After steamrolling the Android tablet market last year with the incredibly popular Kindle Fire, the mega online retailer has finally announced the anticipated sequel, known as the Kindle Fire HD. The latest iteration is available in both the original 7-inch form factor as well as a new larger version that weighs 20 ounces, measures 8.8mm thick, and features an 8.9-inch display. Both boast 1900 x 1200 resolutions and thanks to a new lamented touch sensor, produce 25% less glare while being sharper and clearer.
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Processor-wise, a TI OMAP 4470 does all of the heavy lifting. The Fire HD is also the first tablet to include Dolby Digital Plus technology, in addition to dual stereo speakers for improved audio quality, while multiple-input and multiple-output technology (MIMO) in the form of dual antennas and dual band Wifi support improves connection speeds by reducing signal interference. That design geekery apparently results in WiFi speeds that are 41% faster than the iPad 3 — but we’ll leave the final word for official reviews. 16GB of internal storage is included with both models, but 32G options are available for an additional $50. Those on the road can also opt for the top-tiered 32GB version complete with 4G LTE.
Best of all, Amazon’s pricing is still the lowest in the land. The 7-inch version starts at $199 while the bigger 8.9-inch companion will retail for $299. That jumps to $499 for the 32GB AT&T LTE equipped flagship — which for an additional $50, users can land 250MB of data per month for an entire year, as well as a $10 Amazon gift card. That’s a backbreaking price undercut considering you’d pay $15 a month for that level of data typically from AT&T.
There’s no way around it, Bezo’s has declared war on Google, Apple and Microsoft, and based on the specs above, this Kindle Fire scorched earth policy is going to hurt more than a few of their bottoms lines — all while benefitting ours. Pre-orders start today, and all versions will ship November 20th.