Amazon has released the third generation of their Kindle Fire tablets. The latest iterations represent very powerful hardware at great prices when compared with the competition. Let’s look at what is available so you can decide if one of these tablets is right for you.
The first tablet released will be an updated version of the Kindle Fire HD 7″ Tablet. This simply puts a new operating system and faster processor into the tablet Amazon released a year ago. While buying last year’s technology doesn’t sound as exciting as something shiny and new, the price of $139 is very enticing for a 7 inch tablet. This revamped tablet is expected to begin shipping today (October 2, 2013).
I took advantage of a similar update last year when I got the original Kindle Fire 7″ tablet at a significant discount since it was no longer the latest and greatest. It still meets my needs today, though admittedly I am evaluating other tablets closely should I decide it is worth upgrading. Given the price I paid, I feel like I easily got my money’s worth.
If you still want the 7″ size in the latest model, look at the Kindle Fire HDX 7″ Tablet which begins shipping on October 18, 2013 (you can still order now). The screen resolution has been upgraded from 1280 x 800 to 1920 x 1200 pixels. For those who want to hear Apple’s buzzwords, that resolution is every bit as good as a “retina” display. Probably the coolest new feature is the “Mayday” button. You push a button and you’re talking live to an Amazon expert for free. These tablets start at $229 for a 16 GB model and go up based on how much memory you want and if you want 4G LTE support.
The last new model to be released is the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ Tablet which ships on November 7 (you can order now). As you can guess by the name, the screen is two inches larger with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. Like the smaller model, it also includes the Mayday button. Prices start at $379 for a 16 GB model and go up based on the features you choose.
Amazon’s tablets are based on Android, but Amazon has modified it into what they call Fire OS 3.0. Most of the popular Android apps are available, but not all of them since you have to get them through Amazon’s App Store. For those who like to stream video, you get more than 40,000 titles for free if you are a member of Amazon Prime. I am a Prime subscriber though I do it for the benefits of faster shipping (for free). If you want to try out Amazon Prime for 30 days, I’ve included a link at right that allows you to do it for free.
If you don’t want to get your streaming video from Amazon, you may want to investigate other tablets. But keep in mind the price of these tablets are lower than most of the other major competitors so it might be worth getting a Kindle even for a limited number of tasks.