Amazon announces new Fire HD Kids Edition, Kindle Voyage, and updates Fire HD and HDX tablets
A few months ago, Amazon announced its Fire Phone, but the online retail giant is back to bring new tablets and update for older ones as part of its commitment to its consumer base. Jeff Bezos made the announcement in New York yesterday.
First on the line for Amazon’s latest announcement was the new Fire HD Kids Edition tablet. It’s no secret that Samsung unveiled its Kids Store on the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 last October, and also added a Kids Mode to its Galaxy S5 and new Galaxy Tab S. The Galaxy Tab 3 Kids Edition is intended to bring little ones into the world of mobile and touch screen at an earlier age than before.
Of course, Amazon’s Fire tablets allow parents to set parameters for their children that limit the amount of time children can use their parents’ devices before the tablet locks the child out and denies them access. It’s intended to give parents control over a device that puts the world at their fingertips. Amazon unveiled its parental controls some time before Samsung’s latest Kid Mode attempts, so it seems that both companies want to attack the kid market.
The Fire HD Kids Edition features a two-year guarantee that will let parents have their Kids Edition tablet repaired (in most cases), should something happen to the device. Parents can set controls on the device, and even photos that children take will make their way to the parents’ Amazon Cloud Drive account. Apple’s latest Family Sharing feature in iOS 8 puts iOS, Android’s greatest OS rival, in the same game as both Amazon and Samsung.
Next on Amazon’s list of tablets comes the new Kindle Voyage, a new reader that seems to be an impressive contender to the Kindle Keyboard and Kindle Paperwhite e-book readers the company’s produced over the last few years.
A new Kindle device will retail for $99, and the Kindle Paperwhite has been given twice the original memory storage with a $119 price tag – but the new Kindle Voyage retails for $199 and provides not only Amazon’s thinnest e-book reader to date but also brings an Adapted display akin to Samsung’s “Adaptive Display” technology on its Tab S and Note phablets.
The Amazon Kindle Voyage provides the brightest and sharpest display that makes outdoor reading easier than ever before. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 Power Saving Mode (as distinguished from the Ultra Power Saving Mode) places the GS5 in grayscale mode that, like the Kindle e-book reader, makes outdoor reading effortless. Battery life has been improved, and Amazon’s now offering free 3G connectivity so that your e-book reader has internet access for the sake of downloading books when traveling.
The Kindle e-book reader has made Amazon famous, and the Kindle Paperwhite more so, but the Kindle Fire HD and Fire HDX tablets stole the show.
Amazon stuck with its 8.9-inch display for the Kindle Fire HDX, an 8MP camera that can shoot 1080p video, along with 802.11ac Wi-Fi and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor clocked at 2.5GHz that brings a 75% increase in graphics performance to Amazon’s best-selling tablet. Amazon says that its Fire HDX tablet has 1 million more pixels in its display than Apple’s iPad Air, and retails for $379 – $120 less than entry-level 16GB iPad Air ($499).
Amazon’s 4G LTE Kindle Fire HDX will cost $479, which is $20 cheaper than Apple’s Wi-Fi 16GB iPad Air. In other words, Amazon’s LTE tablets are more affordable than Apple’s Wi-Fi tablets. Of course, you must realize that Amazon’s tablets do not come with Google Play Store access, so most Android apps are unavailable for Amazon’s Kindle tablets. While you don’t have Google Play Store access, you do get access to run Windows apps on your Kindle Fire tablets – an idea that just may win over some Windows users who have a distaste for Microsoft’s Surface pricing.
Alongside, Amazon also announced new 6-inch and 7-inch tablets known as the Kindle Fire HD 6 and Kindle Fire HD 7. The duo cost no more than a little over $100 (the HD 6 costs $99, and the HD 7 costs $139) and come with a 1.5Ghz MediaTek processor, Gorilla Glass displays, and front and back cameras. Keep in mind though that the price points dictate that the front and back cameras will be less than 8MP for the back camera (possibly no more than a 3MP or 5MP camera), and the front camera is likely to come in at around either 1MP or less (perhaps 0.3MP).
All of these Kindle tablets run Fire OS 4, Amazon’s latest update to its Fire OS that debuted in the AT&T exclusive Fire Phone. FireFly, a feature on the Fire phone that allows individuals to find a product and look it up instantly on Amazon.com has been pushed down to Amazon’s other Fire HD and HDX tablets so that current tablet owners can enjoy them as well.
Amazon brought several new devices to market with its announcement yesterday, showing the world that it too, has a little something for everyone. What do you think? Impressed by the Amazon tablets, or still holding out for the iPad Air 2 that’ll arrive next month?