Yesterday, Amazon announced its new lineup of Kindle Fire tablets. In addition to upgrading last year’s 7″ Kindle Fire and lowering its introductory price to $139, Amazon unveiled the Kindle Fire HDX, which has a higher pixel density rate than Apple’s iPad – making for an ultra-high definition viewing experience. The 16 GB, Wi-Fi model with special offers costs $229 for the 7″ version, and the most expensive 8.9″ model – with a 64 GB hard drive and an optional 4G connection – will set you back $579.
As you’ll see from the features below, the Kindle Fire HDX is significantly lighter than its predecessor and it has an exciting new feature called the “Mayday” button. This feature provides you with on-screen support, whenever you want, from a Kindle Support representative. And while you can see the rep and he or she can remotely access your device with your permission, the representative can’t see you – so no need to worry if you’re hair is sticking up and you’re still in your bathrobe while you’re being helped.
Kindle Fire HDX Features
Below is a letter from Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, that was posted to Amazon’s website the day of the announcement, as well as a video highlighting the “Mayday” feature. And stay tuned for my review of the device in the coming months.
It’s been just two years since we introduced Kindle Fire, and the team is innovating at unbelievable speed. Today, I’m excited to introduce you to the all-new Kindle Fire family.
These are powerhouse tablets. We added the latest graphics engine, doubled the memory, and tripled the processing power with the most advanced 2.2 GHz quad-core processor. Our HDX displays bring together exceptional pixel density (up to 339 ppi), perfect 100% sRGB color accuracy, improved brightness, and dynamic image contrast. You also get up to 11 hours of battery life—17 hours when you’re reading.
Even the largest new Kindle Fire—the 8.9″—is startlingly light. We re-imagined our design from scratch, with a new magnesium unibody and molded glass-nylon alloy. At just 13.2 ounces, it’s 34% lighter than the previous generation.
Kindle Fire HDX is packed with hundreds of updates, including new email, calendar, and productivity apps, X-Ray for Music, Second Screen, and—in addition to streaming—you can now download Prime Instant Videos and watch them offline.
indle Fire HDX also introduces the revolutionary new “Mayday” button. With a single tap, an Amazon expert will appear on your Fire HDX and can co-pilot you through any feature by drawing on your screen, walking you through how to do something yourself, or doing it for you—whatever works best. Mayday is available 24×7, 365 days a year, and it’s free.
Mayday is one of those things that really has to be seen—
check out our upcoming TV commercials.
In addition to all the above, we’re taking another step forward in our mission to make it possible for anyone to afford a Kindle Fire. The all-new Kindle Fire HD has the same display quality and processing speed of last year’s high-end models and comes in at the breakthrough price point of only $139.
We’ve worked hard to pack this much hardware, innovation, and customer obsession into these devices. We hope you enjoy the new Kindle Fires.
Thank you for being a customer,
Founder & CEO
P.S. Our industrial design team has invented what I think are the most ingenious covers—you can learn more about the new Origami covers here.
As you know, I’m a fan of Andrew Gross’ work and I had the pleasure of interviewing him for my blog. If you’re looking for the opportunity to ask him about his new novel, No Way Back, or any of his other books, I’ve got good news. This Wednesday (5/22), Gross is participating in a live chat on BookTrib.com – a book/publishing website that features book news, reviews and custom online promotions, including giveaways, contests, live author chats, etc. During the chat, which takes place at 7:30 p.m. EST, you can directly ask Gross questions, and BookTrib is giving away a brand-new Kindle Fire loaded with a selection of the author’s books. If you’re new to his work or a longtime fan, I recommend you check out this event. It sounds like it should be a fun time.
Five years ago Amazon introduced the first Kindle, and the world hasn’t been the same since. While the first iteration cost $399 and wasn’t aesthetically pleasing, it set out to become the iPod of books by allowing readers to carry their entire library of content on one device. As the years went by, newer models were thinner, lighter, sexier, and cheaper.
While other e-readers existed prior to Kindle, the public hadn’t embraced them. Amazon’s device allowed readers to tap into the company’s vast content ecosystem of newspapers, magazines and books – all without the need to plug into a computer. This was revolutionary, and the first batch of Kindles sold out it in less than six hours.
In 2008, Oprah announced that Kindle was her new favorite thing and provided viewers with a $50 discount. With the daytime diva’s stamp of approval and the launch of second generation hardware, Kindle continued its dominance as the e-reader to beat.
Over time, millions of Kindle devices and e-books were sold. Kindle’s ubiquity was most evident when Amazon reported that Kindle e-books were regularly outselling all print books.
Last year saw the launch of Kindle Fire, which went on to make up 22 percent of U.S. tablet sales. A new iteration, Kindle Fire HD, is now available in two versions and has received mostly positive reviews from critics.
This year also brought a new Kindle e-reader: Kindle Paperwhite. This device has also been well received by critics and the public, and rightfully so. It’s taken the device to a whole new level by incorporating a beautiful front-lit display.
My first Kindle was the second generation device, and my reading habits haven’t been the same since. I read more than ever, and consider my Kindle to be an essential part of my life. If you’ve never tried reading on one, you should; it’s a delightful experience. I can’t wait to see what the next five years bring.
If you have any fond Kindle memories you’d like to share, please feel free to leave a comment.
Below you’ll find a couple of my favorite Kindle commercials and an informational video about the first device.
I’ve had the Kindle Fire HD for a little over a week, so I thought I’d create a video review – my first ever – so you can learn more about this device and its capabilities. Below, you’ll also find a video further explaining “Whispersync for Voice,” a new feature I love. Enjoy!
Anyone that knows me is well aware of my love for Amazon. I think it’s the best retailer in the world, and I believe Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos when he says, “We offer premium products at non-premium prices.” Yes, I’ll admit it: I own an iPad, iPhone and MacBook. But I still prefer Amazon to Apple.
Today was the long-awaited press conference where Bezos unveiled the new line of Kindle Fire tablets and e-readers. There are four new Kindle Fire tablets, three of which are being billed as “Kindle Fire HD” because of their high-resolution displays. The fourth one is an updated version of last year’s Kindle Fire, with 40 percent faster performance, twice the memory and longer battery life. In addition to reducing the entry-level Kindle’s price to $69 (with special offers), Amazon has two new e-readers called “Kindle Paperwhite,” and they look fantastic. They have 62 percent more pixels and 25 percent better contrast than previous models, and they come with a built-in light for reading in the dark.
I decided to buy two of the new Kindles: The 7″ Kindle HD and the Kindle Paperwhite 3G. The Kindle HD should arrive by next Friday, September 14, and the Kindle Paperwhite 3G ships on October 1. The other two Kindle HD tablets, which both feature an 8.9″ screen, ship November 20.
Are you planning to buy a Kindle for yourself or loved one this year? If so, which one?
Below are the new ads for Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Paperwhite, as well as the full press conference.