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On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

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September 2016
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$299 Kindle Fire HD 8.9” Details

We’ve been hearing rumors for months now about a larger Kindle Fire that Amazon was on the verge of releasing.  Now that there is confirmation and information more substantial than supply-line gleanings, it’s probably time to start looking at whether the real thing lives up to the expectations.  Here’s what the new 8.9” Kindle Fire HD looks like on paper:

Display 8.9” IPS LCD1920x1200 Resolution

254ppi

Processor TI OMAP4470
Storage 16GB Onboard (32GB Model Available)
Wireless 802.11 b/g/n dual-band MIMOBluetooth
Camera Front-Facing
Battery Life 11 hours
Sound Dolby Audio optimizationStereo Speakers
Ports USB 2.0HDMI-out

 

Basically, this is a generally superior tablet in every way, compared to their previous offering.  Amazon claims that the processor in this new Kindle Fire will perform significantly better than the Nexus 7’s Tegra 3, for example, which puts them at the top again in terms of balancing price and power.

The improved storage space is a big step up over the often-problematic 8GB that the older Kindle Fire came with.

Wireless issues have been addressed and the speeds that are advertised, while dependent on the networks they are connected to, are ideal for HD video streaming.

Most importantly, the comparatively large HD display and HDMI-out make this a tablet better suited to video consumption than the company’s previous offering by a wide margin.  Both of these features were frequently requested over the past year and that was taken seriously.

The audio improvements may be equally impressive, but given how poor the performance has been in the past it might be better to avoid jumping to conclusions about Kindle Fire speaker quality.

As a communication tool, the front-facing camera should help a lot.  Every Kindle Fire HD will come loaded with Skype by default, tying Amazon customers into probably the most widely used internet calling service available today.

Even the battery life looks good, though that will take some hands-on experimentation to judge accurately.  So much depends on what tasks are being carried out on the device that any claim would be hard to take completely at face value.

Overall this is a strong offering that really demonstrates a commitment to continue creating excellent affordable tablets.  There are some issues on the software side of things, however, such as the advertising situation.

Kindle Fire tablets will now come with Special Offers.  This in itself is not a bad thing.  That’s how the price has dropped so low on Kindle eReaders after all.  Unlike on the eReader, Kindle Fire Special Offers cannot be removed.  This is a major imposition for many customers, at least at the moment of purchase, and has the potential to turn a lot of people away from the product.

While I will follow up more on the ad situation and other quirks in a subsequent post, overall I still believe that the Kindle Fire HD is a good product.  The option to root the device is always there and Amazon has proven in the past that they can display ads in a way that makes them fairly unobtrusive.  It’s an upsetting precedent and everybody is hoping that a change of heart will allow customers to buy out of the ads should they so desire but it isn’t enough to damn the product on its own.

10″ Kindle Fire 2 Specs and Release Date

Some of the likely details regarding Amazon’s upcoming Kindle Fire successor have been available for a bit now.  As we get closer to what most sources consider a highly probably launch event in July, these are naturally becoming more detailed.  Most recently, tech news site BGR has expanded on a few of the more interesting details that make the upcoming Kindle Fire an improvement on the original.

The biggest news here is that, assuming BGR has once again found a reliable source, the highly sought 10 inch Kindle Fire will be released in July at the same time as the improved 7 inch model.  While the plan when Amazon’s first tablet was still in its earlier stages there were plans for the release of both 10 inch and 7 inch options.  In the interest of releasing in time to take advantage of holiday sales, they chose to concentrate on the less expensive of the two devices.  Now that some time has passed and interest has remained relatively high we will finally get to see the line filled out a bit.

The new 10 inch Kindle Fire 2 will be running a quad-core processor to offer a bit more power.  Obviously the larger screen is an improvement, but it will also be higher resolution.  Whether this means 1280 x 800 as with the 7 inch model is unknown, but it is likely that the emphasis here will be on true HD content delivery and that will influence things.

The overall build quality of the new Kindle Fire models has also apparently been improved.  While they will be thinner than the existing Kindle Fire, and slightly thinner than the original iPad, they will feature a metal case rather than the soft plastic that the older model makes use of.  A new chrome finish will be used to add highlights against the black matte we are used to, and a ribbed texture on the back will make it more comfortable to hold.  Having a more distinct appearance will definitely help with sales regardless of any other reasons for switching to a metal case.

The positioning of the speakers has been altered to some degree in order to improve the sound quality.  The 10 inch Kindle Fire 2 will also finally offer users a front-facing camera.  While not exactly the most useful of features for most people, it is one that has frequently been requested.  Both models will include a microUSB port and what is suspected to be an HDMI port.

Amazon has been aware of impending competition from Google and Microsoft on the tablet front throughout their development.  While the Kindle Fire took off immediately and conquered the Android tablet market, everybody else is catching up quickly.  That includes some like Google who can actually offer comparable media integration.  The new Kindle Fire 2 will have to be impressive to compete with not just the new competition but also the thoroughly entrenched iPad.  They can’t avoid the comparison to any degree once a larger model is available for sale and it should be interesting to find out exactly how much of an improvement has been made in order to meet these challenges.

The current expected release date is July 31st.  There is no word yet on 10 inch Kindle Fire 2 pricing.  The 7 inch Kindle Fire 2 is expected to sell for $199.