Amazon has finally put an end to speculation concerning the launch of the Kindle Fire tablet in the UK, although it didn’t make a big deal of it during its lengthy launch event last night, preferring to alert the press afterwards.
So what do we get? The original Kindle Fire is first on the list, and not only has it been given a feature overhaul for the occasion, but a price-drop too. For the princely sum of £129, you’ll get a tablet with a 7-inch, 1024 x 600 pixel resolution touchscreen, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 8GB of storage.
Not bad, but no Nexus 7. Amazon though, knows this, and has launched the Kindle Fire HD to compete with Google’s budget tablet. The Fire HD’s 7-inch screen has a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution screen, and a newer version of the 1.2GHz dual-core chip, plus 16 or 32GB of internal memory.
Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, made a big deal over the new Fire HD’s Wi-Fi capabilities at the launch, highlighting the dual-band antennas and commenting how much they would improve reception. He also noted the presence of Dolby Digital Plus, an audio enhancement suite that’s exclusive to the Fire HD, which should make the stereo speakers really sing.
The 7-inch Fire HD has been priced at £159 for the 16GB version, and £199 for the 32GB version, meaning it has double the memory of the Nexus 7, despite being the same price.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’re getting the 8.9-inch version of the Kindle Fire HD tablet, which has an impressive 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution and a more capable processor. Amazon also announced a 4G LTE variant, priced at $499, which is only destined for the US.
The new Kindle Fire tablets are available for pre-order through Amazon right now, with a release date of 25 October.