Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has come out all guns blazing in its drive to take market share from Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad.
At an event held at Santa Monica, near Los Angeles, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) unveiled today its latest version of the Kindle fire tablet.
Dubbed the Kindle Fire HD, and featuring two screen sizes (8.9” and 7”), the tablet is HD 1080p and boasts of a 1900 x 1200 resolution, with In-Plane Switching (IPS) and 254 PPI, along with dual-Dolby stereo sound.
These are features geared to the enjoyment of media content, and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) makes that a breeze by also letting you sync photos, music, and movies in the cloud for all Kindle Fire devices.
The 8.9” version costs $299, while the 7” model sets you back only $199. Rest assured the old Fire is still available at $159. There is also a 4G LTE version at $499.
The new tablet features advanced Wi-Fi technology of the MIMO kind – MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) is an antenna technology for wireless communications, in which multiple antennas are used. The first tablet ever to incorporate MIMO, the twin antennas and dual band (2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz) support, make its WiFi 54% faster than the Nexus 7 and 41% faster than the iPad3.
Pulling out all the plugs, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) puts under the hood an OMAP4470 processor that has been beefed up for processing power and memory bandwidth. At just 8.8 mm thick, the tablet still packs in a front-facing HD camera.
The display features a laminated touch sensor that has no air gap and delivers “sharper, clearer, better contrast with 25% less glare.”
The user experience is rounded off with extra attention to audio output – Dolby Digital Plus has provided an exclusive audio engine to the Kindle Fire HD tablet that runs on dual-stereo speakers.
The new tablet’s storage options start at 16 GB, considering the huge size of HD content, and anything lower would be totally inadequate (“dead on arrival” in the words of Jeff Bezos).
Audiobooks get a new lease on life on these tablets – Immersion Reading. Running on a new technology called WhisperSync for Voice, Immersion Reading is really a dual-sensory experience where a reader of an e-book on the new Kindle HD would simultaneously be treated to professional-quality narration of the matter being read.
“X-Ray for Movies” is a new feature that allows you to look at more information (e.g. the actors) about the movie, while you are watching it on the tablet.
Want to let your kids use the tablet, but not at the cost of their studies? Invoke the gadget’s “Kindle FreeTime” feature – this lets you control how long they use it, as well as the features they can use.
The bottom line is the user interface – it’s been improved with smoother navigation and better customization and great animations.
All-in-all, the new kid on the block is a worthy successor to the original Fire.
Earlier, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) also launched Paperwhite, their new Kindle e-reader which uniquely features a LightGuide front lit display, yet offers 8 weeks of reading on a single charge.