Amazon has revealed the latest additions to its line of Kindles, with three new models seeing staggered releases in the US in the run-up to the Christmas shopping season. First to be released is the upgraded Kindle Fire HD, which keeps the 1280×800 resolution 7″ screen of the previous generation but switches out that model’s 1.2GHz processor for a 1.5GHz and is slightly more compact overall. It’s out on 2 October and costs $139 (around £86). Here’s an artist’s impression of its packaging:
That’s followed on 18 October by the Kindle Fire HDX, which increases the resolution of the HD’s 7″ screen to 1920×1200, up from 216 pixels per inch to 323, upping the processor from a dual-core 1.5GHz to a quad-core 2.2GHz and extending the battery life by about an hour. It also adds an in-built HD camera, is available with 16, 32 or 64 GB of storage and is even more compact than the standard HD. It’ll retail at $229 (roughly £142).
Completing the trifecta, 7 November brings the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″, which increases the HD 8.9″‘s 1920×1200, 254 pixels per inch screen to 2560×1600 and 339 and adds roughly two hours to its battery life, as well as a rear-facing camera to go with the existing in-built front-facing camera. Its processor is the same quad-core 2.2GHz found in the 7″ HDX, and it too is available in 16, 32 or 64GB models whilst also slightly reducing the dimensions of its predecessor. Yours for a mere $379 (£235 or so).
It may have occurred to you, of course, reading the specs that very few of these upgrades are likely to have much of an impact on the actual business of reading that was initially the Kindle’s raison d’être, bar smoother running of any video clips embedded in the text or sharper illustrations. Instead, much of the changes seem geared towards making the Kindle Fire even more of an attractive option for those looking for a standard issue tablet along the lines of the iPad. Tellingly, the sales pitch at the top of the page for the new Kindle Fire HD doesn’t mention books once.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.