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Amazon announces an all-new tablet lineup

Microsoft isn't the only company showing off fresh, new tablets this week. Amazon has also managed to sneak in with a fresh tablet lineup of its own.
 
First up is the refreshed 7" Kindle Fire HD. The latest Kindle Fire HD has slimmed down a tad, but still includes a 1280x800 display, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, dual stereo speakers, and dual-band Wi-Fi. Best of all, the new tablet is priced at a low $139.
 
However, the big news comes in the form of two new Kindle Fire HDX family, which is available in both 7" (1920x1200) and 8.9" (2560x1600) models. Both tablets feature a 2.2GHz, quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM (Amazon claims a 3x boost in CPU performance compared to the previous generation Kindle Fire HD). Graphics duties are handled by an Adreno 330 GPU, which promises a 4x performance boost over the previous generation.

All Kindle Fire HDX tablets will be available in capacities of 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB.


Kindle Fire HDX family
 
In addition, both tablets feature up to 11 hours of runtime in "mixed use" scenarios and up to 17 hours when reading only eBooks.
 
Other features include an 8MP rear-facing camera that can capture 1080p video for the 8.9" model (the 7" model makes do with just a front-facing camera) and optional LTE connectivity. In addition, both new Kindle Fire HDX tablets (and the refreshed Kindle Fire HD) run Amazon's Fire OS 3.0 "Mojito" which is based on a fork of Android 4.2.
 
“Fire OS includes the core email and productivity apps, but we take a different approach when it comes to content,” said Dave Limp, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “Our content-first approach shapes the design of Fire OS—the home screen makes the most recent content items available instantly on the Carousel or Grid and customers can move between their media libraries both on the device and in the cloud with a simple tap. We’ve also deeply integrated Amazon services directly into Mojito, such as the Mayday button, Second Screen, X-Ray for Movies & TV shows, and now X-Ray for Music.”
 
However, perhaps the most interesting new feature include on the new Kindle Fire HDX tablets is called "Mayday". Mayday allows you to tap a button -- when you need help figuring out how to accomplish something on your tablet -- and be connected within 15 seconds to a real live human being that you can actually see (they won't be able to see you, thank goodness). The service advisor will then be able to walk you through features on your device or solve a issue by drawing on your screen or take complete control of your tablet. You can see a video of Mayday in action here:
 

Amazon says that Mayday will be available 24-7-365 and will be completely free.

The 7" and 8.9" Kindle Fire HDX tablets are available to pre-order today starting at $229 and $379 respectively. Add $100 to each of those figures if you want LTE connectivity (AT&T or Verizon). Also, add $40 for each storage capacity upgrade on the 7" Kindle Fire HDX and $50 for the 8.9" Kindle Fire HDX.

Sources: Amazon [1], [2], [3]





"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer



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