Amazon takes aim at Apple's iPad with Kindle Fire HD

Amazon's new tablet lineup aims to lure away would-be Apple iPad buyers with both 7- and 8.9-inch models and price tags ranging from $199 to $499.

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In case it wasn't clear enough with the original Kindle Fire, Amazon's got Apple's iPad in its sights. And today Amazon expanded its arsenal.

Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos today showed off three new models of the Kindle Fire, dubbed the Kindle Fire HD, that are clearly aimed at wooing those who might buy a tablet from Apple.

The Amazon assault begins with a new $199, 7-inch model with an HD screen that doubles the built-in storage of the previous entry-level Kindle Fire to 16GB. Amazon has also doubled down on that product line with a larger, 8.9-inch model that has a 1,920-by-1,200 resolution, features 16GB of built-in storage, costs $299 and ships Nov. 20. Topping out the line is a new 32GB model with 4G LTE wireless connectivity for $499, which Bezos compared directly to Apple's $729 third-generation iPad with similar specs.

What is, perhaps, the most aggressive feature among any of the models is the data plan on the 4G model, which costs $50 a year. Users get 250MB of cellular data per month along with 20GB of cloud storage from Amazon's Cloud Drive service. While not great if you're a big video watcher or app downloader, the plans are considerably cheaper than those for other tablets with cellular service. That includes Apple's 4G iPad data plan, which Amazon calculated to cost $230 for an equivalent year of service.

 

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