Today, Amazon held a major press event where it revealed a new line of Kindle-related products. The most interesting was the larger-screen Kindle Fire HD. Measuring 8.9-inches, Amazon’s new tablet competes more realistically on the iPad’s playing field. But is it an iPad killer?
At the Santa Monica press conference, Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, took the stage to announce a number of new, updated Kindle products. With better-quality e-readers and improved battery life for Kindle Touch, these changes still didn’t compete with the big reveal at the end.
Not only did the Kindle Fire get some nice upgrades, but Bezos announced the release of the new, Kindle Fire HD. The high-quality tablet comes with faster WiFi, exclusive Dolby audio, a more powerful OMAP4 processor and graphics engine, and 16 GB of storage. All that, and the seven-inch model is still only $199.
“The seven-inch model?” you say. That’s right. Amazon dropped an 8.9-inch bomb on the media pool today. The Kindle Fire HD comes in two sizes, regular and super-sized. The larger tablet has a 1920 x 1200 HD display screen with 254 pixels per inch. The Kindle Fire big brother will cost a bit more at $299.
There is also a 32GB 8.9-inch 4G LTE model for $499 that includes a one-year data package for $49.99. Now, we are just getting into iPad territory here.
With all the fancy new features, will the larger Kindle Fire HD compete with the iPad. Doubt it. For starters, the display screen is sorely lacking. We’re talking 2010 technology here. The Kindle Fire HD only has a front-facing camera for the purpose of Skyping, while the iPad includes two HD cameras, the front with 5 megapixels for better video conferencing images.
Bezos claims that the Kindle Fire HD WiFi is 41 percent faster than the iPad and it is the first to include MIMO (multiple-input-multiple-output), dual-band technology. You win there Amazon. That is pretty impressive.
Probably the one thing that makes the Kindle Fire HD a far ways off from “killing” the iPad is the fact that all tablets will be advertisement supported. According to The Verge, all three new models of Kindle Fire will include Amazon’s “Special Offers” on their lock screen. You think it’s annoying when a free app has an ad banner? Just think about how irritating it will be to have advertisements show up on the device every time you use it. No thanks.
Amazon also claims to have the “World’s best content ecosystem.” That is arguable. If you take into account the fact that there is a Kindle reading app for the iPad, a Netflix app that lets you stream more movies than Amazon Prime’s selection, an App Store that far-surpasses Amazon’s, and the largest digital music store around, it is hard to believe the Kindle-maker’s claim.
Its not that the Kindle Fire HD isn’t impressive, it will certainly take a chunk of the tablet market over the next year or so, but it is not likely to overtake the iPad as being the most popular tablet. It may be cheaper, but you get what you pay for, don’t you