New Delhi, Sept 8: Amazon has turned up the heat in the tablet market with its new Kindle Fire lineup, ranging from $159 to the all-new $499 Kindle Fire 8.9-inch HD 4G. With these new products, Amazon is hoping to make a dent in a tablet computer market dominated by Apple's iPad.
In all, Amazon has released five new devices. The first is an updated Kindle Fire for $159 which will ship on September 14 and a new e-reader called the Paperwhite that will ship on October 1 for $119. The company also came out with three models of the new Kindle Fire HD: two 16GB, 7-inch and 8.9-inch models for $199 and $299, respectively. Besides, it also launched an 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD with 32GB of storage and 4G connectivity, for $499.
If the original Fire was competitive, the new Kindle Fire HD is sure stir things up in the tablet arena. The Fire HD comes with a whole host of new features ranging from Whispersync for Games, X-Ray for movies, Parental Controls, double speakers, faster processor, large screen, immersion reading, Free Time, and dual-antennae Wifi (with MIMO), which are indeed something that one should love to try out.
Simply put, Amazon has upgraded the Kindle Fire from a merely an affordable tablet to a feature packed tablet that seems to be a good buy for the upcoming Holiday Shopping season.
Here's a comparison between the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD and the third-generation iPad, broken up by different features:
In terms of weight, the Kindle Fire is light in comparison to the Apple’s iPad. The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD weighs only 566 grams as compared to iPad 3’s 662 grams weight.
Here the Kindle Fire HD takes the lead as it features dual Dolby Digital Plus stereo speakers. Amazon now offers speakers on both sides of the device when held in landscape mode, which means you can view movies in Dolby Digital Plus stereo sound without headphones. On the other hand, the iPad 3 has just one speaker.
Amazon claims that the Kindle Fire HD's download and streaming speeds are 40 per cent faster than the iPad, thanks to its two Wi-Fi antennas. While the Fire HD has a MIMO antenna capable of 31Mbps, the iPad 3 is capable of 22Mbps 802.11n.
Here Apple scores high. The iPad 3 has a multi touch Retina display at a resolution of 2048×1536 with LED backlighting. In comparison, Kindle Fire HD offers 1,920 by 1,200 display, which is still quite close to what Apple is offering.
Processor and speed
The processor on Fire HD is a dual-core OMAP4470, which clocks in a speed of 1.5GHz. Apple has an edge here when it comes to high-speed graphics since it has as A5 Dual-core chip with a special dedicated quad-core unit for graphics.
While the Kindle Fire has an "HD" front-facing camera, the iPad has a 5-megapixel camera, which can record 1080p video.
Amazon claims the smaller Kindle Fire HD has an 11-hour battery life of continuous use but it does not give an estimate for the 8.9 inch version. On the same side, Apple says the iPad can run up to 10 hours while surfing the Web on WiFi, or watching other type of multimedia. On that term, both the devices are quite comparable.
While Apple has over 225,000 iPad specific apps, Amazon runs on Google’s Android operating system. So for those looking for tablet specific apps can go for the iPad.
Amazon’s 4G, LTE-enabled, 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD comes with 32GB of onboard storage, 20GB of cloud storage and a data plan, through AT&T, of 250 megabytes per month — for $50 per year. While Apple’s 4G iPad of 32 GB storage offers 5GB of free remote storage through Apple’s iCloud service.
Clearly, the Kindle Fire HD is a winner here. The Fire HD with 4G LTE service costs either $499 or $599 depending on how much storage, and the iPad with LTE costs $629 to $829 depending on storage. Given that $200 price difference is huge one, it could make a big difference to a vast majority of first-time tablet buyers.
8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD:
16 GB - $299
32 GB - $369
32 GB with 4G LTE - $499
64 GB with 4G LTE - $599
16 GB - $499
32 GB - $599
64 GB - $699
16 GB with 4G LTE - $629
32 GB with 4G LTE - $729
64 GB with 4G LTE - $829
The battle between the Kindle Fire HD and the iPad has surely entered in a new and interesting phase. But things will definitely be a lot clearer by the time sales figures of Kindle Fire HD will be released. But, going purely from the pricing point of view, the Kindle Fire HD clearly emerges as a winner. However, we need to remember that for long the Cupertino-based company has dominated the tablet market so it is no guesswork that Apple won’t cede control over the tablet market without a fight.