Amazon announcement roundup: Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire HD 7, Kindle Paperwhite, more

Amazon had a big day today. Rather than start with the history of the Kindle lineup, I think that we should get right into the juicy details that Amazon announced at its Santa Monica, California, press conference. Care to join me?

Kindle Fire HD

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Arguably the biggest announcement – both figuratively and literally – is the Kindle Fire HD. This is a brand-new Kindle tablet, not just an update of an old one. The 8.9-inch Fire HD will come with WiFi-only or WiFi plus 4G LTE as connectivity options, with each option giving you two choices of capacities: 16GB or 32GB for WiFi models, or 32GB or 64GB for the LTE model. WiFi models will start at $299, while LTE-compatible models will start at $499. Pricing for higher capacity models wasn’t announced, but for $50 per year you will get 250MB of data per month. That could be from a variety of LTE providers, as Amazon didn’t specify a carrier partner.

The screen measures 8.9-inches diagonally and will come with a resolution of 1920 x 1200, making for a pixel density of 254ppi. For comparison’s sake, the new iPad has a ppi of 264 – meaning that the Fire HD’s panel is only 10ppi less than the beautiful new iPad’s.

Other specs include a Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 processor (which outperforms NVIDIA’s Tegra 3, according to Amazon), an HD front-facing camera, HDMI output, Bluetooth, and a laminated touch sensor which is good for 25% less glare than traditional sensors.

Kindle Fire HD 7

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Much like the Kindle Fire HD, the Kindle Fire HD 7 is not an update to an existing Kindle model.

The Fire HD 7 is not an update to the original Fire. No, this is a brand new 7-inch Kindle Fire. It’s largely the same as the Fire HD: it has the same HD front-facing camera, Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 processor, HDMI, and Bluetooth that its bigger brother has. Differences include a smaller screen with a lower resolution of 1280 x 800, a smaller storage capacity of 16GB, and a price tag that’s $100 less: $199.

Kindle Fire

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Yes, the venerable Kindle Fire is still here with us – and it’s been updated, too! Since the Kindle Fire HD 7 took its $199 price point, the original Fire’s price was cut by $40, making it a small $159. But that price cut doesn’t only get you a Kindle Fire: it gets you a better one, as well. Amazon promises that the Kindle Fire will achieve longer battery life, all while having a 40%-faster processor and twice as much RAM.

Kindle Paperwhite

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The only eBook reader announced at the event, the Kindle Paperwhite is a brand-new member of the Kindle family.

Amazon is calling the Paperwhite the new “traditional” Kindle. It isn’t traditional in the sense of specs, though: the screen has been updated to provide 212 ppi and higher contrasts, with that latter addition coupled with Amazon’s new backlighting system. Speaking of that backlighting system, Amazon has designed it in such a way that won’t drain your battery any more than an older Kindle’s screen would: it will still give you eight weeks of battery life before you will have to plug it in.

$119 will get you the WiFi model, and an additional $60 (total price of $179) will get you the 3G-equipped model.


New hardware wasn’t the only focus of the press event today, though. Amazon also dropped the price of the Kindle to $69, making the retailer’s eBook readers even more accessible to people.

The Fire HD 7, Kindle, and Kindle Paperwhite are all up for preorder today. The former two will ship on September 14, while the Paperwhite will ship on October 1. Meanwhile, the Kindle Fire HD’s shipping date is yet-to-be announced.

[Amazon: 1, 2 | The Verge: 1, 2, 3]
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Calob Horton

Calob Horton is an associate editor at Pocketables. He loves all technology, no matter which company it comes from. This unbiased view of the tech world allows him to choose the products that best fit his personal needs and tastes: a Microsoft Surface Pro, a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and a third-gen iPad.Google+ | Twitter | More posts by Calob | Subscribe to Calob's posts

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12 thoughts on “Amazon announcement roundup: Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire HD 7, Kindle Paperwhite, more

  • Avatar of Michael

    Still partial to a dedicated e reader. Will wait to see what Apple trots out later this year in the form of a smaller tablet.

  • Avatar of gticlay

    The LTE version is the most exciting to me, but the $499 price puts it out of range of interest to me. If I could get a nexus7 “as is” with LTE and that same data plan for $249, I’d certainly go for it. $499 – meh.

  • Avatar of Agus Godjali

    Are this all android? Which version?

  • Avatar of gticlay

    Just realized it’s 250mb, not 2.5GB… um, NOT! Can I even watch a single HD 1 hr (40 mins) show on the unit with 250mb? I don’t think so. Fail.

  • Avatar of 6Leinad6

    They still failed to fix the most important issue. Buttons. Almost everyone why reviewed the Fire noticed the difficulty and quirky ness of having no buttons.

    • Avatar of gticlay

      It seems that Google is trying to move away from buttons – N7 is the same way. Personally, I really miss the capacitive buttons on one end but I guess they don’t like them?

  • Avatar of Vakeros

    I think the HD 7 has an OMAP 4460 not the 4470. None of them have microSD and the new HD 7 is wider than the previous Fire. 120mm is the best width for a 7 inch device. The HD 7 is 137mm so 17mm or more than 1/2 inch wider. Shame because I could probably live with the other specs for the price.

  • Avatar of Kris B

    On one of my other haunts they are complaining about the introduced lock screen ads.

  • Avatar of truepeers

    It’s all about the ecosystem, but multiplying options to access their content, throw in deals on Amazon Prime and Apple has to be a little worried. Google now has a good tablet but a lot of work on the content ecosystem needed if they want to compete on more than hardware.

  • Avatar of Alfonso

    I’ve been thinking about getting a PaperWhite model.

  • Avatar of the larch

    Can this new fire still compete in a more competitive market? I don’t think that they will be as popular as the original fire.

  • Avatar of Abraham

    They will be popular and they will sell. Yet, the paperwhite seems so much better in my opinion.

    If I am buying an android tablet, I sure as hell would buy one with the pure android experience such as the Nexus. I would not buy something that is doing the opposite, which is heading away from Google.


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