New Kindle Fire Tablets announced: Kindle Fire HDX
Amazon just sent me a press release…actually dated tomorrow as I write this in my time zone and Amazon’s in Seattle.
I’d normally link to the individual press release…but Amazon has so many on this, that I’ll just link to the press release page.
Are they different enough that I need to buy one?
Yes! At least one! Maybe two…I’ll link right now to the options, then add to this post.
- Kindle Fire HD 7″, HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers from $139 (yes, that middle number is a “3″! (release date: October 2)
- Kindle Fire HDX 7″, HDX Display, Wi-Fi and 4G LTE, 32 GB from $229 (release date October 18)
- Kindle Fire HD 8.9″, Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 16 GB – Includes Special Offers from $269 (in stock now…this is not a new model)
- Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″, HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 32 GB from $379 (release date November 7): NOTE: $379 IS NOT THE PRICE FOR THE 32 GB…that’s $429
Very important! Check your options before ordering! I haven’t necessarily been able to link to the least expensive version (not all the links are live yet). The lowest price I’ve listed is for one with the least memory and with Special Offers.
Okay, let me go read those stats, and I’ll come back and post more. I wanted to post the links so you can be first in line…well, I did order mine already, so maybe second in line.
Update: okay, here are some of the details for this third generation of Kindle Fires:
Let’s start with the one I ordered, the Kindle Fire HDX 7″ (I went with 16 GB…I don’t find that storage is an issue for me on my devices, generally, since I keep so much of my content on the Cloud).
Here are some of the new features they are highlighting:
- Better display: high pixel density, “perfect color” (100% sRGB)…this model is 1920 x 1200
- Fastest processor (Snapdragon) on a 7″ tablet (“2.2GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM”)
- The new “Mayday” button…help when you need it from Amazon, 365 days a year (I guess they take Leap Day off ), 24 hours a day. You’ll actually see the Amazon help person live on your screen (but they helpfully tell you that they won’t see you)
- Productivity improvements: comes with OfficeSuite (woo-hoo! I need to replace Microsoft Office soon, and was even considering an MS tablet); Outlook; “e-mail and calendar support for Gmail”
- I’m going to quote this one: “Immersive entertainment experience—see trivia and character backgrounds with X-Ray for Movies and TV, follow along with lyrics with new X-Ray for Music, fling videos to your TV with Second Screen, and more”
- You’ll be able to download some Prime videos…at no extra cost! It says “hundreds”, so I’m not thinking it’s all of them, but this is still cool!
- Better battery life…a “reading mode” (the Kobo has that) could give you up to 17 hours of battery charge life, when you are just reading. It sounds like 11 hours is more typical
- Better outdoor viewing…not quite sure how that will work technically. Apparently, the colors will adjust based on the lighting, which could help
- A new operating system (“Mojito”). This has a lot of things (some will come with a planned update in mid-November, but here is one big one:
- Yes, we’ll get some sort of improved Collections which work across devices. Will this only work on the new Fires? Probably not
- Extended printing support!
- The Fires will finally work well with many more business systems (“Enterprise”), including VPNs and Intranets
- Quick Switch…it doesn’t look like you’ll be multi-tasking two programs on the same screen at the same time, but you’ll be able to more easily switch between two
- “Fling” video to certain TVs!
- Mirror your tablet to certain TVs…that could be really cool! I do that sometimes with an HDMI cable, but this will be wireless!
- If you go with 4G, you can choose AT&T or Verizon
I could go on, but let me quickly mention the differences between some of the models:
The $139 one doesn’t have as nice of a screen…and has no cameras. It also doesn’t get the Mayday live support option.
The KDX 7″ has a front-facing camera, as does the less expensive of the 8.9″ models.
The top of the line 8.9″ KDX has a front-facing camera and an 8 MP rear-facing camera…which is why I might have to think about that one. The screen is 2560 by 1600 (339 ppi), the best in the bunch.
I think you get all the cool new features with the one I got (except for the rear-facing camera), and then you can go for a bigger screen if you want.
One last thing for now: Amazon has set up a special
page, and they’ve made some real improvements. Even the $139 model has text-to-speech, but they’ve also improved things for those with hearing challenges (an icon will tell us when closed captioning is available, and you can switch to mono sound…important if you only have hearing in one ear).
My quick assessment? Amazon knocked it out of the park with these new Kindle Fires! The prices are still low, and there are so many features people have wanted! The Fire is moving out of its beginnings as an entertainment device into a full-fledged necessity (for many).
We trailblazers can now take a bow as the mainstream comes to join us on what was once the frontier.
Oh, I know…there could always be more (I’m not seeing anything about speech recognition)…but seriously, at this price, there is enough. ;)
Interesting that they didn’t do a “coming out party” event…
Don’t wait to order! These could sell out…
Update: I thought about it, and did go ahead and pre-order one of their origami covers. At about $50, it’s the most I’ve ever paid for a Kindle cover, but I think people will want to get my opinion on it. It’s autosleep/wake (a feature I like very much on my current cover), slim fitting, and, well, gadgety. It creates both a landscape and portrait orientation stand, which is nice. One key feature for me: you have an option of leather (which we don’t use in my family) or polyurethane.
Here’s the page with the covers:
I figured it might sell out…and did go with purple, which I’ve had before (helps to color code the Kindles in our house, as to which is each person’s…and I can see the color well enough). I went with this one, personally:
Note: the new Kindle Fires are different dimensions from the old ones, and your old cover won’t fit. You might be able to make due (I’d have to compare the dimensions more carefully), and a sleeve or pouch style carrier you got for your old one is probably still okay…those tend to fit loosely. I’ll double-check on that, though.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.