Amazon has unveiled three new Kindle Fire tablets: a revamped Kindle Fire HD, the Fire HDX 7-inch, and Fire HDX 8.9-inch.
A new family of Kindles
With plenty of time before the 2013 holiday shopping season begins, Amazon introduced two brand-new Kindle Fire tablets, the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 and HDX 7, and a redesigned Kindle Fire HD with a lower price.
The new tablets feature high-resolution screens, powerful processors, and the latest version of Amazon's Fire operating system.
The new Kindle Fire tablets, specifically the HDX models, have enterprise-friendly features, including software encryption and VPN support. The tablets also feature long battery lives, with 11 hours for mixed use and 17 hours for just reading.
The Fire HDX 8.9 (its official name) has a 2,560x1,600-pixel-resolution (339ppi) "HDX" display. Amazon says its screen has perfect color accuracy and dynamic image contrast, which it claims "adjusts each pixel depending on the ambient brightness in order to maximize contrast."
The back of the HDX 8.9 has beveled edges, with a matte soft-touch covering. The top edge, which houses the speakers, is shiny.
Behind that cover, there's a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, with 2GB of RAM. For gaming, there's an Adreno 330 graphics engine. The tablet also comes with 32GB of storage for all of your books, music, and videos.
Despite its chunky-looking back cover, the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 has a thin profile. Amazon is also calling the HDX 8.9 the lightest large-screen tablet at 13.2 ounces, thanks to its frame made of a single piece of magnesium.
The Kindle Fire HDX 7 has a less-fancy back cover than the 8.9 HDX's, but sports the same soft-touch matte finish. Speakers are located on the lower right and left, instead of the top of the tablet.
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Launching with the new Kindles is the latest version of Amazon's Android-based Fire operating system. Version 3.0 Mojito, includes several new features, such as the Mayday button, X-Ray for Music, and Second Screen.
When you use the Mayday button, the representative on the other end can access the tablet and draw on the screen, coaching you through any feature. It's an awesome-sounding feature for people hoping to give their not-so-tech-savvy loved ones a Kindle Fire, but who don't want to act as tech support for months afterward.