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Amazon Announces Three New Kindle Fire HD Models

When it comes to tablet computing, I’m a late adopter. While the iPad is interesting, I’m not the least bit interested in one. There have been a few Android-based tablets that have piqued my interest, but none enough to convince me to buy one. Microsoft’s Surface tablets look pretty cool but the Windows 8 part is a real turnoff. When Amazon scheduled a press conference to announce new flavors of the Kindle family, I had mild interest. When I saw what was announced, my eyes and ears were wide open with interest.

For those who liked the original size, 7 inches, of the Kindle Fire; there is the new Kindle Fire HD. The specifications are all improved and the price remains the same $199 as before. For those who want 32 GB of memory instead of the standard 16 GB, it is an additional $50.

The 7-inch tablets are cute enough, they just aren’t the right size to get me really excited. Of course the low price point is very exciting and it is tempting to jump in for exactly that reason. Part of the reason it isn’t enough is that my phone has nearly a 5 inch screen so the jump in size just isn’t enough of a difference to get me to buy in.

What really got me excited was the new Kindle Fire HD 8.9″. It adds another two inches of screen size along with much higher resolution with a price of only $299. Again, it comes with 16 GB of storage. Jumping to 32 GB will cost $369. I don’t really understand why the extra storage costs $20 more on the larger tablet and maybe the price will change before it starts shipping in November.

There is another flavor of the larger tablet, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 4G. It jumps the included storage to 32 GB and adds a 3G/4G cellular radio so you can stay connected anywhere you have data service. Of course the price also jumps to $499. And to use the mobile service, you need to pay extra for that service. Admittedly it is only $50 a year for 250MB of data transfer a month. That isn’t a lot of data, but the price isn’t as painful as other plans. I’d prefer to go with the lower cost version even though it can’t connect to the Internet without WiFi service.

One thing that has become really clear with tablets is that the software environment is every bit as important as the hardware included. That is an area where Amazon provides a better experience than other Android tablets even though the tablet is based on an older version of Android. I am already signed up for Amazon Prime so I get free shipping. It also provides me Prime Instant Video though I’m not really using it now. With a Kindle Fire HD, I would likely start using it. It may also seem strange that the author of ebooks doesn’t have an ebook reader. I agree and I am looking forward to getting a tablet to read ebooks. With the Kindle Fire HD family, I think I have found a reason to get my feet wet in the tablet water. What do you think? Is this the tablet for you?

About Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III is the author of thirteen books on CorelDRAW, the latest being CorelDRAW X6 Unleashed. He has been a contributor to numerous magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site and many more, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics and Web conferences.

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5 comments

  1. I’m surprised you say “the Windows 8 part is a real turnoff”. I would have thought it a real turn on! A tablet with a PROPER OS where you can do useful things. I hope you are not going by all the nonsense hype on youTube, etc.? Windows 8 is a super fast startup/shutdown Windows 7 with some nicely added features and the added bonus of having pretty apps like you see on your iPad/Android tablet devices as well!

    I’m using the 90-day trial of Windows 8 on a spare laptop with Stardock’s Start8, which brings back the traditional Start button and Start menu. It defaults to the normal desktop and you will never see the Metro interface unless you choose to go there. I do go there for the News, weather, Skydrive and Outlook mail apps. I really like my Android tablet, but there is no comparison between that and a Windows 8 device. The Android is a mere toy by comparison.

  2. In addition to my previous post:

    I really like all the apps on iOS and Android devices. They are small, fast and bring some really useful features to the devices. I have often thought to myself “why can’t we have these type of apps on a Windows PC?” Now we can!

    Windows 8 is the best of both worlds. An improved Windows 7 with the ability to have great mobile-type apps as well. I’m definitely buying Windows 8 when it is released. I’m enjoying the preview version right now 🙂

  3. Brian, Windows 8 is a real turnoff. I’m sure some users will like it. I don’t. I shouldn’t have to install other software to “bring back” a desktop operating system. I also don’t consider a tablet a replacement for a laptop so I have no desire to run desktop software on it. Each user certainly has different needs so it may be the right answer for you. It isn’t for me.

  4. Hi Foster, you seem to have a much clearer idea of what you want to do on a tablet than I did when I bought mine. I initially expected it to be more like a Windows computer and quickly realised it wasn’t. I am still very happy with my tablet though and it is a fantastic tool for quickly checking the news, e-mails, surfing the Net and consuming other content.

    I do from time-to-time wish I could just do this or that (e.g. edit a photo properly) and that’s why I look forward to a W8 tablet.

    The new Kindle tablets get good reviews on the sites I looked at earlier after reading your blog.

  5. I don’t want anything with windows, I don’t need toys, I need an OS that is simple and fast
    fmar326

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