Amazon's new Kindle Fire HDX tablets receive upgraded hardware all around, remote on-screen tech support

By on September 25, 2013, 2:30 AM
amazon, android, tablet, support, amazon kindle fire, kindle fire hdx

Amazon has refreshed its Kindle Fire tablet lineup with two new models sporting upgraded specs, higher resolution displays, slimmer hardware and a "Mayday" button that gets you free tech support 24x7.

The new Kindle Fire HDX tablets consist of a 7-inch 1920×1200 ($229) and a 8.9-inch 2560×1600 ($379) model. It's no coincidence the smaller unit's pricing matches Google's recently revamped and very popular Nexus 7, however there appears to be many more differentiating features on Amazon's latest tablets that almost makes us forget how generic the original Kindle Fire was when it was launched two years ago.

Both Fire HDX tablets are powered by a Snapdragon 800 processor running at 2.2 GHz. Amazon claims a 3x increase in performance over last year's models. The high-res screens are touting interesting features like 100% sRGB color accuracy, dynamic image contrast and improved brightness for outdoor use. The chassis are thinner than before, while both models are about 30% lighter.

Other highlight features include hardware and software-encryption for enterprise use, dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus, an 8MP rear-facing camera on the 8.9" model, and the option for 4G LTE wireless on either AT&T or Verizon's network. In spite of the upgraded specs, both units are rated for 11 hours of battery life or up to 17 hours of reading.

Amazon will also debut a new free tech support service called Mayday:

"With the Mayday button, our goal is to revolutionize tech support," said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO. "With a single tap, an Amazon expert will appear on your Fire HDX and can co-pilot you through any feature by drawing on your screen, walking you through how to do something yourself, or doing it for you—whatever works best. Mayday is available 24x7, 365 days a year, and it's free.

Amazon is also offering new "origami" covers for Kindle HDX 8.9" tablets at $69.99

Last year's Kindle HD will remain on offer for $139, receiving a speed bump on the processing department and updated software.

Driving all new Kindles is Fire OS 3.0, a fork from Android 4.2, along with updated email, calendar, and Silk browser software. As usual, Kindles get a narrower, stricter access to apps via Amazon's app store only, as well as direct access to Amazon's streaming services, which is how the company started working on their own tablets in the first place. The updated OS will ship next November 7th along with the Kindle HDX tablets, however it remains unclear if older models will also receive the full update.

User Comments: 5

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1 person liked this | Arris Arris said:

100% sRGB is interesting. The 8.9 could become a nice tool for photographers.

1 person liked this | Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I wonder how easy it would be to root one of these with a pure version of Android...

JC713 JC713 said:

Looks good. I am not really a big fan of that custom Android version though.

Guest said:

::Pushes Mayday button::

"You are 3729573th in line, please hold"

While it may sound cute, I'm sure they'll regret that feature...

Teko03 said:

$379 for 2560x1600 resolution, 2.3GHz CPU, 11 hrs battery life and built in LTE/HSPA+

$449 for 1920x1080 resolution, 1.7GHz CPU, 10 hrs battery life and no built in LTE/HSPA+

Microsoft Surface 2, you lose. And this is from a Surface owner. Microsoft is playing catch up and failing to offer anything competitive all while charging a premium fee. You would think Microsoft was new to the consumer world.

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