A guide to Amazon’s new Fire tablets, Kindle e-readers
Amazon updated its lineup of tablets and e-readers on Wednesday night, announcing two new devices and refreshing several others. The online retailer has been pushing an increasing amount of hardware, packing each of the devices with features that tout the benefits of purchasing from Amazon’s online store.
The Fire tablets, for example, will support sharing of apps, books, movies and TV shows between family members through a program called Family Library. One device could have multiple profiles with access to the same content or different devices could load the shared library. The new offerings come days after a rumor emerged that Apple plans to announce upgrades to its iPad lineup next month.
For $99, the 6-inch tablet could fit in a purse or a pocket, according to Amazon. It comes with a brighter screen than its predecessor and a more durable screen than its competitors. The Fire HD has cameras on the front and back, a graphics processor quick enough to play games and an eight-hour battery life. A 7-inch version sells for $139.
Fire HD Kids Edition
For $149, the 6-inch tablet comes with a two-year guarantee that if a child breaks it, Amazon will replace it. It comes with a one-year subscription to a service that has 5,000 books, movies, TV shows and apps aimed at children. A 7-inch version goes for $189.
Fire HDX 8.9
For $379, this tablet comes in at about 20% lighter than Apple’s iPad Air though it’s almost an inch shorter in display size. It is capable of faster Wi-Fi connections and louder sound playback than the iPad Air. Amazon promises 12 hours of battery life and a screen that adjusts brightness to ambient light.
For $79, the bare-bones Kindle now has double the storage and a touch screen. Batteries on the Kindle generally last a couple of weeks on occasional reading. All of the Kindles have 6-inch displays.
For $119, the most popular Kindle has double the storage now. The versions without advertising cost $20 more across the Kindle offerings.
Thinner and lighter, this new e-reader is designed to feel more like reading a book with paper pages than any other Kindle. Amazon is including free 3G cellular connectivity in a $269 version. The base price is $199.
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