New Kindle Fire HDX 7 and 8.9 go quad-core, add Mayday

Amazon's new Kindle Fire HDX slates have a new feature called Mayday, where you see a support person in a little window and they take over your tablet.

Mayday! Mayday! Come in, Amazon, my tablet's not working. Amazon's new Kindle Fire HDX slates have a new customer support feature called Mayday, where you see a support person in a little window and they take over your tablet.

It's Amazon's response to Apple's popular Genius support system -- because Amazon doesn't have any shops it's set up this remote system. The support person appears within 15 seconds, Amazon promises, and they're going to draft in more staff for especially busy days such as Christmas.

There's three new Kindle Fires: the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9, Kindle Fire HDX 7 and updated Kindle Fire HD. The more expensive HDX models have better than Full HD screens, quad-core processors and a new angular design that improves sound when it's laid flat.

They're also running Fire OS 3.0, an updated version of Amazon's take on Android. It's based on Jelly Bean, and has more options for seeing your apps and movies -- you don't have to use the carousel view.

Cleverly, it lets you stream your movies and music to a PlayStation 3 (and the upcoming PS4), and then gives you back your tablet screen, so you can browse the Web or play a game. You don't even need to be in the same room as the console.

As for specs, they've had a significant boost. The HDX 8.9 has a really impressive 2,560x1,600-pixel screen, while the 7-inch version crams in 1,920x1,200 pixels. Both of those are well over 300 pixels per inch, so you won't be able to see individual dots unless it's right in front of your face.

The new Kindle Fires are out in the US next month. The HDX 8.9 starts at $379 (£240) with 16GB of storage and no 4G, the 7 starts at $229 (£145) with the same, and the new Fire HD starts at $139 (£90). I've contacted Amazon for UK prices and availability and will update when I hear back.

Are you taken with these new tablets? What do you make of Mayday? Get fired up in the comments, or on our roasty-toasty Facebook page.

 

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