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Amazon Kindle Fire HD refresh to mix high-end specs, affordable price
Amazon’s next-generation Kindle Fire tablets are set to arrive this fall. But whereas past devices have focused primarily on value, with mid range internals capable of handling most tablet-centric tasks, this time around the company is pulling the big guns. According to a report on BGR, Amazon is going for three times the performance of the current lineup, and has enlisted Qualcomm’s top-tier Snapdragon 800 SoC to achieve this.
The site previously reported preliminary details on three upcoming devices. The first is a replacement for the entry-level 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet, which currently sells for $159, with a resolution bump to 1,280 x 800 pixels. The other two will be the Snapdragon 800 packing replacements for the current 7- and 8.9-inch HD models.
Prototype models of both the 7- and 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD are said to have their processors clocked at 2GHz. They also share most other specs, including 2GB of RAM, a front-facing camera, Wi-Fi, optional LTE connectivity, as well as 16GB, 32GB and 64GB storage options. The larger model adds an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 2,560 x 1,600 resolution display, up from 1,920 x 1,200 on the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD.
In terms of software, internal test units are currently running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with Amazon’s heavy customizations, and BGR speculates this will remain unchanged given Amazon’s target launch window.
Compared to the new Nexus 7, which will likely end up its closest competitor, specs such as screen resolution and RAM are pretty much on par, but Amazon would certainly have the upper hand when it comes to graphics and processing power. It still misses out on the latest Android release and rear camera on the 7-incher, though.
BGR also claims the new tablets are expected to be more comfortable and lighter than the current generation of Kindle Fires, and though pricing remains unknown, Amazon is said to be trying hard to maintain the same $199 and $299 starting price points of its current Kindle Fire HD lineup.
Amazon sent a wave crashing through the mobile industry when it announced its Kindle Fire would land with a price of $199. This is likely the best value in a tablet on the market, and will make tablet computing accessible to many people that either couldn't afford an iPad or couldn't tolerate Honeycomb tablets.
The Amazon Kindle Fire HD is the most powerful Kindle of the Fire family featuring an 8.9-inch, 1,920 x 1,200 IPS display rated at 254 PPI, inside is a Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 processor. Other key features include dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus, front-facing HD camera, HDMI-out, dual-band Wi-Fi technology with MIMO (2.4GHz and 5.0GHz) and 16GB of onboard storage.
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