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Amazon Kindle Fire HD Launches to Compete with Apple’s iPad

by on September 6th, 2012

Today at Amazon’s media event, the company announced a few new products, with the most notable one the Kindle Fire HD set to take on Apple’s iPad.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the models and specs:

  • 7″ Kindle Fire HD (starts at $199 US): 1280×800 HD display, WiFi, Dolby audio, 16GB/32GB models, Bluetooth, HDMI, 11 hour battery life, front-facing HD camera
  • 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD (starts at $299 US): Same as above, but with 1920×1200 HD 254 pp display, 16GB/32GB/64GB storage options
  • 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD 4G, (starts at $499): 4G LTE + $49.99/year LTE data package (250MB/month; 20GB Amazon Cloud storage included), 32GB/64GB storage options

Latest generation Kindle Fire drops to $159, but with a faster processor, 2x memory, longer battery life.

What is interesting is how Amazon makes comparisons to Apple’s iPad in its press release. In particular, they note their new singular touch sensor/LCD panel now reduces “glare by 25% relative to the latest generation iPad.” When talking about their new auto-switching dual-band WiFi (2.4GHz and 5GHz), they note they are the first to implement this into a tablet and the speed increases are “40% faster throughput compared to the latest generation iPad.”

Even during their presentation, they make some clear comparisons to the 4G/LTE iPad (via The Verge):

Amazon’s presentation seemed to be pretty polished and straight up. They announced new products, told customers their aggressive prices, and pre-orders started today with ship dates set for next week for the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD and the 8.9-inch models to start in mid-November.

Even though these are US-only models in terms of accessing Amazon’s content ecosystem, it is great for consumers as it suddenly launches a tablet price war, putting pressure on Apple and Google’s Nexus 7?

Now, excuse me as I try to get my hands on the newly announced Kindle Paperwhite.

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