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Amazon has rolled out new 7-inch and 8.9-inch tablets, boasting impressive new screens and software.
While the Kindle Fire line began as a bargain-priced alternative to the then-dominant iPad, it has since become a more diverse family of tablet devices. Amazon’s latest refresh, the Kindle Fire HDX, introduces version 3.0 of the Fire OS platform, as well as numerous hardware improvements in both a 7-inch and an 8.9-inch form factor
Oh, the screen…
At 1920x1200 and 2560x1600 for the 7-inch and 8.9-inch models, respectively, Amazon has substantially bolstered the display quality for its HDX devices. That’s better than 1080p even on the smaller model, for those keeping score at home.
Fire OS 3.0 “Mojito”
Amazon’s Android-based operating system has undergone an overhaul, as well, with the addition of enterprise-focused features like better encryption and email support, enhanced cloud connectivity and more besides.
A powerful Adreno 330, a Snapdragon 800 quad-core, and 2GB of RAM – what’s not to like? The new specs make the HDX competitive with rivals like Samsung’s Galaxy Note line and Google’s Nexus 10.
The new Mayday Button, included as part of Fire OS 3.0, instantly initiates a video call with an Amazon tech support worker, who will help with anything the user needs. Pretty impressive, though we could see it leading to many unintentional moments of comedy.
More features to come
A raft of further updates to the operating system will be made by the time the device ships, as part of Fire OS 3.1, according to Amazon. These will include Second Screen for streaming video to a TV, an easy archiving option for content users wish to store in the cloud, and Kerberos authentication for secure enterprise intranet connectivity.
The 7-inch model of the Kindle Fire HDX will cost $230 ($330 with 4G connectivity), and will ship on October 18 (or Nov. 14 with 4G). The 8.9-incher will sell for $380 ($480) and ship on Nov. 7 (Dec. 10).