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Amazon launches an 8.9in Kindle Fire HD tablet

Impressive resolution and price tag
Thu Sep 06 2012, 20:36

INTERNET RETAILER Amazon has updated its Kindle Fire tablet by launching an 8.9in model dubbed the Kindle Fire HD.

Amazon's Kindle tablet was rumoured for an update and the firm didn't disappoint with the 7in device receiving a faster processor, 1GB of RAM and improved battery life, with a price cut to $159.

Amazon also launched the Kindle Fire HD tablet, available in a 7in model or the headline 8.9in, 1920x1200 resolution display tablet with 16GB of internal storage, powered by a Texas Instruments Omap 4470 processor.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos didn't spend much time talking about the updated Kindle, which will compete with Google's Nexus 7 tablet in price, however he did talk at length about the work the firm has done to make its Kindle Fire HD an attractive proposition. Bezos claimed it's "the best tablet at any price" and proceeded to show off the device's stereo speakers, dual antennas and custom applications for services such as Facebook and Skype.

Bezos said the Kindle Fire HD's OMAP 4470 processor is significantly faster than the Tegra 3 chip found in Google's Nexus 7 tablet and cited FLOPS figures as a measure of superiority.

What Bezos didn't put in his slides was that the Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 chip is a dual-core processor and, while higher core count doesn't always relate to higher performance, it's likely that Nvidia will fight back with a few benchmarks of its own to attempt to show that Bezos' performance claims are not quite as clear cut as he made out.

Amazon announced four versions of the Kindle Fire HD, two with WiFi connectivity and two with 4G support. The firm revealed that its WiFi-only 16GB Kindle Fire HD 7in will cost $199 and ship on 14 September, while the 8.9in 16GB Kindle Fire HD will go for $299 and ship on 20 November.

The firm said its 4G 32GB Kindle Fire HD 8.9in tablet will set punters back $499 and a further $50 a year in subscription charges that include 250MB per month of data, 20GB of cloud storage and a $10 credit on Amazon's app store. Amazon said its Kindle Fire HD 4G tablet will also ship on 20 November. µ


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