Far from it’s humble beginnings as a digital e-book reader for downloading, storing, and reading electronic books, Amazon’s new Kindle, the Kindle Fire HD, features fast web-browsing and email by way of built-in Wi-Fi, integrated apps like Facebook and Twitter and unlimited cloud storage for all your Amazon content, all tied together in a slim, light, rubberised casing and 7inch (8.9inch version available later) HD colour touchscreen.
A Multimedia powerhouse
This is the sixth generation of the Kindle, the second in the ‘Fire’ series and Amazon sure has upped the ante with this one. These devices are officially tablets rather than e-readers – with Android processing, colour touchscreens, amazing audio with dual-driver stereo speakers and a front-facing camera for free Skype-to-Skype video calling. A full multimedia package with crisp, HD viewing of film and photos, an LCD screen for reduced glare and booming sound courtesy of sound masters Dolby, that will automatically optimise the audio profile based on what you’re doing or watching. And eleven hours of continuous use means that you will be able to watch a lot of content – uninterrupted. A built-in HDMI out port allows you to share your viewing experience on your TV or any other display and with access to Amazon MP3 you will keep your playlist updated from a large library of tunes to choose from. Of course an extensive selection of books and magazines are available from the Kindle store with the added benefits of lower-than-paperback prices and exclusive Kindle book releases.
A threat to established tablet manufacturers?
With the rumoured iPad mini due to come out (at some point), the Fire HD is looking to be a ‘boat-rocker’ in the world of smaller tablets. The first Kindle Fire has already plucked-up 22 percent of the tablet market share in the short time it’s been around, (roughly a year), making it the biggest selling tablet not produced by Apple, according to zdnet.com. The Google Nexus 7 tablet has the benefit of being closer in pricing to the Fire HD unlike the Apple devices that come with a much heftier price tag. Although at the same price, the Nexus 7 offers similar screen quality but less storage and slower internet access than the Fire HD.
The Kindle Fire HD may not be set to wipe out the iPad (mini or not), but according to Guardian.co.uk, “…it’s a problem too for other Android tablet makers, which now have two unbeatable rivals.”