Yesterday, Amazon launched a new line of tablets just ahead of Apple’s rumored iPad event. The new Kindle Fire HDX sports an 7-inch or 8.9-inch screen, twice the memory of the Kindle Fire, a 2.2 GHz quad-core processor and up to 17 hours of reading-only battery life.
Clearly, Amazon is trying to preemptively strike out against the fifth-generation iPad and second-generation iPad mini by launching the HDX two weeks before the rumored Apple event.
Rumors and speculation have whipped the tech world into a frenzy waiting for the next iPad to launch. If Amazon waited until the holiday season to announce their HDX tablets, Apple’s news would have squelched any excitement for the Kindle Fire refresh before it had a chance to get started.
In addition to the new line of Kindle Fire tablets, Amazon has also announced a new 24-hour tech hotline called “Mayday.” This new support service will allow users to get help from an Amazon expert right on their Kindle Fire HDX. The expert will help you figure out what you need by drawing right on your tablet’s screen and walk you through how to access features, download content, and more. It’s like having a “Genius” right inside your tablet. I wish Apple had something like that. The Geniuses are great, but getting an appointment in my local Apple retail store is a pain. I’d love to be able to FaceTime with a Genius while he or she troubleshoots my iPad and tells me how to fix something.
Amazon’s new line of Kindle Fire HDX tablets will go on sale in mid-October. The 7-inch model will start at $229 for the 16 GB version and the 8.9-inch model will start at $379 for the 16 GB version. Mayday will come with all models of the HDX line of Kindle Fire tablets, but is not available on the first-generation Kindle Fire HD.