with a knockout punch offering the Fire at only $200, $300 dollars less than Apple's cheapest iPad.

The 7 inch tablet offers a dual core CPU, 512 MB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage. Strangely, Google's Android Market is not offered but the Android App Store is offered. The Fire does not have a microphone nor a front or rear facing camera but does have WiFi (no 3G) and comes with a 30 day free trial of Amazon Prime.

Catch the Kindle Fire commercial after the break!

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Nir Schneider