Amazon has introduced a trio of new tablets, designed to appeal to fans of ebooks. These will run the latest version of the Fire OS, dubbed “Sangria,” while Amazon is also introducing new low-cost ereaders.
First up is an updated version of the Fire HDX 8.9, the most powerful of Amazon’s new lineup of slates. The device runs on a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor, which Amazon claims has a 70% faster GPU than the previous Fire HDX model. It sports an 8.9-inch display with 339 ppi resolution and Dolby Atmos audio, designed to entice consumers who use their tablets as an entertainment device.
This tablet also sports a front-facing HD camera and 8MP rear-facing camera, capable of shooting 1080p video. The device has a micro-USB port for charging, which can be transformed to an HDMI, VGA, or USB port via SlimPort adaptors.
Perhaps the most intriguing accessory for the Fire HDX 8.9 is the Fire keyboard, which adds a trackpad to the standard tablet keyboard design.
The Fire HDX 8.9 is available for pre-order now at a starting price of $379. The Fire Keyboard is priced at $59.99.
More Amazon Options
Amazon also announced the latest-generation Fire HD tablet, which its touting as the most powerful tablet under $100. This will be available with either a 6-inch or 7-inch display with multiple color options and is priced at $99 and $139, respectively. The device is also available for pre-order now and will begin shipping in October.
The Fire HD runs on a 1.5GHz quad-core processor and sports Dolby Digital Plus Audio. The 6-inch model has a 252 ppi resolution while the 7-inch claims a 216 ppi resolution. Both models have a Gorilla Glass display and come equipped with front and rear-facing cameras, the latter of which can shoot 1080p HD video.
Finally, Amazon has also introduced the Fire HD Kids Edition, a childproof model that comes with a two-year warrantee and a year subscription to Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, which gives parents access to extensive parental controls and the ability to limit screen time. The Kids Edition tablet runs on a quad-core processor with HD display and comes equipped with rear and front-facing cameras.
The Fire HD Kids Edition is available in either a 6-inch or 7-inch model, and is priced at $149 and $189 respectively. The tablet is available for pre-order now.
Fire OS 4 “Sangria”
Each of Amazon’s trio of new tablets will run the Fire OS 4 operating system, which is essentially a skin over Android 4.4 KitKat. This Amazon-specific version packs quite a few features, many of which are designed to make the tablet easier to share among a family.
Each family member can have his or her own profile on the device, including social networking apps, email and settings, and members of the family can share things like movies and books through Family Library.
Family Library links the Amazon account of various members to content either on a single Fire tablet, or across multiple devices including Kindle ereaders, the Fire Phone and Fire TV, or on other popular devices via the Kindle, Audible and Amazon Instant Video apps.
Other features include Firefly, a text and audio recognition software, on-device tech support and WPS, an Android Office app, pre-loaded on the device.
New Ereaders Too
In addition to the trio of tablets, Amazon also introduced two new dedicated ereading devices to the Kindle line.
The Kindle Voyage, priced at $199, features a redesign, making the device thinner and lighter. It also offers a next-generation PaperWhite display, an adaptive front-light that automatically adjusts the brightness, and a new sensor under the bezel, which allows users to turn the page without reaching out to touch the display. The Kindle Voyage also comes equipped with 3G cellular-wireless data access, which Amazon will pay for.
Amazon also announced the next-generation basic Kindle model, priced at $79, which the company claims has a 20% faster processor and twice the storage of its precessessor. The newest Kindle model also features a touch interface.
Both devices are available for pre-order now and will start shipping in October.