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Kindle Fire HD: Amazon’s New 7 and 8.9 inch Android Tablets

We had a feeling Amazon had more than just a slightly revamped Kindle Fire tablet up its sleeve, and we were right. Shortly after revealing the 2012 model, the online retail giant whipped out the new Kindle Fire HD in two different sizes.

The new model looks pretty similar to the original Kindle Fire, with rounded edges and corners for a comfy grip. It’s pretty svelte too, at 8.8mm thick and 566g in weight.

Two screen sizes are available; 7-inch and 8.9-inch, and as the name suggests, the screens are HD quality. Both screens have a 1920 x 1200 resolution, with an impressive high pixel density of 254 pixels per inch. Amazon has also utilised a polarising filter to reduce glare on the screen in direct sunlight.

Amazon was keen to highlight advantages over Apple’s iPad and the possible iPad Mini, and one key focus was audio. The iPad only has one speaker, so Amazon has plumped for two Dolby Digital Plus stereo speakers in the Kindle Fire HD, which it claims are pretty powerful for their size.

There’s nothing worse than being forced to sit close to the router at home in order to get a good download speed, so Amazon has opted to use dual Wi-Fi antennas and dual band Wi-Fi to help improve signal strength even when you’re further away from the router – this is a world first in a tablet, according to Amazon.

Power comes from a 1.2GHz dual-core processor which is coupled with the Imagination PowerVR 3D graphics chip, both of which should make the Fire HD a nimble game player. Two storage versions will be available for each screen size: 16GB and 32GB.

Battery life is something Kindle lovers are always bragging about, and it looks as though Amazon has brought it to the new tablets with over 11 hours of continuous mixed use from a single charge. It’s offering something called the Kindle PowerFast charger too, which will fully juice the battery in under 4 hours.

Software is an Amazon-customised version of Android, offering access to their ever-expanding library of apps, books, movies and music. Amazon showed off a new feature called Kindle FreeTime, which allows parents to set a time limit for using the device, perfect for when giving it to the kids to play with. The excellent X Ray feature on Kindle Books is also now on Kindle Movies, meaning that users can look up places and characters from within a video.

For now only the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD will be hitting the UK, with the 16GB model costing £159 and the 32GB costing £199. Both prices reflect that of the Google’s Nexus 7, which offers half the storage at each price. UK fans can pre-order now for delivery on or after October 25th. The 8.9-inch model will remain stateside for now, with a 4G LTE model costing $499.

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