Amazon introduces new Kindle Fire HDX tablets


Amazon today unveiled a slew of new tablets, all based around its third generation Kindle Fire: the Kindle Fire HDX. As before, there’s a 7-inch model, an 8.9-inch model, and both of them come in Wi-Fi-only and 4G configurations.

The new slates are lighter, thanks to an internal redesign, and 3x faster, thanks to Snapdragon’s quad-core 2.2 GHz processor. And they feature various other hardware and software improvements. Much more details after the fold…

Kindle Fire HDX is powered by the newest version of Fire OS: Fire OS 3.0. The update offers up a ton of new software features including X-Ray for Music, offline support for Prime Instant Video, and the new AirPlay-like Second Screen.

kindle fire hdx

Amazon’s also touting its new Mayday service, which is essentially an instant, digital Genius Bar. Tap the Mayday button in quick settings, and an Amazon expert will respond within 15 seconds—no matter the time—to help you out.

Now let’s look at some hardware specs:

  • Stunning exclusive HDX display — 1920 x 1200 at 323 ppi for 7”, 2560 x 1600 at 339 ppi for 8.9”
  • Powerful quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor running at 2.2 GHz
  • All-day battery life—up to 11 hours of mixed use and 17 hours of reading.
  • Both HDX 7” and 8.9” available with ultra-fast 4G LTE wireless. Available on the AT&T network, and for the first time on the Verizon Wireless network.
  • Dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus audio and virtual 5.1 multi-channel surround sound
  • Front-facing HD camera, plus new 8 megapixel wide-aperture rear-facing camera on the 8.9” Fire HDX captures 1080p HD video.

And here’s a hands-on video from The Verge:

And finally, Amazon’s first HDX TV spot:

While there doesn’t seem to be anything groundbreaking here (sans the new Mayday service), Amazon has managed to squeeze some impressive hardware into its new Kindle Fire tablets, without adding anything to their price tags.

The 7” Kindle Fire HDX is $229 or $329 for the 4G version, and is available for pre-order starting today. The 8.9″ HDX is $379, or $479 for the 4G version, and is also up for pre-order today. The tablets begin shipping in November.

Perhaps most interestingly, though, is that Amazon is going to be keeping last year’s Kindle Fire HD around for $139. That’s insanely low for a tablet, and seemingly prices others like Microsoft right out of the casual customer space.

Now that both Microsoft and Amazon have showed their ‘tablet’ hands so to speak, all eyes are on Apple. The company is widely expected to host a media event next month to take the wraps off its next generation iPad and iPad minis.

What do you think of Amazon’s new tablet offerings?