Jeff Bezos took the stage in Santa Monica today to announce the newest additions to the Amazon Kindle line. He stressed Amazon’s services over the hardware of other tablets which he called gadgets. The Amazon devices aren’t just gadgets he said, but a gateway to the services of Amazon.
Kindle Fire HD
The Kindle Fire line got an HD upgrade, with the introduction of the expected larger tablet. The Kindle Fire HD has an 8.9-inch screen with 1920×1200 resolution. The laminated touchscreen provides 25% less glare. Storage is 16GB or 32GB. The processor is a Texas Instruments OMAP 4470. Sound is delivered through dual speakers. WiFi has been improved with a dual-band 2.4GHz/5GHz receiver. Connectivity is through WiFi, and the price is $299 for 16GB and $369 for 32GB. A bump up to 4G LTE is $499 for 32GB, or $599 for 64GB. The 4G LTE data plan gives you 12 months of service, with 250MB a month and 20GB of cloud storage, for $50 (that’s for an entire year). It’s available for pre-order today, with shipping on November 20th.
You can get a 7-inch Fire HD for $199 at 16GB or $249 at 32GB.
You can check out the TV commercial for the new Kindle Fire HD here.
The Kindle Fire 7-inch is seeing spec bumps to the processor, twice the RAM, better battery life and 44 percent faster. But the spec most people will be interested in is the price, which is dropping to $159. It’s available for ordering today, and starts shipping September 14th.
The new Kindle Paperwhite features a sharper, front-lit display. It has 25% greater contrast with a 221ppi display (62% more pixels) with capacitive touch. Amazon is claiming 8 weeks of battery life with the light on. It’s 9.1mm thick, thinner than a magazine, according to Bezos. A feature called “Time to Read” measures your reading speed and estimates how much longer it will take you to read your book. The price is $119 for the WiFi model and $179 if you want 3G, and it’s available for pre-order today with shipping on October 1st.
The $79 Kindle from last year, is now $69, and in fact seems to be called, “The $69 Kindle”. It ships September 14th.
Upgrades to Whispersync
The Whispersync service that keeps your bookmarks synced across all your devices gets some supercharging with Whispersync for games, which saves your level progress so you don’t have to worry about losing ground if you need to reload your software. Whispersync for voice will keep you synched in audio books, and translate that position to the text version, so you can go back and forth.
Is one of the new Kindles the one for you? What do you think about that aggressive pricing? Let us know in the comments.