One of the most expected and most talked about changes that actually got announced at the Amazon press conference on September 6, 2012 was to the Kindle Fire family. Here are some of the initial details:
Kindle Fire (?2?)
First we hear that the original Kindle Fire will be no more. Yay! Take away the clunky look and that stupid power button on the bottom that is such a pain. But wait! That is wrong. The Kindle Fire will be coming back. Only it is not the same Kindle Fire. Hmmmm. On September 14 a new basic Kindle Fire will be released. It will be available for $159 and offer many of the feature that the previous Kindle Fire offered.
No word on the button. If they keep the button – I’ll probably write them out of my will.
As advertised by Amazon, this new Kindle Fire is “All new – 40% faster performance, twice the memory, longer battery life”. All new – I doubt it. It doesn’t look that different. 40% faster performance will be great. Twice the memory – I think this is deceptive advertising because my current Kindle Fire shows 5.37 GB of Internal Storage available and the new Kindle Fire advertises 8 GB of memory, with about 5.5 GB available for user content. Since the memory didn’t suddenly go from 4 GB to 8 GB – either my math is faulty or Amazon’s is (my guess is it is not me). Longer battery life – this can be advertised if it is even one second longer.
Still – $159 for the Kindle Fire is a good price, especially if they made improvements (unfortunately – it doesn’t appear the carousel went away either).
What is new and interesting? Kindle Free Time parental controls (more on this in another post), Whispersync for voice/movies/books/games (this got my attention and will be mentioned more in another post too), Immersion Reading (just assume all of these wil have another post), Xray for books/movies, new email app, better Facebook integration.
Kindle Fire HD
Kindle Fire HD really got my attention. I’m thinking this is the Kindle Fire 2 that we were all anticipating. A new version of Kindle Fire 7″ tablet with all the beauty of an HD device. Also available on September 14th (I will be going into hiding that weekend with my new Kindle Fire HD), Kindle Fire HD has a reasonable initial price of $199 for a 16 GB version and 32 GB for a 32 GB version. I think my Google Nexus 7 16GB was $125 – so this is a very good and competitive deal for a 7″ tablet with 16 GB of memory.
I’ll be posting much more information when I have one in my grubby little hands – but here are some of the specs to make your mouth water….
Display: 7″ HD LCD Technology
Resolution: 1280x800p HD
Audio: Dolby Audio dual-driver stereo speakers
Connectivity: Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi
Storage: 16GB or 32GB on device
Weight: 13.9 oz
Processor: Dual-core, 1.2GHz OMAP4460
Battery Life: 11 hours of continuous use
Interface: 10 point multi-touch (I don’t know what this means – unless I can use all 10 fingers at once).
Lighter than the Kindle Fire, but larger in size – 7.6″ x 5.4″ for Kindle Fire HD vs 7.44″ x 4.72″ for Kindle Fire.
I still have a lot of digging to do – but the screen looked beautiful and responsive. This is definitely an improvement over the original Kindle Fire and probably more of what Amazon had originally intended the KF to be before they released a beta device.
Even more exciting to me – this new device appears to have actual, well designed buttons on the side and not a big, annoying button on the bottom.
Stay tuned tomorrow for details on the new crown prince of the Kindle Fire family.