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Always On: Unboxing the Kindle Fire HD
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Always On: Unboxing the Kindle Fire HD

5:35 /

Molly Wood unboxes the new 7-inch Kindle Fire HD. How does it compare to the original Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7?

-Now, a couple of weeks ago, Jeff Bezos took the stage at a big Amazon event and announced a fleet of new Kindles. We are going to un-box the Kindle Fire HD 7 inch in just a minute but first, here's a rundown of all the new models. In the E Ink family, the Kindle Paperwhite is the new star. It has built-in light technology which Bezos says lights up the screen so you don't need an external light. But apparently, it's not as bright or hard on your eyes as an LCD. Other big changes, there are zero buttons on this Kindle. It's all touchscreen and Amazon says it will have 8 weeks of battery life even with the light on. I'll believe that when I see it. I ordered the Wi-Fi only model which costs $190 and it's shipping on October 1st. The 3G version costs $179 and then the original Kindle, which I'm gonna torture test in just a little while here, goes from $79 to $69 with apps. Now, on to the Kindle Fire. There's a new updated version of the original Kindle Fire that's 40 percent faster with longer battery life. That price goes from $199 to $159. And there's more. Amazon also announced Kindle Fire HD models so the 7-inch goes to HD and there's also a brand new 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD which comes out of November. The big Kindle Fire comes with just Wi-Fi or- and this is exciting- 4GLTE. Both models have 1920x1200 resolution displays and 10 ADP screens. Wi-Fi only will go for $299 and the 4G LTE model will cost $499 with a yearly subscription fee. We'll have more on all those Kindle models when we get them in house and for now, we're going to un-box the Kindle Fire HD 7-inch model. Now, this is our review unit so it's already been open as some of Eric Franklin's information on it. But, hopefully, we'll get an idea of how it works. This is already kind of a confusing little box. This is the tape right here. Oh, I'm not smart enough for the Kindle box. There we go. Okay. It looks very much like kind of a standard Kindle packaging but black. It is black. Oh, wow. Okay, now. This is a 7-inch display but it's way bigger than the-- Okay. Well, first, charging. This is sort of new with the Kindle line. I've noticed they're no longer coming with the power breaks, just the cable. You can actually buy the wall wart separately but it costs 10 bucks which I think is kind of a bomber because if you're carrying one of these, you're not bringing a laptop. I don't like this trend. Anyway, this is a substantially different-looking Kindle from the original. It's much more landscape-oriented for one thing and then look at it compared to this guy. They're both 7-inch tablets but this is just like a big square brick and this thing is totally different. It's pretty sleek although it's a little bit fat and that makes it kinda hard to hold. Now, for comparison, I have the Nexus 7 here. This is you can pretty easily palm. This one feels more like you have to have like a big old Michael Jordan hand. The camera is located in the middle here so if you were doing video conferencing- now, the original Kindle fire didn't have a camera at all. This one has a front facing camera and I think it comes with Skype built-in so it's kind of a noticeable feature right after that. It's a very, very big 7-inch tablet. I'm kind of curious to see how that's gonna play because for me, the size and portability are kind of the key there. I don't know those things. All right. Let's do some specs. It weighs just under a pound at 13.9 ounces. The HD LCD display has a 1280x1800 resolution and it's capable of 720PHD viewing. The surface is Corning's Gorilla Glass so it might take me a little bit longer to crack that screen than it took to break the Nexus 7. Just think. Amazon made a big deal out of their Dolby audio dual driver stereo speakers and let me say they sound pretty good. -You're missing out. -Oh, wow. -Yes. [unk] -Now, tell me the truth. What really happened? -There's also a dual-band, duel antenna for better Wi-Fi performance. And speaking of performance, it has a dual-core 1.2 Ghz processor. -That should be okay for gaming. -Right here is a front facing camera and they preloaded the Kindle Fire with Skype for your video conferencing needs. The original Fire, no cameras. There's micro HDMI and micro USB ports. You do get the USB 2.0 cable in the box but the power adapter is an extra $9.99. Like the original version, the operating system is a modified version of Android. Now, all the Kindle Fire's will come with ads on the lock screen which is probably how they keep that price down. You can get rid of the ads but you'll have to pay an extra $15. The 16GB model is $199 and the 32GB version goes for $249. Now, the 7-inch size has actually been a winner for Amazon and biggest thing for me about this tablet is that it's such a wide 7-inch tablet; it's really hard to hold. I got a little bit of a hand cramp. I will say though I do think this is a good size but I'll be interested to see what people think of the new bigger Kindle Fire HD. For Eric Franklin's full review of this guy right here, head on over to CNET.co/KindleFire7HD.

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