Amazon has unveiled six new tablets and e-readers to consumers, trying to come up with cheaper and more enticing devices for consumers in order to sell more books, movies and TV shows. Thus, the company is introducing two new e-readers, two new updates to the Kindle Fire tablet line, a kid-focused version of the Kindle Fire and a new tablet for power-users. All these new devices are already available for pre-order and they should ship to consumers sometime in October.
The new Kindle Fire tablets
First of all, Amazon has unveiled two new Kindle Fire HD tablets – a 7-inch model for $139 and a smaller 6-inch model for only $99. At this size, this device finds itself the boundary between phablets and small tablets. Nonetheless, it comes with a killer price.
Both tablets come in blue, bright green, magenta, black, and white colors, so they will appeal to those looking for those features. As expected, the new tabletshave a better display than their predecessor, with brighter screens and more vivid colors. The smaller 6-inch version comes with an improved resolution – 252 pixels per inch compared to 216 pixels per inch.
The tablets’ screens are Gorilla glass, which should ensure some resistance to scratches or cracks. They are also water resistant, but not actually waterproof. The speakers on the new tablets have been improved, as well, as they’re much louder and clearer now; perhaps the Dolby Digital Plus audio technology is to be ‘blamed’ for that, as well.
The new tablets have a quad-core processor and a battery that will last up to 8 hours with a combined use of reading, watching videos, and listening to music. The tablets are running an updated version of Amazon’s operating-system, a forked version of Android KitKat that the company is calling Fire OS 4 “Sangria.” The latest software comes with Family Library which lets family members easily share content like books, movies, and games, even if they use different Amazon accounts.
These two new versions have front and rear facing cameras, and there’s free, unlimited cloud storage so you can take as many pictures as you want to. There’s also a “Kids Edition” of both tablets, with the same specs and features but for an extra $50, there’s special childproof case, a two-year warranty and a free year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited.
Amazon has also upgraded the top-of-the-line Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 with more speed and better sound. It comes with a new processor, sound engine, and keyboard accessory. Amazon is putting a big focus on software, as always and adds a Windows virtualization app, a new app suite for working with Office documents, the Firefly feature from Amazon’s smartphone, and the instant caching and video streaming feature Amazon introduced with the Fire TV set top box.
The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 comes with a new, 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, which has a 70 percent faster graphics chip than last year’s model. There’s a new Dolby Atmos sound engine, which is supposed to enhance and improve the sound quality when you wear headphones. The display is the same as last year’s model and other features of the HDX’s hardware are – 12 hour battery life, 802.11ac Wi-Fi with four times the peak bandwidth support of last year, and a new Origami Cover.
The new Kindle eReaders
eReaders aren’t dead, so if you’re looking to buy one yourself, you definitely need to check out Amazon’s new products. Like Engadget has recently put it, Amazon’s new $200 Kindle Voyage is ‘the Rolls-Royce of e-readers‘, so you’ll probably have an interest in that first.
The Kindle Voyage is touted as premium e-reader and, mixing great hardware and software. The eReader doesn’t have a raised bezel here and the materials used are more luxurious, according to early reviewers. It comes with a next-generation Paperwhite display that packs 300 pixels per inch in a 6-inch panel which according to some folks who had the chance to play around with it, is best screen on an e-reader.
The Voyage is also incredibly thin and light, at just 7.6mm, which means it’s only 0.1mm thicker than an iPad Air. It also comes with an Origami cover that can also act as a stand for your Kindle.
The Kindle software has been improved, as X-Ray has two new modes: an image browser for all your picture-heavy titles, and notable passages for the most important moments in a timeline view.
These new software features will be available to the refreshed Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite as well. The Paperwhite is being updated from 2GB to 4GB of storage and the budget $79 Kindle comes with a new design, a much better processor and twice the storage as before. The Voyage and the new Kindle will start shipping in October and are already available for pre-order.