New Kindle Fire Tablets announced: Kindle Fire HDX

New Kindle Fire Tablets announced: Kindle Fire HDX

Kaboom!

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. 🙂

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-mediaHome

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.

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:

CLOUD COLLECTIONS!

  • 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

Accessibility for Kindle Fire

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:

Kindle Origami 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:

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX Standing Polyurethane Origami Case (will only fit Kindle Fire HDX 7″), Purple

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.

23 Responses to “New Kindle Fire Tablets announced: Kindle Fire HDX”

  1. Tom Madsen Says:

    Hi Bufo, I too ordered mine right away last night. I originally ordered the 16g for the same reason. I am fully immersed in the Amazon eco system. I later changed that to the 64g because of the ability to download prime video. I thought with travel, and all the shows my daughter enjoys it would be nice for road trips.

    I like the 7″ size very pocketable. Not crazy about the cover nor the price. So I’ll hold off on the origami. The colors too, can you just keep a brown or tan? 🙂 I thought you would be pleased they offer a non leather version.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Tom!

      Even with downloading videos now, 16GB has been enough for me on my current Fire. That’s good for a couple of full length movies, at least. That covers me for transcontinental plane trips…unless you have very long road trips or keep a lot of other stuff on your Kindle Fire, I think (for me, anyway), the 16GB would work.

      Now, if someone is going to be outside of wi-fi (or 4G, if they opt for that) for days, then I could see either a larger onboard memory or a “wi-drive” type of additional storage.

      You’re right…at least $45 is a lot of money for me for a cover. I’ve typically paid more like $10, and been satisfied. 🙂

      Kindle Origami Covers

      I’ll have to consider a cover…didn’t do that last night.

      Oh, and I’m really touched that you remembered the non-leather preference for us. 🙂

      Update: hmm…the cheapest cover I see right now for the HDX 7″ is $28. I’ll wait a little bit and see what happens.

      The one it looks like I would get of the origami covers

      Amazon Kindle Fire HDX Standing Polyurethane Origami Case (will only fit Kindle Fire HDX 7″), Purple

      comes in pink, purple, slate grey, citron, and mineral black, based on the color descriptions. I can’t really tell what citron is… 🙂

      Update: actually, I’ve rethought it, and went ahead and pre-ordered the case above. I think enough people will want to know about it that I should try it out. Yeah, that’s why. 😉

  2. jjhitt Says:

    Pretty impressed, but the first thing on my wish list isn’t there: a way to connect a keyboard.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, jjhitt!

      Well, it might depend on your definition of “attach”, but you can use a Bluetooth keyboard (which “attaches” wirelessly). I do that with my current Kindle Fire, and find it works quite well.

      Is there some reason Bluetooth doesn’t serve your purposes? I’m curious…

  3. Phink Says:

    I noticed that the $50 deal for AT&T 4G for the first year is gone. Or did I miss it somehow? I ordered the 7″ but will have to cancel it before it ships if I do not sell my current one. I just can’t justify having them both. I thought I better order in case they sell out, especially since cancelling is just a click away. I did not order the case because of the price. I will wait and see what Bufo has to say about it. Besides, it’s normal to be able to get cases (maybe not as good but good enough for me) from 3rd party’s for under $15.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Phink!

      Yes, I think that deal is gone…it was an introductory tying.

      I’ve typically gone with 3rd party cases, as you have, but I decided it was worth testing this one for people.

  4. loneybaloney Says:

    ordered mine! thanx for heads up. Could you share which Miracast dongle will work with the new HDX’s? Thanx again.

  5. CJ Allan Says:

    I ordered mine this morning also… my confirmation order says 5:42 AM, so I bet I wasn’t far behind you, Buffo.

    I’d been waiting for this so it didn’t take me long to decide.

    I’d been wanting to order the 8.9″, because I write Kindle tutorials and like to check the formatting… and especially, the presentation of images and photographs, on different size and different aspect ratio screens… but I was holding out, hoping this would happen.

    Since I didn’t spend that money, I kinda figured that was “found money”, so I went ahead and bit the bullet for the 64 GB with no Special Offers, for a total price of $494.

    I’ve recently determined that (for my needs) the 64 GB is just “more comfortable”, and is well worth the additional $50 over the 32 GB.

    The 16 GB is just too little… so it is accurate to think of it as being an additional $50 to get the 64 GB.

    Although I did not mind the Special Offers on my grayscale Kindle Keyboard K3, they had begun to bother me on my Kindle Fire HD 7″, and, since it was only $20 to eliminate the ads, I decided it was worth that $20.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, CJ!

      Depends on your timezone, but this was my confirmation time (Pacific Time):

      Tue, Sep 24, 2013 9:27 pm

      Sounds like you were smart to wait…

  6. jjhitt Says:

    Questions I’m not finding answers to: Will storage be partitioned (as in the past) where apps have to be installed in a small dedicated area. If so, how big?

    Will the OS have calendar services? I saw a mention of Google integration, so the answer may be ‘yes’, In the past, the lack of an internal calendar has caused some apps to work quirkily, if at all.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, jjhitt!

      That was in the distant past. 😉 We haven’t had that partitioning since the first generation…you can fill the whole use space with apps, if you want, I believe.

      There is a calendar app, and has been on each of the Fires. It’s gotten better, but it hasn’t been able to hold a pixel 😉 to my Galaxy S4. Hopefully, it’s improved. For one thing, it was a one-way street, I think…I could see appointments I made on my desktop on my Fire, but if I made changes on the Fire, I don’t think it would sync to the desktop. Never tested that thoroughly, though…perhaps I should. 🙂

      • jjhitt Says:

        I suspect it will fail. Some apps (like CalenGoo) recreate the services that Amazon chopped out of generic Android, but most app developers treat this as reinventing the wheel and expect the OS to provide them.

        By services I mean, not an app, but the ability for other apps to access and manipulate the device’s calendar. There has never been a really good datebook/planner app for the Fire and the lack of an internal OS level calendar (not an app) is why.

  7. Edward Boyhan Says:

    Since I’m preparing all the tech stuff for my 50th HS reunion next week, I totally missed the Amazon KFHDX PR’s until a few hours ago. I had thought that this might be the week they would go with the new KF’s, and I also thought they would make some aggressive pricing moves.

    I must say that $139 for a 7″ KFHD leaves me gobsmmacked — way to go Amazon! 😀

    The biggest news for me is Cloud Collections (Hooray!!!). The new KFHDX’s will debut quickly with KFOS 3.0, but much of the really neat stuff (like cloud collections) is in KFOS 3.1 which won’t be available until mid-November, but I’m guessing that that version should work on 2nd gen as well as 3rd gen KF’s (otherwise cloud collections won’t be all that useful)

    I priced out a KFHDX89 with 32 GB for $429, but I’m not sure I’ll pull the trigger on it (although coming as it will on Nov 7 — one day before my birthday — it would make a nice BD present :grin).

    On Monday of this week I watched the MS 2nd gen Surface announcement event, and I went ahead and pre-ordered a Surface 2 with 64GB (probably about equivalent to a 32 GB KF) with a Touch Cover 2 keyboard for $712. At first blush it appears that MS pricing is way out of whack, but the $712 includes a year of SKYPE and Boingo WiFi, and 2 years of 200 GB SkyDrive storage — those two sell for $320. So in a sense the Surface 2 is only costing $392.

    Still the crosstown pricing comparisons between Amazon and MS are interesting. MS is already being castigated for being overpriced. They need (IMO) to take a page out of Amazon’s playbook. They desperately need to buy market share not profits

  8. “Mayday? I’m bored…” | I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] newly announced Kindle Fire HDX line is going to have a new “Mayday” button, which Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has called the […]

  9. D. Knight Says:

    Bufo, I have a question and I hope you can answer it. I’m not very clear on how this could connect to a TV (other than buying a Miracast device that is).

    Someone in one of the forums mentioned you could use a $40 Roku box to connect, but I don’t see how that would work. Do you know? Can you really connect the new HDX to a TV through a Roku (cheap or otherwise)?

    Thanks,
    Doris

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Doris!

      You can’t currently do Miracast through a Roku, unfortunately. It was announced that it would be coming, oh, six months ago or so, and they just announced new hardware…but no Miracast yet.

      To confirm, I just chatted with their Customer Service:

      ===

      Adam
      Hello Bufo Calvin. How may I help you?

      Bufo Calvin
      Do any of the current Roku devices have Miracast capability? If not, is there a timeline? I’ve read some news stories that it was coming.

      Adam
      Let me help you with that, Bufo. Please give me one minute.

      The Miracast is still not available on Roku. We do not have the exact time when it will be made available on Roku.

      Bufo Calvin
      Thank you, I appreciate the clarification. I am one of what I suspect are many who ordered the new Kindle Fire HDX, which will use Miracast. I love my Roku, but might upgrade to a newer model when Miracast becomes available.

      You rated our customer service as good.
      Adam
      Sure, Bufo. For more information do visit our website and blog regarding any updates on Roku. Is there anything else I can help you with?

      Bufo Calvin
      No, that was it…thanks again!

      Adam
      Welcome, Bufo. Thank you for contacting Roku Support via Live Chat.

      Have a wonderful day, Bufo.

      Bufo Calvin
      You, too! Bye.

      ===

      I’m not finding a good answer for Miracast for the Kindle Fire yet. I’m seeing things in the fifty to one hundred dollar range, but none of them have struck me as sounding like the right thing yet.

      • Edward Boyhan Says:

        Most TV’s don’t have miracast — neither of my Samsung LED TV’s (both bought in the last two years) have it, and their app support is very Amazon unfriendly.

        Amazon themselves are rumored to be working on some kind of TV-attachable device (some rumors say we’ll even see it this holiday season). If so, that would make the whole “fling” & KFOS 3.1 thing in mid-November more interesting.

        I’m beginning to wonder whether Amazon’s approach to new device announcements via PR’s at zero dark thirty right after a big competitor’s splashy announcement might be brilliance personified? (:grin)

        Now what other big competitor announcement events are coming up that Amazon might “sabotage” …? 😀

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Edward!

        Excellent point! If Amazon released an inexpensive Miracast stick (or something similar), it would be a real threat to many other devices, including Chromecast (which, as I recently noted, was outselling Kindles…at Amazon) and Roku (which I like very much).

        It would make a huge difference if it was within a month of the arrival of the Kindle Fire HDXs in people’s homes…they’ll be looking for something.

        A sub $50 price would probably make it very popular…I’m picturing an HDMI stick with Miracast, which would then work with many, many TVs (one out of two in our house, but one of ours is ancient in TV years).

  10. Ready for a newer Kindle? Amazon’s trade-in program | I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] Amazon has recently released a new Kindle Paperwhite, and has announced the third generation of Kindle Fires, including the Kindle HDX line. […]

  11. Anthony Alesi Says:

    I do not have a WiFi internet connection. Can I print with the blue tooth or directly to my printer with the fire 7 hdx? Cloud, e-mail etc is out of the question.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Anthony!

      Would your plan be to download content using your computer and transfer them using USB?

      What would you be wanting to print?

      Generally, a Kindle wouldn’t host a printer through a wired connection. Bluetooth could be possible, using the Kindle as a drive attached to your computer would be another way to go…again, depending on the type of file.

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