Amazon.com Inc. has launched four new Kindle readers today, including the newest Kindle Fire HD devices, in a move to try to capture more of both the e-reader and tablet market.
On Sept. 17, Amazon.com said it would be rolling out the Kindle eReader, the Kindle Fire HD 6”, the Kindle Fire HD 7”, and the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9” tablet for sale in Canada. Essentially, the new products are meant to reach all kinds of consumers, from those who just want a basic e-reader to ones who want a more sophisticated tablet, on-par with past efforts with the Kindle Fire series.
The Kindle eReader is the basic, black-text-on-white-screen reading device for consumers who just want something that’s no-fuss. Priced at $79, the new eReader boasts a 20 per cent faster processor than its predecessor, though Amazon hasn’t listed the type of processor it uses online in the device’s technical specs.
It also weighs about 191 grams, with a 6.6-inch display and a thickness of 10.2 millimetres, making it relatively lightweight and portable. Storage is set at about 4 gigabytes (GB) for the device itself, and it also has access to Amazon Cloud. Amazon says the device’s battery life will last it up to four weeks on a single charge, as long as a user reads for just half an hour a day with the wireless setting turned off.
Alongside its release of the Kindle eReader, Amazon is also bringing out two new devices in the Kindle Fire HD series, one as a six-inch device and the other as seven inches. Both devices house a quad-core processor of up to 1.5 gigahertz (GHz), while the six-inch device has about eight GB of on-board storage and the seven-inch version has twice that, at 16 GB.
The resolution of the Kindle Fire HD 6” is set at 1280 x 800, and the 7” has the same resolution, though it seems to have a slightly lower resolution in terms of pixel per inches (ppi) than its sibling (252 ppi for the 6”, and 216 ppi for the 7”). Both devices also come with a front-facing VGA camera, as well as a rear-facing two megapixel (MP) camera.
The Kindle Fire HD 6” starts at $134, and the 7” version starts at $184, setting the two devices firmly in the budget tablet category. But at the top end of this announcement, Amazon is also bringing out the Kindle Fire HDX. At 8.9 inches, the Fire HDX has a lot of pixel density (339 ppi versus 216 ppi in the Fire HD 7”), giving it a very sharp, clear display.
It’s also lightweight, weighing in at about 375 grams, with Amazon saying that makes it about 20 per cent lighter than Apple’s iPad Air. Running on the new Fire OS 4, the device also comes with a 2.5 GHz quad-core processor, making it a tablet that can handle gaming and video playback, as well as multiple tasks at once. That’s also an improvement over its predecessor, the Kindle Fire HDX, which came with a 2.2 GHz quad-core processor, as are the Fire HDX 8.9’s cameras – instead of just one camera, the tablet now boasts dual cameras, a front-facing HD camera and an eight MP, rear-facing camera.
The battery life is set at around 12 hours’ mixed use, with either 16 or 32 GB of on-board storage, and the device starts at around $399.
In Canada, the Kindle eReader, as well as the Kindle Fire HD 6” and 7” devices are available for pre-order today, and will start shipping Oct. 2. The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is also up for pre-order today, but it won’t ship until Nov. 6.
Stay tuned for ITBusiness.ca’s reviews of the devices, which should be out this October.