Sep 06 AT 2:02 PM Dustin Earley 60 Comments

Amazon unveils new Kindle Fire HD line of tablets

kindle fire hd

Nearly one year after the first Kindle Fire, the number one selling item on Amazon, was revealed to the world, the good folks at Amazon have just taken the wraps off of their latest tablets: the Kindle Fire HD family.

Amazon is fully committed to Kindle Fire as a service. They’ve always been keen on emphasizing how much more important content is than the vessel delivering it to you, but with Kindle Fire HD, Amazon wants you to know they take hardware very seriously.

The Kindle Fire HD tablets all come powered by a TI OMAP 4470, and feature Dolby digital plus dual stereo speakers, HDMI out, Bluetooth, 5GHz WiFi with two antennas, MIMO enhanced connectivity, a minimum of 16GB of storage and either an 8.9-inch 254ppi 1920×1200 IPS display, or 7-inch display bearing the same specs, that is sure impress even the most hardcore of screen buffs. There’s also a 32GB version of the Kindle Fire HD that comes with LTE on-board.

The Kindle Fire HD’s hardware improvements aren’t the only changes we’ll see over last year’s model, there’s a ton of software improvements and new features coming to the Kindle Fire HD as well. There’s X-Ray, which allows you to interact with media like movies, giving you information on actors and actresses. Whispersync now works with games, so you never lose your progress. A new email, Facebook and Skype app will be released for the Kindle Fire HD. Parental controls are being released as Kindle Free Time. And there’s sure to be much more.

When the original Kindle Fire was first announced, $199 was set in place as the magical number to reach. Amazon has done it once again, by squeezing the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD in at just under $200. As for the 8.9-inch WiFi only Fire HD, that’s available for $299, with the LTE version costing $499, plus a $50 12-month data plan that comes with 250MB of data a month, and a $10 Appstore credit. All three of the new Kindle Fire HDs are available for preorder today, and will ship November 20th. Just in time for the holiday rush.

What do you think of Amazon’s new tablets, did they hit it out of the park, or were you hoping for more?

Via: The Verge

Source: Amazon Press Room

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • Galen20K

    8.9″ Fire HD only 299 not 399

    • Galen20K

      there you go now, its fixed : )

      • wqeudyg

        Wow! Partners! Multi-function memory card reader! You’ll love it! Go take a look at it:

  • 4n1m4l

    Am I the only one not impressed? I cant see the pixels on my 7. Many more pixels is better?

    • Hinds2009

      I’m not impressed either and don’t read books as much as I would need a Kindle for. Nexus 7 suites my needs and Google play is what I want!

    • Jeff Pan

      I guess this is the best choice

      7” tablet – Go for Nexus 7
      >8.5 inch – Go for FIre.

    • NamelessTed

      Higher resolution is better. Just because you aren’t able to see individual pixels on a screen doesn’t mean that increasing the resolution won’t make it look better. Everything will just look crisper.

      I currently own an ASUS TF300T, 10″ at 1280×800. The screen looks good, but the higher resolution screen on the Infinity is instantly noticeably better. Though I obviously haven’t seen the new Kindle, I think it would be a safe bet that the higher resolution makes a noted improvement.

    • zerosix

      The price doesn’t impress you too?
      2013 is gonna be the year of cheap 7” tablets.

  • YMS123

    Wow! Amazon is on FIRE!

  • xray49er

    what version of android is it running they failed to mention that. If its gingerbread still no thank you

    • klacebo

      It is so heavily skinned, that it doesn’t matter if it runs 2.3 or 4.1.

      And honestly, for this kind of media consumption device, would there be a significant difference in the eyes of the average consumer?

    • masterpfa

      I think this runs Android 4.0

      • jaxidian

        That’s also what I’ve heard.

  • jaxidian

    I’d like the 8.9″ one but I wish it was $50 cheaper. Also, I really don’t understand the $500 one. Who wants a 250MB/mo LTE limit, really? At that point, what’s the point of LTE?

    • Dustin Earley

      I think more than anything, it’s just so Amazon can say, “look at how much cheaper out LTE tablet is,” and, “at least we are giving you the option.”

    • Dustin Earley

      Also, it sets up a Kindle Fire phone with LTE.

  • wild

    Sure it has hdmi ,16 gigs and better(?) screen but OMAP4470 is so damn weak :( Dual core Cortex A9 1.5-1.8GHz….
    It’s not better then Nexus7 , comparable, but not better.
    Also no words about battery life.

    Btw dose somebody realy need 5GHz wi-fi on theire 7″ tablet?

    • Bpear96

      Yeah but dual core cortex a9 at 1.5ghz will be plenty for most.

    • John Patrick

      How do you know the 4470 is weak? AFAIK it was announced, but never used on anything previous to this. The 4460 used in the GNex was shipped underclocked. Running Frankos kernel on Jelly Bean, and OC’d at just 1.4Ghz the GNex beats the One X on Antutu (7449) and just about ties it on Qradrant. The 4470 runs at 1.5 to 1.8Ghz in comparison and has a better GPU. It will probably be more than adequate for a media consumption device.

    • wild

      Sure it will be adequate for video/audio/surfing but if you will use some heavier stuff, you will see diference + t3 have some “exclusive” games/effects so for gamers it will be more interesting ( if you don’t want to use chainfire 3d and other shaman trics)
      + Don’t forget about 4.1 benefits.+ no gps, no nfc …

      I checked amazon’s site, kindle fire hd will use 1.2GHz OMAP4460(only fire hd 8.9 4G have 4470)
      I have hp touchpad which is 1.2-1.5GHz and it’s ~1/5 years old 100$ device :)

      Kindle fire HD didn’t blow market like they made year ago,atm it’s just other tablet on market with nothing special.

      • wild

        And forgot to say, my HP touchpad with dual core 1.2-1.5GHz processor outperformed all other processors including exynos,t3 e t.c. in velliamo (qualcom’s benchmark).
        All this benchmarks doesn’t really saying a lot about real perfomance.

  • uknowme

    Actually pretty impressed. Can’t wait to see what the devs do to these!

  • Adryan maldonado

    I think its awesome cause i can get a pretty cheap tablet and then root and boot it with something better like AOSP or AOKP

  • Thomas Biard

    I like the specs for the price, I just need to root it and put stock Android on there and then I’ll be happy.

  • Nate B.

    I’m not impressed at all. Maybe because these devices don’t do it for me anyways. Not much of a book reader. Because any other tablet can do what they do if you want more.

  • Bpear96

    Google make a $300 Nexus 8.9 ( or nexus 9 :D) with 1900×1200 display :D

    • Bpear96

      Make sure it has a sd card slot and hdmi though..

      • masterpfa

        Might get HDMI but Google appear to be moving away from SD expansion (or is it just the tie up with Samsung)

        • Bpear96

          Yeah i think there, trying to push cloud storage, but cloud storage and capped data plans, just dont mix..

  • shadhussain

    i’m far too into the stock android OS to buy a kindle tablet for myself, but you have to give credit where it’s due. out of nowhere amazon has emerged as a true contender along with apple and google (MS?).

    what amazon has done is really game changing and remarkable. top specs (more pixels, better wireless connectivity do matter), with a simplified media and family friendly UI and seamless amazon services … that’s what most people want and that’s what they’re offering. add in Amazon Instant (not available outside the US, yet) and the 4G LTE feature for an $50 annually and it really blows away the competition (read iPad) at a base price of $499. in the world of closed systems, there is a new winner.

    i’m sticking to my transformer prime for the same valid yet slightly techie reasons most ppl who follow this blog will keep their nexus7s or xooms for a while longer.

    • masterpfa

      I agree awesome features across the range, but the real Jewel in the crown would be Amazon Prime (which in the UK only means next day delivery and not the media content our American friends are experiencing)

      I shall remain happy with my Nexus 7

  • Bpear96

    Is the $199 7″ kindle fire HD also 1900×1200? If so that has to have a pretty good DPI :D

  • Bpear96

    Honestly if i was every going to buy a Kindle tablet, it would have to have a AOSP/CM10 stable rom for it. Which im sure it will. Still rather buy nexus tablet though :P

  •!/profile.php?id=583695634&ref=profile Rahul Singh

    Wow! Great pricing for 8.9″ HD Tablet.. What are the specs?

    •!/profile.php?id=583695634&ref=profile Rahul Singh

      Never mind I found it :)

  • jamal adam

    Talk about bringing the heat. Amazon looks to do even better with these Kindle Fires.

  • Raptor

    Seems Jeff fired those responsible for Fire1.
    Or fixed their BIOS.

    /* After crappy Fire i remember calling bold cyborg Jeff technical illiterate. I take that back.

    • Raptor

      “7-inch display bearing the same specs, that is sure impress even the most hardcore of screen buffs…”

      It’s 1280×800 you illiterate

    • Raptor

      Well, after doing calculations visiting other sites I get back and take my “back” back… This careless writer tricked me with his moronic pumping WOWs….

      The specs are still basically a shit. As well as Amazon store vs Google Play. And there were no 12-14″ HD models which means you will NOT be reading Architectural Journal or doing any serious work on these Bezos midgets.

      HTC will soon announce 1920×1080 5″ phone model with PPI=441 while these dumbos still offering 1280×800 on 7″ (216PPI) and 1920×1200 on 8.9″ (PPI 254) which are NOT or BARELY suitable for reading developing with time the eye fatigue and displeasure with the look of the fonts.


  • theviper21

    I think they both look pretty good. I would still go with the Nexus 7 myself because I wasn’t impressed with Amazon’s front-end, but the Kindle HD definitely is a good contender, especially with all of the new features they listed.

    One advantage Amazon has is that they can generally afford to take a small loss when selling their devices because it’s often made up for in soft purchases; which is what Bezo’s main point was in how they’ve structured their business model. This is one area that companies like Asus will have a hard time competing with because Asus HAS to make a profit on selling their devices (unless they end up getting some subsidy from Google, which is probably not likely).

    I thought the lowest Kindle would come in at $150 to be slightly more competitive. It seems like for an extra $40 you get a lot more bang for your buck.

    Anyone see the new lighting technology they’re using for their next gen e-reader? Looks really sweet, especially as it will make it easier to use in any lighting.

  • theviper21

    Also, anyone notice anything about the special offers screen lock? I wonder if that is something that is on all of the models or if they will have cheaper ones down the line with special offers.

  • Michael Long

    It’s the $10 a month app store gift card that interests me. Is Amazon subsidizing Android app development for the Kindle FIre?

  • LilSmurf2009

    They look great if you want to upgrade from the original kindle fire, But just like everyone else im not impress and i would take the nexus 7 any day of the week.

  • NamelessTed

    I love this announcement. I still don’t have an interest to purchase a Kindle but this is just amazing for competition, and is a great indicator of what is to come. I know there have been rumors of a 10″ Nexus tablet, but maybe something like this 8.9″ is more probable.

    I think the biggest thing that gets me excited here is the resolution. I know there was a post here a while back on what people would want out of a larger Nexus tablet and what price they might expect. I thought back then that the biggest thing that they would need to do would be to have a higher resolution display than the other “budget” tablets on the market. Given this announcement from Amazon, I think it is safe to assume that Google will likely follow a similar path. Eventually all the tablets will be the same.

    It is going to be great when all these people get a screen that has a higher resolution than their 60″ TVs.

  • Nathan D.

    This is good move from Amazon, they have the original for people who want a cheap solid tablet, and a more powerful version who has a little more money to waste.

  • Dan13

    While I’m not as impressed as I expected to be, I feel that our opinion as android enthusiasts will be mostly disregarded. While the Nexus 7 was aimed at us, the New Kindles are aimed at the average person. Amazon has the appearance of having more “stuff.” People will bite.

    However, I think this will create some very nice competition.

  • RX-78-7

    Reasonable price.

  • gmc7000

    Decent price, not too impressed with the specs (though I honestly can’t really say I was expecting much more).

  • jame king
  • lapak_zapak

    For the comparison shoppers…

    Kindle Fire HD 7″
    Dimensions  7.6 inches by 5.4 inches by 0.4 inch (HWD)
    Weight 13.9 ounces
    OS Custom Android 2.3 fork
    Processor Dual-core,1.2GHz OMAP 4460
    RAM 1GB
    Storage 16GB or 32GB
    Front camera Yes, unknown type
    Rear camera No
    Battery 11 hours
    Charge type Micro-USB
    Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (MIMO)
    Bluetooth Yes
    Screen size 7 inches, antiglare, laminated (IPS)
    HDMI out Yes
    Resolution 800×1,280 pixels
    GPS No
    Gyroscope No
    microSD No
    NFC No
    Adobe Flash Yes
    Microphone Yes
    Other features Cloud storage backup, wireless sync, Whispersync, Amazon Silk Web browser, Amazon Lending Library, Prime Instant Video, Dolby Digital Plus audio, X-Ray, FreeTime, MIMO dual-band antenna
    Price $199 16GB, $249 (32GB)

    Nexus 7
    Dimensions  7.8 inches by 4.72 inches by 0.41 inch (HWD)
    Weight 12 ounces
    OS Android 4.1
    Processor Quad-core Tegra 3
    RAM 1GB
    Storage 8GB or 16GB
    Front camera Yes, 1.2 megapixel
    Rear camera No
    Battery 10 hours
    Charge type Micro-USB
    Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
    Bluetooth Yes
    Screen size 7 inches (IPS)
    HDMI out No
    Resolution 800×1,280 pixels
    GPS Yes
    Gyroscope Yes
    microSD No
    NFC Yes
    Adobe Flash No
    Microphone Yes
    Other features Larger app selection, Google Now, Voice Commands, broader accessibility options, integration with Google services (Gmail, Docs, Maps, Drive), location-aware,
    Price $199 8GB, $249 (16GB)


  • Prince77

    Well I got my Nexus 7 yesterday. I downloaded all my games to it, I’m going to enjoy myself today while you guys sit there and debate still. Have a good weekend!!!!

    • masterpfa

      Welcome fellow Nexus 7ian

  • sere83

    LOL, the fire Hd is comically poor next to the Nexus 7.

    Omap 4460? Really? Maybe in 2011. Not to mention the crippled old OS & wide boy bezel. Whose buying this crap honestly?

    Even the Rockchip RK3066 whips the Omap 4460′s ass in every benchmark there is.

  • RobBull75

    I’m hoping fully functional Jelly Bean gets ported to the Kindle. One of the pet peeves of my Xoom’s screen is the glare. The original Kindle was very easy on the eyes for a color screen and had good visibility in sunlight. I’m guessing the new screens will probably be even better in that regard.

  • nitrog7

    The video says it is Private and will not play.

  • smeghead68

    seems like a nice tablet for a good price. Wonder how this will effect the other manufacturers? Will the price drop on those?


    the video isnt comin it sez private!

  • masterpfa

    I have noticed that the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD (7″) will be available in the UK, well with the closed eco-system and lack of Movies, Magazines and the lending library, for UK customers, this is a dead duck in the water.

    These offer no better media consumption than is currently available to me, Movie content from LoveFilms (Amazons “Prime” offering in the UK) is limited with very few if any, TV series and a lot less than Netflix offers at the moment.

    I would recommend if asked the Nexus 7, not just because I own one, but as a fully featured tablet with full access to Google Play and full tablet experience.