Amazon finally introduced the next generation of Kindle Fire tablets, the Kindle Fire HDX, after months of speculation about a new Kindle offering. Among the big changes coming with this line is the ability to connect via the Verizon network, an innovative help function and a much longer battery life.
The new quad-core tablets will be available in 7″ or 8.9″ models and feature a 2.2GHz processor, 11 hours of battery life and dual stereo speakers.
Amazon promises that the 8.9″ model, which weighs in at 13.2 ounces, is 34% lighter than the previous generation Kindle in that size. These tablets are not budget entries – the prices ranging from The HDX 8.9 runs between $379 and $579 while the HDX 7 starts between $229 and $409.
But they do offer some interesting new features, including a Mayday button that gives users nearly instant video contact with a customer service representative right on their tablet.
These tablets run on the customized Android operating system for the Kindle Fire, called Mojito. There are also some new features to make it attractive for business use including hardware and software encryption, VPN integration and wireless printing.
The more expensive models feature a 4G LTE connection on both the AT &T and Verizon networks. Previously, wireless for Kindle was only available through AT & T. That Verizon plan will run $50 a year for only 250 MB per month of data and it only works with the more expensive versions of the tablet. The 7″ starts at $329 and the 8.9″ at $479 for the 4G Verizon enabled models.
Amazon also promises improved audio with dual stereo speaker with Dolby Digital Plus audio and virtual multi-channel surround sound and a new graphics engine aimed at improved gaming.
Subscriber to the Amazon Prime video service will ow be able to download videos and watch them offline. ( during a plane trip or while visiting somewhere remote with no Internet connection.)
The Second Screen feature allow you to display videos on your television and use the Kindle as the controller.
Users who choose to purchase Kindle with Special Offers (the ad-subsidized version of the tablet that displays advertising on your start screen) will be eligible for special deals directly from their lock screen.
The new Kindles will begin shipping November 14.