Deciding to leave the media-event product launches to its competitors, Amazon on Wednesday announced a new operating system to accompany a new line-up of tablets and e-readers with a handful of press releases. Despite its subtle approach, the online retailer’s devices are making a big splash.
The lineup includes two new e-readers and three new tablets. To run them all, Amazon is also launching a new version of its Fire operating system for mobile devices, called Fire OS 4.0 "Sangria." The new products range in price from the $79 black-and-white Kindle e-Reader, now featuring a touchscreen, to the high-end $379 Fire HDX 8.9, sporting a quad-core 2.5GHz processor and Dolby Sound.
Hold Your Fire
The Fire HDX is aimed squarely at the high-end market, with Amazon highlighting its form factor, performance, and battery life. In addition to its top-line model, Amazon is also introducing the new Fire HD (shown above).
The frame of the Fire HDX is made from a single piece of machined magnesium with a blend of glass and nylon molded onto the unibody to create openings for the antennas to maximize signal strength. Weighing in at 13.2 ounces, the Fire is significantly lighter than the one-pound iPad Air, while its 8.9-inch display makes it larger than the iPad mini but still smaller than the iPad Air.
The new tablet should also make for an excellent media device. Amazon is promising 339pi pixel density, sound that is twice as loud as the iPad Air, and a faster graphics engine to help support high-end gaming.
The company is also promoting its “Advanced Streaming and Prediction” technology that predicts which movies and TV episodes you will want to watch and buffers them for playback to speed the video launch. The device will also come with a microUSB port so it can be connected to a TV, monitor, or projector.
Amazon is billing the Fire HD as “the most powerful tablet for under $100." The Fire HD will come in a 6-inch and 7-inch model, both available in five different colors. The 6-inch model will sell for $99, while the 7-inch will retail for $139.
Both models will come pre-loaded with the latest upgrade to Amazon's mobile device operating system. The latest version has added a “Profile” function that allows multiple users to have their own accounts on their tablet swith their own e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, as well as individualized preference sets.
The new OS also comes with a feature called “Family Library" that allows members of the same household to share downloaded content such as apps, books or games with each other.
In addition to the tablets, Amazon released two new versions of its Kindle e-Reader. The Kindle Voyage starts at $199 without 3G capabilities, and $269 with the 3G feature. The $79 Kindle, meanwhile, has been given a makeover with a new touchscreen, faster processor, and a bump in on-device storage to 4GB.
Posted: 2014-09-18 @ 11:08am PT
One online-source worth reviewing for new Android tablets is the U.S. site -- TabletMaxx - which features several new models released in September, including the new Pipo P8 - an 8" tablet with a 2048x1536 Retina display, a high performance quad core processor with performance comparable to Snapdragon 805, plus offers Android 4.4 Kit Kit, MicroSD storage, Bluetooth 4.0, Dual Band Wifi, a 5300 Mah battery with 8 hours use and a sleek titanium frame -- with the Pipo P8 priced at $225 it offers a "Best Buy" when comparing features and performance to other new models for the upcoming holiday season...