Kindle Fire HDX heats up the tablet wars
Amazon on Wednesday unveiled its third generation of Kindle Fire tablets with the moniker "HDX" added to the end. Like the Kindle Fire HD family, Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX comes in two size options, 7 inches and 8.9 inches. Unlike the previous slates, however, the new Kindle Fire HDX tablets are rocking a 2.2GHz Qualcom Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor with 3x the processing power and other tantalizing upgrades.
According to Amazon, these are the only tablets with a processor over 2GHz. They also sport 2GB of RAM (twice as much as before), a new graphics engine (Adreno 330 with 4x the graphics performance of the previous generation Kindle Fire HD), higher resolutions (1920x1200 at 323ppi for the 7-inch model and 2560x1600 at 339 ppi for the 8.9-inch SKU), 100 percent RGB, a new 8MP rear-facing camera on the 8.9-inch model (and a front-facing HD camera on the 7-inch version), and a design that's 34 percent lighter.
"It’s been just two years since we introduced the first Kindle Fire, and the team is innovating at an unbelievable speed," said Jeff Bezos , Amazon.com Founder and CEO. "2.2 GHz processor, 339 ppi display, new 34 percent lighter design, Fire OS 3.0, and new exclusive features like the Mayday button, X-Ray for Music, Second Screen, and Prime Instant Video downloads. We’ve worked hard to pack this much hardware, innovation, and customer obsession into these prices."
The Mayday button Bezos refers to offers users 24/7 access to free tech support. Just tap the button and you'll be connected to a live "Amazon expert" who can help you navigate the Kindle Fire HDX by drawing on the screen. Amazon's goal is to have a response time of 15 seconds or less. It's a genius idea, and to prevent ChatRoulette style shenanigans (and also to preserve user privacy), the rep can't see you, they can only see what's on the tablet's display.
Pricing breaks down as follows for the 7-inch model:
And here's how it breaks down for the 8.9-inch model:
The 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX is available to pre-order today and will begin shipping October 18 (4G LTE models will ship November 14); the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDX is also available to pre-order with shipping scheduled for November 7 (4G LTE will ship December 10).