Overnight Amazon released three new Kindle Fire Tablets.
The Kindle Fire HD now starts at $139 making it the cheapest of the tablets, just $20 more than the new Kindle Paperwhite. It will start shipping on Oct 2. This is a slightly different version of the Kindle Fire HD that was released at $199 last year. The processor is faster (1.5 GHz dual core instead of a 1.2 GHz dual core). But the screen has the same specs. It also comes with a smaller 8 or 16 GB of memory instead of the 16 or 32 GB of Memory from last year’s model. Presumably to save money, it also has dropped the ambient light sensor, camera and microphone (so no Skype or video conferencing). The battery is also rated at 10 hours instead of last year’s 11 hours and takes 2 more hours to fully charge.
Dropping $60 from the price of from last year’s Kindle Fire HD is impressive, but there is also a corresponding drop in specs.
There is a new operating system and the power and volume buttons have moved to the back instead of the side and it is 1.7 oz lighter and a few millimeters smaller.
The Kindle Fire HDX is now the high end 7 inch model. It has a 1920 by 1200 resolution screen and a Quad-core 2.2 GHz processor. It comes with either 16, 32 or 64 GB of storage and has a front facing Camera, and 11 hour battery and is slightly 1.5 oz lighter than the lower end Kindle Fire HD. The Kindle Fire HDX starts at $229 but with higher storage and option 4G goes up to as high as $409. The Kindle Fire HDX (7 in) will start shipping Oct 18th.
Amazon is also adding a Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 to the currently existing Kindle Fire HD 8.9 (naming does not seem to be a strong suit for Amazon).
The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 starts at $379 with 16 GB of storage (expandable to 64 GB) and has an optional 4G for $100 extra. The screen is 2560 x 1600 resolution (more than standard HD) is only 1 oz more than the smaller Kindle Fire HD 7 in tablet. It has a Quad-Core 2.2 GHz processor with 2 GB of RAM, as 8 megapixel rear facing camera and a front facing camera (could not find the specs on the front facing camera.) The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 will start shipping Nov 7.
One of the big features is a Mayday Button, that allows Amazon support to see your screen and walk you through any problems you have or just fix the problem. This is a free option. Amazon has always had good tech support but this seems to be also a sign of their older and less tech savvy customers. Amazon claims it will have someone to help you in 15 seconds or less, 24/7, 365 days a year.