CNET First Look
Hands-on with Amazon's new Kindle Fire tabletsAmazon has unveiled 3 new Kindle Fire tablets: the Kindle Fire HD, Fire HDX 7-inch, and Fire HDX 8.9-inch
I'm David Carnoy, executive editor for CNET.com and I'm here at Amazon's offices in Seattle with their new tablets. Amazon has introduced 3 new tablets. These are all third-generation Kindle Fire tablets. For starters, you have the now entry level Kindle Fire HD that is $139 so this is basically the same model as last year with the new design but same processor and same screen. Now there are 2 new KindleFire HDX's, a 7-inch model and an 8.9-inch model. That HDX refers to the display. They're built of higher resolution displays. On the 7-inch it's a 1920 x 1200 display and on the step up 8.9, it is 2560 x 1600 and they both have high PPI counts, on the 7-inch it's 323 and on the 8.9 it's 339 PPI. Some other key features to talk about on the HDX models, these are the first models to have the new Snapdragon 800 processor, that's a quad-core processor runs at 2.2 gigahertz, so a very fast processor. The 8.9-inch model is only 13.2 ounces so it's a thinner tablet, but that model has a rear-facing camera as well as a front-facing camera. All the new tablets run the new Fire OS 3.0 that's based on Android Jellybean but it's obviously a highly customized OS. Amazon is also highlighting its new MIDI features. It's really a unique feature. It allows you to tap on the MIDI button and be connected with a customer service representative. If you have a good Wi-Fi connection, it'll be a video connection and that person will be able to help you with your device, actually walking through some of the features and allow you to setup certain things you might not be able to setup. Another new feature is Prime Instant Video downloads. If you are a Prime member, you will now be able to download certain episodes, you can take them on a plane or while you're on the go. You don't have to stream everything now. There is X-ray for music as you're playing a song. You will see lyrics scroll across the right side of the screen as you're playing that song. Now, in case you're wondering how fast that Snapdragon 800 processor is, Amazon is saying that's 3X the CPU performance and 4X the graphics performance. So obviously, you can play some graphically intensive games on this tablet without a problem, a lot smoother experience overall, very responsive, so a big upgrade in terms of responsiveness. And from a UI standpoint Amazon, with its earlier OS, had a carousel view that was the main view, but now there is a grid view. A lot of people had been asking for that grid view. From the front anyway, the device is kinda look like last year's models. However, when you turn around you notice they do have beveled edges, the 8.9 is a lot thinner and there are hard buttons on the back, you have one control on the back of the device and a power button. These two seem to be well-thought out and well-placed. I'm David Carnoy and those are the new Kindle Fire tablets from Amazon. Thanks for watching.