Just a week before the expected launch of Apple’s new iPhone, Amazon has announced the launch of its latest range of Kindle Fire tablet and Kindle e-reader.
The world’s largest e-tailer has unveiled a 7 inch and an 8.9 inch variant of Kindle Fire HD to succeed its already popular Kindle Fire tablet. Adding to the successful lineage of e-readers, the company also lifted the lid on a brand new 6 inch Kindle Paperwhite e-reader.
The 7 inch Kindle Fire HD is priced at $199 and is powered by a 1.2 GHz dual core processor with Imagination PowerVR 3D graphics core. The display is 1280×800 high definition LCD with a 10 point multi touch capacitive touchscreen. The tablet has Dolby audio and dual-antenna Wi-Fi. Amazon has claimed that Kindle Fire HD is the world’s first tablet with dual-antenna Wi-Fi, delivering 40% faster download speeds as compared to other tablets including iPad 3.
Kindle Fire HD’s differences from its predecessor go beyond just an HD display. The new model has Dolby audio, dual-antenna Wi-Fi, 16/32 GB storage as compared to 8 GB, increased battery life and a better multi-point touchscreen among other improvements.
At $299, the 8.9 inch Kindle Fire HD is more expensive but is also more powerful and packs a solid punch with its display. The tablet has a 1920×1200 HD LCD display along with a touchscreen similar to its 7 inch counterpart. It also has a faster 1.5 GHz dual core processor. Both the Kindle Fire HD tablets have a 16 GB and 32 GB model.
Along with additions to its tablet family, Amazon also unveiled Kindle Paperwhite. The dedicated e-reader has a built-in white light that promises the ‘perfect reading experience’ indoors and outdoors in any light environment. The e-reader has a sharper display and a claimed battery life of up to 2 months for at least 30 minutes of reading time daily. Unlike its predecessors, the Kindle Paperwhite has touchscreen navigation.
Amazon has also lured tablet fans with innovative services like X-Ray and Whispersync for Voice.
With X-Ray, users can simply tap on the tab’s screen while watching a movie to access information about the actors in the current shot, straight from the IMDb database, without leaving the movie. Whispersync for Voice allows users to switch between books and audio books without having to figure out where they stopped reading. The transition is seamless.
iPad 3’s 2048×1536 Retina Display outnumbers the Fire HD 8.9 inch tablet’s 1920×1200 display. iPad 3 has Apple’s trademark 5MP iSight rear camera and a front camera. Kindle Fire HD though lacks a rear camera.
Apple fans have often said that no other gadget can even come close in replicating the interactivity and the fluidness of the iPad’s touchscreen.
The iPad also hosts Apple’s robust iOS while the Kindle Fire HD runs on the android platform. In McAfee’s latest Threats Report, it was noted that almost all the mobile malware attacks across the world are directed towards the android platform.
Kindle Fire HD’s price in USD is $199 for the 7 inch version and $299 for the 8.9 inch version.
In India, the price of iPad 3 starts from approximately Rs. 30,000 for 16 GB + Wi-Fi. The $299 price tag for Kindle Fire HD’s 8.9 inch version is just a tad higher than half of iPad 3’s cost. While Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD trumps iPad 3 purely on price, commentators and gadget fans know all but too well that Apple has never made a cheaper price tag its USP.
Google’s highly awaited tab Nexus 7 is expected to be priced in the sub Rs. 15,000 range when it is released in India. Some e-tailers are currently sourcing US versions and selling it with price tags exceeding Rs. 16,000.
Like Kindle Fire HD’s smaller version, Nexus 7 has a 7 inch 1280×800 HD display. Google’s tablet is powered by a 1.2 GHz quad core processor and has 8/16 GB storage space, as opposed to 16 and 32 GB variants for Kindle Fire HD.
Amazon’s tablet has a built-in HDMI out port, dual-antenna Wi-Fi and stereo speakers, all of which the Nexus 7 does not have.
Both tablets run on android but Kindle Fire HD’s focus will be on Amazon’s own content, app store and related services. Nexus 7, as Google calls it, ‘was made for Google Play’.
According to current US prices, both are similarly priced. Amazon’s tablet certainly has features that remain absent from Nexus 7’s tech profile.
At the end day, popularity will ultimately be driven by user experience and personal taste.