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Amazon Reveals Kindle Fire HD, Paperwhite, Tons More

By - Source: Gizmodo | B 29 comments

Amazon revealed two Kindle Fire HD tablets, the Kindle Paperwhite e-reader, and various new services including a 4G LTE package. Nope, no Amazon phone today.

As expected, Amazon revealed its new Kindle products and services during a press event in Santa Monica Thursday afternoon. For those looking for hear more about the rumored Amazon smartphone, you'll have to wait for another event, as the company focused on its e-reader and tablet line, and a few new services. If anything, Amazon's new 4G LTE package paves the way for a future Kindle-branded smartphone.

For starters, Amazon's Jeff Bezos introduced the Kindle Paperwhite, a new frontlit Kindle e-reader:

Kindle Paperwhite
Pre-order today – ships October 1st
Wi-Fi Only: $119 USD
Wi-Fi / 3G: $179 USD

- 25-percent more contrast with 212 ppi
- 62-percent more pixels than previous model
- Capacitive, frontlit display – light travels down to the screen like ambient light
- Uses "patented nanoimprinted light guide" and "revolutionary display stack"
- 8 weeks of battery life with light on
- 9.1-mm thin, 7.5 ounces
- Interface similar to Kindle Fire's UI
- Light can be easily adjusted on any page
- "Time to Read" shows how much time is left to read a chapter, a book and more
- 3G service will be provided free

The official announcement can be read here.

He next showed an improved version of the Kindle e-reader, and the [popular 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet:

Revamped Kindle
Pre-order today – ships September 14
$69 USD

- Black casing
- Crisper screen

Revamped 7-inch Kindle Fire
Pre-order today – ships September 14
$159 USD

- Double the RAM
- 40-percent faster
- Longer battery life

Finally he got to the meat of the show: the highly-rumored Kindle Fire HD. There will be three in all: a 7-inch 16 GB model, an 8.9-inch 16 GB model, and an 8.9-inch 32 GB 4G LTE model:

Kindle Fire HD
Pre-order now
7-inch Wi-Fi only version (16 GB): $199 USD – ships September 14
8.9-inch Wi-Fi only version (16 GB): $299 USD – ships November 20
8.9-inch 4G LTE version (32 GB): $499 USD

- 8.8-mm thin, 20 ounces
- IPS display, 254 ppi, 1920 x 1200 resolution (8.9-inch)
- IPS display with 1280 x 800 resolution (7-inch)
- HDMI output
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Touch sensor on top of display is laminated with Advanced True Wide polarizing filter, reducing glare by 25-percent
- TI OMAP4470 SoC, Imagination SGX544 graphics engine
- Two speakers on each end
- The first tablet to feature Dolby Digital Plus
- Dual band Wi-Fi (MIMO) supporting both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands
- Front-facing HD camera supported by Skype
- New email app
  ** world-class Exchange support
  ** faster access to new email
  ** improved synch reliability
  ** synch contacts & calendars
  ** supports Gmail, Hotmail & Yahoo
- Custom Facebook app
- Support for multiple profiles

Now here's the supporting wireless service for the 4G LTE model:

Amazon 4G LTE Package
- $49.99 USD per year
- 250 MB per month
- 20 GB of cloud storage
- $10 Appstore credit

In addition to the devices, Amazon also revealed a batch of new services mostly focused on the new Kindle Fire HD tablets:

Whispersync for Voice (press release)
- 100,000 Audiobooks will be added
- Allows customers to synchronize their Kindle books with professionally-narrated audiobooks—customers can start reading a book on Kindle Fire and seamlessly switch to listening to the companion audiobook, picking up exactly where they left off

Immersion Reading (press release)
- Improve understanding with dual-sensory reading
- Listen to professional narration while you read
- Synchronized real-time highlights

Whispersync for Games
- Syncs a customer’s place in the game and saves unlocked levels, so even if they get a new device, the progress is backed up in the cloud.

X-Ray for Books
- With a single tap, readers can see all the passages across a book that mention ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places or topics that interest them, as well as more detailed descriptions from Wikipedia and Shelfari, Amazon’s community-powered encyclopedia for book lovers.

X-Ray for Movies (press release)
- Thanks to IMDb, customers can look up any actor in the scene or movie, see what other movies they have been in, and view photos, biographies and more
- Feature pops up when movie is paused

X-Ray for Textbooks
- A smart glossary to help students learn, embedded into each page
- Offers information pulled from YouTube, Wikipedia, etc

Kindle Free Time
- Allows parents to set separate time limits for kids, depending on content
- Parents select all of the content their kids can see and kids can’t exit FreeTime without a password
- Will be available for free on all of the new Kindle Fire devices starting in the coming weeks

Kindle Serials (press release)
- One $1.99 payment for the entire collection
- Can be read in installments

The official, full-blown announcement for the Kindle Fire HD tablets and related services can be accessed here. Also during the press event, Bezos pointed out just how awesome Amazon is with authors:

Kindle Direct Publishing
- Authors can publish in hours
- Authors publish for free
- Authors keep their copyrights
- Authors publish on the schedule
- Authors can distribute globally
- Authors get royalties of 70-percent

Kindle Singles
- 3.5 million sold
- 35 have reached the Kindle Top 50
- Authors have included Stephen King, Lee Child, Karin Slaughter

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  • 2 Hide
    bavman , September 7, 2012 12:34 AM
    This brought a tear of happiness to my eye. Its nice to finally see some android tablets coming out with nice screen resolution.
  • 3 Hide
    buckcm , September 7, 2012 12:34 AM
    It's too bad these devices have awful software on them. Amazon made good changes with the update, but the OS is terrible. Running an Amazon app covering Android is pretty lame. It's possible to root it and use ICS, but that comes at the cost of losing the Amazon exclusives.
  • 4 Hide
    slabbo , September 7, 2012 12:38 AM
    where does it say that it's only tied to AT&T? I think i missed reading that on this.
  • Display all 29 comments.
  • 7 Hide
    joytech22 , September 7, 2012 12:39 AM
    bavmanThis brought a tear of happiness to my eye. Its nice to finally see some android tablets coming out with nice screen resolution.


    Except everything your familiar with regarding Android will pretty much be non-existent on this tablet.
    HOPEFULLY there will be custom ROM's available for this tablet days or weeks of release.


    Either way I'll eventually be getting one because damn.. Thats a mighty nice screen, speaker set, specs and price.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , September 7, 2012 1:04 AM
    This would have been perfect if only it had an MicroSD slot, especially the Wifi 9" model.
  • -9 Hide
    devotiecon , September 7, 2012 1:05 AM
    paperwhite? more like paperweight loooooooooooooooooooooool
  • -6 Hide
    obsama1 , September 7, 2012 1:05 AM
    Don't forget that they're ad-supported!
  • 3 Hide
    joytech22 , September 7, 2012 1:29 AM
    obsama1Don't forget that they're ad-supported!


    No.. There are ad supported versions, but not all of them are add supported.
    I own a non add supported Kindle Keyboard 3G, and it's wonderful.
  • -1 Hide
    darkchazz , September 7, 2012 1:52 AM
    SGX544 seems pretty good.
    Better than that Tegra 3 Geforce rubbish that lags in almost all intensive games.
  • 0 Hide
    boiler1990 , September 7, 2012 2:30 AM
    AT&T's data service isn't bad (but the big 'if' is coverage); I used my LTE iPad in DC and the coverage is solid and I got amazing speeds.

    I just don't think 250MB/month will be enough for anybody other than the average person checking email - it limits what you can really do with the tablet. I had the 3GB/mo plan and streamed Pandora at work (9 hrs/day, 5 days/wk) for a whole month and hit about 2.5-2.75GB.
  • 1 Hide
    bustapr , September 7, 2012 2:37 AM
    i dont really care for a tablet, but damn I am thankful that amazon is selling them as cheap tablets/ereaders. thanks to this, the actual kindle ereader prices are so low now. I mean the new kindle paperwhite is just $119, and the revamped regular kindle(without backlight) is just $69. That is insane! These ARE however the ad based prices. But that isnt a bad thing because the ads are ONLY on screensaver and on the homepage as a small strip on bottom of screen, no distraction at all while reading. definitely going to buy the paperwhite.
  • 0 Hide
    thrakazog , September 7, 2012 4:55 AM
    I think you'll find a lot of people will be upset upon finding out that all the new kindle fires are ad-supported (both the HD models and the normal one). Having ads on both the lock screen and on the home screen will be enough to not only convince many people to not consider it right off the bat, but also will probably be the center of more than a few website news stories in the next couple days.
  • 2 Hide
    teh_chem , September 7, 2012 5:35 AM
    I'm curious what the data plans will be for beyond the 250mb included data per month--I'm assuming it's simply AT&T's current "tablet" data packages--$30/3GB or $50/5GB--but I'd be hopeful for some "special" pricing (right...).

    The lady has the original Fire--which was okay for what it was, but nothing impressive IMHO (and its deployment of various things vs. on standard android tablets can be a bit perplexing). But now that Amazon is making real tablets (i.e., essentially everything but a microSD card slot--and I see now also no GPS still), they are looking to be a really good alternative to standard android tablets. Before this announcement, I was pretty much banking on my next tablet being one of the flavors of the Win8 devices, but now seeing this release info, the 8.9" Fire HD might be really appealing, especially since I've noticed that despite delusions of using my android tab for productivity-related stuff, I mainly use it for video-watching and email/web stuff (you know, because productivity sucks on android tablets still).

    Just wish they would make a keyboard dock with expanded battery like the TF.

    thrakazogI think you'll find a lot of people will be upset upon finding out that all the new kindle fires are ad-supported (both the HD models and the normal one). Having ads on both the lock screen and on the home screen will be enough to not only convince many people to not consider it right off the bat, but also will probably be the center of more than a few website news stories in the next couple days.

    So an ad is going to be shown during the portion of time between when I wake up the device and swipe to unlock it. Meh, big freaking deal, hardly something to worry about. And to be honest, if an ad gets pushed that allowed for a cheaper MSRP for the device, but also caters to my product tastes, all the better--that's what Amazon's whole goal is, and if I'm being offered a discount/coupon on something that I'd normally buy, I'm all for that. If I can get a device with all of these features for $499 and I have to see an ad that I might be interested in, I'll put up with that. And I'm betting tons of other people will too.
  • 0 Hide
    thrakazog , September 7, 2012 7:24 AM
    Actually, after you unlock the device, the ad will be in the bottom left corner of the screen. Check amazon's site. It tells you if you click the link in the description. It's just not the unlock screen. What's really bad, is they are showing pics of the device that don't reflect this, even though it clearly stated in the description.
  • -3 Hide
    thrakazog , September 7, 2012 7:27 AM
    Also....I didn't say "everyone" would be upset. Let's say a place is a selling a quarter pounder with cheese for 50 cents. But, 1% of the hamburger patty is feces.

    Now, 1- you will not taste the feces 2- you will not smell the feces 3- it will not harm you in any way 4- it may actually introduce helpful bacteria into your digestive system that are medically beneficial.

    But here's the thing. A lot of people will not want the burger because it has feces. Now, if you want to eat the feces burger, that is 100% your choice and perfectly ok. But don't be upset at people who might not want the burger, even if it is only 50 cents.
  • 2 Hide
    CaedenV , September 7, 2012 12:04 PM
    1920x1200 on a 9" screen... To think that my 27" monitor has the same resolution! I love that these portable devices have it, but come on! give us some better desktop resolutions already! And for a decent price!
  • 0 Hide
    cknobman , September 7, 2012 1:31 PM
    $200 more to get 4G???

    F-cking idiots.
  • 0 Hide
    amdwilliam1985 , September 7, 2012 1:37 PM
    I have kindle 3 keyboard with ad-supported. Loved the device, would pick it over the regular version everyday. Now I get to see something new every time, instead of the same old boring locked screen.
    In fact, I would pay amazon to put ads in my kindle 3, lol. Instead I got like $40 discount with hit. My friends were so jealous, because my locked screen is always exciting.
    Not sure about the kindle tablet with ads though, if it's only appearing on locked screen then I'll be all over it. As long as it doesn't hurt battery. Because it does not hurt battery of kindle 3.
  • 0 Hide
    teh_chem , September 7, 2012 2:11 PM
    ThrakazogAlso....I didn't say "everyone" would be upset. Let's say a place is a selling a quarter pounder with cheese for 50 cents. But, 1% of the hamburger patty is feces.Now, 1- you will not taste the feces 2- you will not smell the feces 3- it will not harm you in any way 4- it may actually introduce helpful bacteria into your digestive system that are medically beneficial.But here's the thing. A lot of people will not want the burger because it has feces. Now, if you want to eat the feces burger, that is 100% your choice and perfectly ok. But don't be upset at people who might not want the burger, even if it is only 50 cents.


    I know you didn't say everyone (and I know I exaggerated the situation). I'd be willing to bet that currently, more than 1% of hamburgers is already poo. Not that it matters since that has nothing to do with this situation. Remember what happened with the ad-sponsored kindle? Despite a vocalized outcry against it in the online world, it went on to become Amazon's best-selling electronics item, better than the non-sponsored kindle, indicating that the consumers are happy to subsidize the purchase price of their items with occasional advertisements.
    ThrakazogActually, after you unlock the device, the ad will be in the bottom left corner of the screen. Check amazon's site. It tells you if you click the link in the description. It's just not the unlock screen. What's really bad, is they are showing pics of the device that don't reflect this, even though it clearly stated in the description.

    Yes, but you only see the ad if the device is idled at the home or lock screens. Out of all the times someone is using a tablet, how frequently are they idled at the lock screen or home screen? Hardly ever if they're actually using their tablet, so it has zero impact on the usability of the tablet.

    Amazon knows what they're doing here, and they know that people will be happy to pay a reduced price (from otherwise) if it means showing targeted ads. Much like how when you log in to your amazon page it shows almost the same thing--items you "might be interested in." Sure, it's not the same thing as seeing amazon ads the entire time you're using your computer, but then again, Amazon isn't selling you an ad-subsidized computer.
  • 0 Hide
    alexmx , September 7, 2012 2:22 PM
    ThrakazogAlso....I didn't say "everyone" would be upset. Let's say a place is a selling a quarter pounder with cheese for 50 cents. But, 1% of the hamburger patty is feces.Now, 1- you will not taste the feces 2- you will not smell the feces 3- it will not harm you in any way 4- it may actually introduce helpful bacteria into your digestive system that are medically beneficial.But here's the thing. A lot of people will not want the burger because it has feces. Now, if you want to eat the feces burger, that is 100% your choice and perfectly ok. But don't be upset at people who might not want the burger, even if it is only 50 cents.



    that's the most idiotic analogy i've ever read.

    what if you were about to buy a car and they offered you to take $2000 off in exchange for putting a banner on your doors?
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