Part successor to the Kindle Fire and part competitor to the critically-acclaimed Nexus 7, Amazon today launched the Kindle Fire HD — a sub-10 inch tablet that is available in both 7-inch and 8.9-inch editions.
The 8.9-inch edition of the new Kindle tablet will have a price point of $299 for 16GB of storage, and will ship on November 20. The 7-inch model will be available much sooner, on September 14, and will be priced at $199.
“People don’t want gadgets anymore,” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at the launch event in Santa Monica. “They want services that improve over time.”
The 8.9-inch edition is feature rich and is likely intended to compete against the iPad, as opposed to sub-10 inch tablets like the Nexus 7. The tablet comes equipped with LTE connectivity, HDMI, a 1,920×1,200 screen (versus the iPad 3’s 2,048×1,536 screen), an HD front facing camera, and Dolby Digital stereo sound. It is powered by a Cortex-A9 OMAP4470 dual-core ARM processor.
In the United States, the Kindle Fire HD comes with a $49.99 a year data plan provides 250MB of data transfers per month and 20GB of storage in Amazon’s cloud. It is unlikely that this will be offered in Canada.
While many analysts have lavished glowing remarks on Amazon for providing what looks like a stellar vehicle for users to access its content, one prominent tech analyst wasn’t overly impressed.
Patrick Moorhead, President of Moor Insights and Strategy, tweeted, “As a Kindle Fire owner who hasn’t used it for months, I’m reserving judgement on ‘HD’.”