Amazon Kindle Fire HD is 8.9-inch iPad rival

The 8.9-inch Amazon Kindle Fire HD is a new Android tablet and iPad rival with loads of cool ebook, movie and games features.

Amazon has unveiled the near 9-inch Amazon Kindle Fire HD, a new Android tablet and iPad rival with an impressive screen and loads of cool features for your movies, games and ebooks.

As per the name, the 8.9-inch tablet sports a high-definition 1,920x1,200-pixel screen. Larger than the current 7-inch Amazon Kindle Fire, the Fire HD boasts 254 pixels per inch to keep detail sharp. Amazon also claims 25 per cent less glare when you're using it outdoors in bright sunlight.

Inside the Kindle Fire HD is a Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 processor. Amazon reckons 8GB is nowhere near enough storage for a device that handles high-definition video, so it comes with 16GB of space for movies, music, apps and books.

There's also a high-definition front-facing camera for video calls with Skype support, stereo speakers with Dolby sound and HDMI output to watch hi-def movies on your telly. 

The Kindle Fire HD supports stronger 5GHz Wi-Fi, and packs two antennas so your hand can't block the signal if you hold it in the wrong place. The software automatically uses the antenna that's got the best signal.

WhisperSync and X-Ray

New features include WhisperSync for Voice, which syncs up your ebooks and audiobooks. So if you're reading 50 Shades of Grey on the train, you can seamlessly switch to listening to the audiobook when you get off. Get off the train, I mean. Because it's your stop. Enough smut -- back to the Kindle Fire HD.

WhisperSync also works in games, so you can store levels unlocked on different devices. Another new feature is FreeTime, which lets you set how long each of your children can spend using the tablet, whether the rugrats are playing games, reading books or surfing the web.

The X-Ray feature, which lets you delve into ebooks, now applies to movies too. So as you watch, you can tap on the screen to see who that guy is -- you know, him off that thing -- by pulling information from IMDB. 

The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD goes on sale in the US in mid-November for around £190. Amazon has also given the current Kindle Fire an HD screen, beefed up the processor and improved the battery life. But there's sadly still no word on whether either Fire will spread to the UK -- especially unlikely for the 4G model, which comes with a 4G contract from Amazon, costing our US cousins just £30 a year. 

What do you think of the Kindle Fire HD? Do you want to see it in Britain or are the Google Nexus 7 , iPad and other tablets good enough for Blighty? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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Tablets
About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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