Amazon is on a roll today, unleashing a barrage of new Kindle devices to make bibliophiles swoon. But for those who want a bit more functionality out of their device at the expense of e-ink, Amazon has a new generation of Kindle Fire HDs just for them. There is even one made especially for kids!
There are two new models in this Fire HD line. The Kindle Fire HD 7 replaces last year’s model while the new 6-inch Fire HD 6 is totally new to the family. Aside from the difference in sizes, both sport the exact same specs. They both have the same 1280×800 HD resolution, which gives the Fire HD 6 a higher pixel density of 252 ppi versus 216 ppi on the Fire HD 7. An unnamed 1.5 GHz quad-core runs inside, noted to have 3x more graphics muscle than Samsung’s budget Galaxy Tab 4 line, making it suitable even for some resource intensive games. RAM isn’t mentioned but storage comes in 8 and 16 GB configurations. There is a 2 megapixel camera on the back, capable of shooting 1080p videos, and a front-facing VGA shooter.
Of course, that’s just the hardware. Ultimately what makes Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets special are the Amazon apps and services to be enjoyed within. Among those include some that you may be already be familiar with in existing Fire HD and Fire HDX devices, like X-Ray for looking up actor or video info, Second Screen, and Prime Instant Video downloads. Others are quite new to the ears. ASAP or Advanced Streaming and Prediction is a Fire TV feature that Amazon is now making available for its tablets as well. ASAP tries to guess what movie or TV episode you will want to watch next and starts downloading them in the background so that when you hit that play button, the video is ready for you.
The new Fire HD is a very family-friendly device. Multiple user profiles lets you set up different accounts for each family member, with their own settings, app data, and bookmarks. But while you may want to keep personal data separate, you might want to share apps and media among family members. With Family Library, you can do that easily, letting you share books, videos, apps, and games between family members, either on the same device or across multiple Android devices or even Amazon’s mobile apps on other platforms. To add even more fun into the equation, the new Kindle Fire HD will come in five color options of black, white, cobalt, magenta, and citron.
But if those family features aren’t enough to make you hand over the Fire HD to your kid, then Amazon’s new Fire HD Kids Edition might. Amazon is starting them young, both for reading and for learning, with a bit of entertainment on the side. Amazon, however, insists that this is not a toy and is a capable tablet in children’s clothing. It isn’t giving out the specifics, but a quad-core processor, an HD display, and rear and front-facing cameras are probably enough to convince most. Front and center, however, are the services, content, and features that make the device something kids will surely love.
Amazon FreeTime Unlimited subscription removes the worry of accumulating bills from app and content purchases by giving it all for free, a value of up to $120 according to Amazon, at least for the first year. Of course, you, not your kid, are the ones to set the rules of what they see and how long they can see it. Those rules can be tailored according to type, so that you can encourage unlimited reading but put a cap on videos and games. But the retailer knows that even well-intentioned kids can become one of the most destructive forces in the known world, so it is throwing in a two-year guaranteed to replace broken tablets, no questions asked.
The pricing details for these new Kindle Fire HD tablets are as follows:
• Kindle Fire HD 6 – 8 GB ($99), 16 GB ($119)
• Kindle Fire HD 7 – 8 GB ($139), 16 GB ($159)
• Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition – 6-inch ($149), 7-inch ($189)
All of these are now available for pre-orders, with shipping slated to start in October.