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Amazon unveils new 2014 Kindle Fire tablets (pictures)

Amazon's new slate of 2014 Kindle Fire tablets starts with a $99 6-inch model and tops out with an 8.9-incher that the company bills as its most powerful model to date.

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New 2014 Kindle Fire tablets
1 of 26 Sarah Tew/CNET

It's that time of year again. Amazon has overhauled its entire line of Kindle Fire tablets and ebook readers, just in time for the holiday shopping season.

The update includes a kid-friendly model in two sizes, a zippier version of the highly-lauded Kindle Fire HDX 8.9, and a brand new Fire HD slate that starts at just $99.

Click through the slideshow for a brief overview of Amazon's 2014 line.

Kindle Fire HD 2014
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Meet the new Amazon Kindle Fire HD 6

A 6-inch tablet is a smaller slate than we're used to, but with a $99 starting price, who can argue?

The Kindle Fire HD 6 replicates the successful points of its 7-inch brethren (more on that later) and rocks a slim design.

Kindle Fire HD 2014
3 of 26 Sarah Tew/CNET

Smaller, but more colorful

In a new move from Amazon, the Fire HD tablets will be offered in a variety of colors, including, hot pink, highlighter yellow, dark blue, eggplant purple, and classic black.

Kindle Fire HD 2014
4 of 26 Sarah Tew/CNET

Slim, but not thin

Though the Kindle Free HD 6 is a small and compact slate for a budget buy, it probably wouldn't land on our thinnest and lightest tablets list.

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New protective case

The Amazon Fire HD 6 and 7 both have traditional origami cases available for them. The malleable covers help protect your tablet, while giving you a variety of stand options.

Kindle Fire HD 2014
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Amazon Kindle Fire HD 6 pricing and availability

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD 6 will go on sale for an affordable $99. In the US, you can preorder your mini-slate now and expect it to arrive in October. Release dates and availability for the UK and Australia weren't immediately known, but that converts to about £60 and AU$110.

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7 of 26 Sarah Tew/CNET

Welcome to 2014, Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7

If a 6-inch screen is too small, $40 more will get you the new Kindle Fire HD 7. It rocks a new, super-slim design in a variety of fun colors.

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8 of 26 Sarah Tew/CNET

Pretty in pink

Is that too cliche of a caption? Either way, fans of the hue will embrace the rare existence of a Barbie-magenta tablet. Like the 6-inch version, the Kindle Fire HD 7 is available in black, magenta, white, dark blue, and yellow.

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Multiangle stands

By folding the tablet case in different ways, you can stand the tablet in portrait or landscape orientation, as well as higher or lower angles, for comfortable video watching.

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Dolby Digital Audio

Amazon tablets put an emphasis on audio with Dolby powered speakers. Previous Kindle Fire tablets have impressed with clearer and louder audio than the competition.

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Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 (2014) pricing

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 (2014) starts at the low price of $139 and will ship in October.

Kindle Fire HD 6 & 7 Kids Edition
12 of 26 Sarah Tew/CNET

Kindle Fire HD 6 & 7 Kids Edition

Lucky little ones who get to own one of these tablets will need some slight clarification for the old adage "don't play with fire."

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition is essentially a regular ol' Kindle Fire HD, but with the addition of some crucial kid-friendly additions. The tablets come in 6- and 7-inch sizes.

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Kid-friendly Fire

The tot-targeted Kindle Fire HDs are geared toward kids and include a one-year subscription to Kindle Freetime Unlimited, which offers tons of childrens' content to stream and a two-year replacement guarantee, meaning that if your child breaks it, Amazon will replace it.

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Made for kid hands

The chunky case that covers the Kids Edition of the Kindle Fire HD is thick -- an unsightly girth for a modern tablet -- but it will comfortably fit in the small hands of children.

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Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7

The 7-inch model is also thick for easy handling, but offers a tad more screen space.

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Amazon Kindle Fire HD 6 & 7 Kids Edition pricing and availability

The 6-inch version of the Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition will start at $149, while the 7-incher will go for $189, with preorder for both available now.

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17 of 26 Sarah Tew/CNET

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (2014)

The updates to the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 aren't visible from the outside. Mainly, it's a faster performer than its predecessor, with a slew of new features via its OS upgrade.

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Still sleek

The original model has hung out at the top of the thinnest and lightest large tablets chart, and the 2014 edition is expected to take its place.

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Similar design

Though the design remains the same, we're not complaining. The angular aesthetic, soft-matte back, and sleek look have been favorites among large tablets.

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Same port

Like the model before it, ports on the tablet are extremely limited. However, adapters for connecting the slate to HDMI or VGA ports are available.

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First tablet with Dolby Atmos

Dolby is hard at work reinventing the sonic experience of movies in theaters, homes, and now tablets. The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (2014) is the first to house the new technology.

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Back in black

Unlike its colorful new siblings, the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (2014) will only be available in black. Starting at $379, the tablet is now available for pre-order and will ship in October.

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Work-friendly add-ons

With more power comes more responsibility and  -- naturally -- more accessories. The productivity potential of the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (2014) can be fully tapped with the detachable Bluetooth keyboard.

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Stylish and functional

In conjunction with the origami case, the keyboard can make for a portable, lightweight workstation option.

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Sleek and stylish cases

The Amazon origami cases are also seeing a reboot. The new versions offer the same cool coverage in a variety of new colors.

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Reader-friendly tablet vs. e-reader

The line of Kindle Fire tablets have remained reader friendly, but bookworms teetering between choosing a tablet or an e-reader should still check out Amazon's latest line of Kindles; the new Voyage model is a stunning innovation in reading.

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