Amazon's new Kindle Fire HDX tablets are devices for everyone, so one of the new features is an automatic video help system to provide tech support. That and an improved screen and specs should see further growth in Amazon's content empire.
Tablets for Christmas, Again?
With the will-they, won't-they talk of an Amazon smartphone (free or otherwise) now forgotten until 2014, its back to the tablets for the must-have seasonal gift from everyone's favorite online store. Hot on the heels of Microsoft's new Surface 2 models, the new Kindle Fire HDX offers upgraded specs, and a new operating system that adds some useful new consumer-level features.
The all-new models are available with a 7-inch or 8.9-inch HDX adaptive display, this new term means exceptional pixel density, color accuracy, reduced glare, dynamic image contrast, and improved brightness for better viewing, with Wi-Fi and LTE models coming in time for the holiday sales.
Inside beats a quad-core 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 800 processor with an estimated tripling of processor power, 2GB of RAM and around 11 hours of battery life, 17 if you are just reading. Accompanying the pretty screen are dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus audio support. All of that for around a third of the weight of the previous models with gorgeous new styling.
Pricing starts at $229 for a 16GB 7-inch model, available 15 October and $329 for the LTE model, available 14 November. The larger 8.9-inch Wi-Fi version also has an 8-megapixel camera and will retail from $379, available 7 November with the 4G version from $479, in December. Those shopping for a present might find an upgraded Kindle HD with 1.5GHz CPU going for a mere $139.
Showing A Softer Side, Have a Mojito
The new Fire OS 3.0, codenamed Mojito adds a range of new features, across the interface and the Silk browser. Most useful among then for the tecnophobic or merely confused is the Mayday Button, offering free on-device tech support. The software button is built into Quick Settings and when pressed, an Amazon assistant will appear on-screen to help a user through any feature by highlighting on screen what they need to do.
It will also allow downloading of Amazon Prime movies, so you can watch when out of signal range along with a host of other media improvements, including sending content to a second screen. Even business users might fancy a Kindle now as it has some extra enterprise features (in an upcoming 3.1 release). There will be enterprise email support, VPN connections and hardware encryption on the device.
Finally, there's a new Origami cover that folds up and acts as a stand. Check out the video of its neat folding design here. With all that power in the new models, Amazon now has a complete range of tablets and a vast content archive to challenge any rival. Over to Apple for the next-generation iPad to see if it can push the bar higher.