The Fire this time: new Kindles go beyond HD, triple speed, slash weight and add Mayday help

Mayday! Mayday! What sort of 24/7 help would you need with your Kindle?
Mayday! Mayday! What sort of 24/7 help would you need with your Kindle?

Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HDX tablets slash the weight and triple the processing power of the present top-end Fires while adding free round-the-clock technical help at the touch of a button.

The HDX tablets feature pixel density of up to 323ppi for the 7-inch model and up to 339 ppi on the 8.9-inch version and are claimed to have 100% sRGB color accuracy. Battery life is up to 11 hours for mixed general use or 17 hours for reading only.

The company says it has reimagined the design from scratch and the biggest new model—the 8.9 ins—has a new magnesium unibody and moulded glass-nylon alloy. It weighs 13.2 ounces, which is a third lighter than the previous generation.

The HDXs include hundreds of updates, including new email, calendar, and productivity apps, X-Ray for music, Second Screen and, as well as streaming, Prime Instant Videos can now be downloaded for offline viewing.

The HDX series also introduces a Mayday live support button. Tap this button and the company says an Amazon expert will appear on your Fire HDX to help with any feature by drawing on your screen, showing you through how to do something yourself or doing it for you. Mayday help is free and will be available 24/7, 365 days. Amazon is majoring on the Mayday feature in its TV advertising campaign for the Fire HDXs.

There is an 8Mp rear-facing camera with LED flash for high-resolution photos and 1080p HD video, plus a front-facing 720p HD camera for Skype video calls and taking pictures.

The 7-inch HDX will be available in the US on October 18 and is priced at $229 with 16Gb for wi-fi only, $269 for 32Gb and $309 or 64Gb.

The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDX  will be released on November 7 in the US and is priced at $479 for the 64Gb version with wi-fi only, $429 for 32Mb and $379 or 16Gb.

Amazon has not yet revealed when the HDX Fires will be available internationally.

The company is also aiming to compete in the lower end of the tablet market by releasing a new 7-inch Kindle Fire HD with the same 216ppi display quality and processing speed of last year’s high-end models at what it claims to be a breakthrough price point of $139 for the 8Gb model and $169 for 16Gb.

 

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