Amazon announced a larger, high-definition Kindle Firealong with some more new gadgets at an event Thursday.
The company showed off a new Kindle Fire HD with 8.9-inch screen and 4G data capabilities at a price starting at $499. The new, larger tablet features a 1900×1200 HD display with polarizing filter and anti-glare technology for viewing at any angle and in any lighting. It comes packed with a high performance 1.5Ghz dual-core processor with Imagination PowerVR 3D graphics core. It also includes Dolby audio and dual stereo speakers.
Along with a Kindle Fire HD 8.9 4G comes 4G data. Amazon is selling 250 MB of data a month for 12 months for a one-time fee of $49.99. The 32 GB version of the 4G Kindle will set consumers back $499. It also comes in a 64 GB version for $599.
The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 also comes in a WiFi only model that features all of the same specs as the 4G version minus the 4G coverage. It comes in a 16 GB version for $299 or 32 GB for $369.
Amazon is also releasing an updated version of their 7-inch tablet for $199. The Kindle Fire HD features improved battery life and runs 40 percent faster than the previous Kindle Fire.
The tablet comes with a 1280×800 HD screen and 1.2Ghz dual-core processor with Imagination PowerVR 3D graphics core. It will also come packed with Dolby audio and dual-driver stereo speakers. The Kindle Fire HD will sell for $199 for a 16 GB model and $249 for a 32 GB version.
All Kindle tablets are still running on a modified version of Android. Amazon has added interesting new features for Kindle users. Parents can set daily screen limits to make sure children are not using the tablet too long each day.
The company also introduced new e-readers. The Kindle Paperwhite and Paperwhite 3G add 62 percent more pixels and increased contrast by 25 percent compared to the Kindle Touch. They will feature a touchscreen and be lit with fiber-optic lighting that has been in development for four years. Amazon says the battery can last up to 8 weeks even with the light on.
The Kindle Paperwhite 3G includes 3G coverage at no cost. Coverage works globally. It also contains WiFi built in. The advanced e-reader has 6 font styles and 8 adjustable font sizes. It will hold up to 1,100 books. The Kindle Paperwhite 3G comes with a price tag starting at $179.
A WiFi only version is also available with the same specs starting at $119.
The regular old Kindle has also been updated with improved fonts and 15 percent faster page turns. The WiFi only Kindle will sell for $69.
The Kindle Fire released last year to lukewarm reviews and commercial success. Consumers viewed the tablet as a much cheaper alternative to the $499 iPad. By offering multiple versions of the Kindle Fire, Amazon is keeping the niche it found with the smaller price while also appealing to tech nerds.
Amazon is offering the new Kindle tablets and e-readers for pre-order now. The Paperwhite models are expected to ship on October 1. The 7-inch Kindle Fire HD will begin shipping on September 14 with the larger versions being released on November 20.