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back to article Amazon unveils new hi-def Kindle iPad-killers

Amazon has announced a refresh of its entire Kindle line, including updated models of its basic e-readers and fondleslabs, plus a new family of upscale tablets designed for viewing high-definition content. The new devices, which Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled on Thursday at a press event in Los Angeles, include a new e-ink based …

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I was thinking about buying a Nexus 7 now i'm conflicted as to that or Fire HD which is cheaper for the 16GB model, but doesn't have stock Android which is a major downside IMHO.

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Anonymous Coward

Wow

I had a Texas instruments led calculator in the late 1970's!

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Anonymous Coward

But...

..the Nexus 7 has no HDMI which kills it as an option for me.

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Re: Wow

Ah, the good life. I'd return to the states just for Amazon. Its so hard having to physically forage in Australia... And pay good beer money on meagre trickle of data.

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Anonymous Coward

Wow

What a pile of shit that thing looks. Look at the huge plastic border around the screen. Have the designers been frozen in time to 2002?

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Re: Wow

Perhaps, but who cares when the prices are from 1982?

I can also appreciate the function-over-form argument that thin bezels on a touchscreen you're meant to hold in your hands are largely impractical.

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Anonymous Coward

The processor in the 7 inch version is the 4460 and not the 4470. The 4460 is less powerful than the Tegra 3 in the Nexus 7. However it does have more storage..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wow

Prices from 1982? When £1 would buy you a decent hot dinner and have change for a packet of fags?

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Re: fags

For our American brethren. Its not what you think: Fags=Cigarettes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Look at the huge plastic border

Makes it a lot easier to hold without getting your fingers on the screen.

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data plan

Is that data plan for real? It's better than most ADSL packages in the UK. It's that kind of deal that is required to make cloud computing work.

Also, if it's possible to make a tablet with decent battery life and a 1920x1200 screen, can I please have a laptop with a 12 or 13" screen with a similar resolution. How hard can it be?

There's a good reason why Amazon have 20% of the US market and it's because the released a tablet for $200. The new models beat the nexus on spec and/or price so the question is just whether you want Google play on your device, or if you're happy with the Amazon app store.

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Boffin

Re: data plan

Sorry - typical sloppy journalism it seems!

Amazon only give you 250MB per month.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: data plan

I saw 250 Mb per month / LTE and chuckled. Now I saw "250 Gb" and thought: shit, it's good for some. I would happily buy this slab and a yearly subscription, even on the USD = GBP 1:1 ratio, given the 250 Gb limit. Even 25 Gb limit. Yeah, dream on :(

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FAIL

Too little, too late.

HD model notwithstanding, I suspect that most people who wanted a Kindle Fire in the UK either got one shipped from the US and/or bought a Nexus 7 and installed the Kindle app on it.

Hell, some of them might have bought an iPad and entered Zombie Steve's Walled Garden.

Too little, too late, especially if the rumours of a 3G Nexus 7 and forthcoming 'Nexus 10' have any truth to them.

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FAIL

LTE data

"Amazon is offering Kindle Fire HD customers 250GB per month of high-speed LTE wireless data"

Nope, sorry to say but you got it wrong El Reg. It's actually 250MB - that means the month's allowance can be gone in about 30 seconds on a decent LTE network.

Plus Amazon is pushing ads to the tablets to get those prices, so those 250MB allowance get eaten even more.

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Anonymous Coward

Data

Gone in 3.5 seconds to be precise.

Great value hey.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: LTE data

"the month's allowance can be gone in about 30 seconds on a decent LTE network"

Lucky then that there's not going to be a decent LTE network in the UK until about 2017. YMMV if you happen to live in the same parish as one of EE's directors, but for the rest of up plebs LTE remains a pipe dream.

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Anonymous Coward

"that is, he said, with the exception of the Kindle Fire, which Bezos said now accounts for 22 per cent of tablet sales in the US."

The first Fire did pretty well because it was new, hyped by a trusted brand name, and done so right before Christmas. A large percentage of the sales were gifts for other people. What he's not telling you is the shockingly high return rate of Kindle Fires right after Christmas once people started using them, and the surprisingly persistent sales of the basic Kindle e-reader (which is why Amazon is refusing to share specific Kindle sales and return numbers publicly, like Apple does). Jeff thinks that if he can just offer all the Kindles cheaply enough, it won't matter that the Fire user experience is weak. Maybe he's right.

Oh, and the new Paperwhite is frontlit, not backlit.

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FAIL

If you are going to come in here and slag anything off, have the decency to do it under your handle.

Let's see, you say Jeff thinks that if something can be sold cheaply enough it will find buyers. Well, that makes YOU the outlier for thinking that something won't sell regardless of how low its price is.

I'm not a fan of the fire, never have been but petty people bug me even more.

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FAIL

@Turtle_Fan:

"that makes YOU the outlier for thinking that something won't sell regardless of how low its price is."

Sorry, how much of the desktop market does GNU / Linux have again? Last time I checked, Ubuntu, Mint, etc. were all being offered for free.

Clearly price isn't the only factor, as you appear to be implying.

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Anonymous Coward

@Turtle_Fan

You hate petty people yet complain about anonymous posters. Good one - a handle is much more informative. What losers started these trends of crying about anonymous posts and downvotes anyway?

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Paris Hilton

Re: @Turtle_Fan

<blockquote>You hate petty people yet complain about anonymous posters. Good one - a handle is much more informative. What losers started these trends of crying about anonymous posts and downvotes anyway?</blockquote>

Wankers the lot of them, I presume that people realise that comments are searchable from outside the hallowed hall of El Reg land and A/C is sometimes the only option to comment without it being held against you in a job interview plod-search scenario.

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Anonymous Coward

"Let's see, you say Jeff thinks that if something can be sold cheaply enough it will find buyers. Well, that makes YOU the outlier for thinking that something won't sell regardless of how low its price is."

Right - that's why I said he might be right. Why in the world would anyone take such an extreme stance as "something won't sell regardless of how low its price is."? And I'm not trying to be petty--I'm simply quoting Jeff.

Regarding sales: IHS iSuppli said Kindle Fire market-share fell to 4.2% by Q2-2012, and IDC said Kindle Fire market-share was 5.0% in Q2-2012. Hardly anything like 22%. (www.bgr.com/2012/08/02/ipad-market-share-q2-2012-tablets-idc)

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Meh

It's good, and at these prices I can have one in addition to my Nexus 7 but I suspect I won't bother. The 7" model is big for a 7" model. HDMI output is going to be a big advantage for some. Where Google sell more or less at the cost, Amazon can clearly afford to sell below cost so however you look at it, the new Kindles are going to be remarkable value for money. These are good times for mobile computing.

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That bezel

They seem more absurd with screens so small. Pretty nice, but lacking the 'pure Google' ethos and update pipeline of a Nexus 7. If I wanted Android (I'm a fanboi) I know which I'd go for. On the other hand, that data plan...wow.

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Anonymous Coward

Not "pure Google" - huh?

it's not lacking the "pure Google" ethos as the Kindles are not, and have never been, "Android" devices.

They are their own devices that use the Amazon ecosystem.

They may use the OS under the hood, but from a punter's POV it's nowhere to be seen.

(And by punter I mean non-geek punter)

IMHO This is worth a read...

http://www.theverge.com/2012/9/4/3291249/the-end-of-android-tablets-google-amazon-kindle-fire-microsoft-windows-8

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FAIL

You have to be kidding.

The new top end e-ink Kindle has HALF the storage my two year old Kindle keyboard does. And it costs MORE too! "and no free web browsing"

I'll have to grab up a spare Kindle Keyboard or two while I still can.

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Gold badge
Unhappy

Re: You have to be kidding.

It does look like Amazon have given up on the "proper" Kindle product line. No larger format device. No colour device. No software upgrades for existing devices. Odd really. Having established e-Readers as a mainstream product they seem content to walk away and let others take over. Meanwhile they are trying to compete with Apple, like they are ever going to have more success than a giant like Samsung.

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Thumb Up

Excellent!

Got me an iPad, and I'll look seriously at at an iPad Mini (or Mini iPad) when and if it arrives as I find a 10" tab a bit unwieldy on a crowded train.

Competition like this is just what the market needs to keep healthy, with Amazon playing the risky razor-blade ticket of selling below cost in order to get additional revenue with content. Add in the lack of full Android goodness and you have some clear blue water between Amazon's Kindle's and Google's Nexus models.

Should be interesting, and lazy journalists will also make money doing "why the XXX model is better than the YYY model" ad nauseam.

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Happy

Overall it's good news

Things are finally looking up in the Tablet/eReader world. Strong competition will help to drive prices down & features up. With luck we'll see the Android Tablet/Smartphone vendors ship the latest version of the OS. Wide choice equals confusion for many consumers. Amazon will sell tons (no Paperwhite in UK ?). Let's see Google respond with a Nexus 7+ shipping with a minimum of 16GB, plus price drop.

Of course, we wait with bated breath for "you know who" to announce shiny new toys in Sept/Oct.

Plenty of bargains for Xmas & New Year but caveat emptor.

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Silver badge
Windows

Meh and oooo maybe...............

Meh as its only 250MD a month data http://www.androidpolice.com/2012/09/06/amazon-kindle-fire-hd-8-9-with-4g-lte-and-50-a-year-data-plan-coming-november-20th-for-499/

But it comes with Lovefilm, does that mean Amazon finally have an app for Lovefilm on Android ?

If so I know a lot of people who will want it on their Nexus etc. Just hope they release it generally or it can be grabbed for side loading, Would make a subscription to Lovefilm worth thinking about.....

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Re: Meh and oooo maybe...............

There is already an Android Lovefilm app.

However it is limited to just managing your rental list, browsing the library and watching trailers.

I would love for this release to mean they are producing a new version of the app and I can look forward to watching streamed films on my phone some time soon but I'm not holding out too much hope.

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Re: Meh and oooo maybe...............

Just found this...

http://blog.lovefilm.com/uncategorized/kindle-fire-hd-is-coming.html

So, Lovefilm streaming will be on the HD and will likely be coming to other Android devices later.

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But as usual the UK lags behind...

No large screen Kindle HD for the UK so far (only the 7"), and a deathly silence on the Paperwhite version - which is the only one that interests me...

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Happy

Kindle Fire 7" HD - What's not to like ?

Having read every word at Amazon UK there's something for everyone.

Own requirements are for a really fast, colour, eBook & PDF reader, own movies, plus wide range of file formats.

Especially like the Browser "Reader View" & Wi-Fi Dual Channel.

Knocks the Nexus 7 out of the park which up until yesterday was the "bees knees".

Google need to get all their Content to the UK, ASAP.

Samsung line looks very dated (have the original 7" with no updates).

My Motorola Xoom is also dated & slow, even with ICS.

HTC Flyer 2 is doomed before launch.

So it's now between the big boys for the consumer:

Amazon v Apple v Google (with Microsoft in the wings: lacking product & content).

Kindle Fire HD 32GB now on pre-order using Oct's "morale budget".

PC World/Currys Android Tablet "fire sale" post Xmas ?

Bargains for all.

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Re: Kindle Fire 7" HD - What's not to like ?

No GPS or Gyroscope :-(

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Re: Kindle Fire 7" HD - What's not to like ?

On a good day I can find my way around the sofa without a compass, map or iPhone..................

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Bronze badge

Re: Kindle Fire 7" HD - What's not to like ?

Having read every word at Amazon UK there's something for everyone.

Only if "everyone" doesn't include people who don't want a tablet. I have zero interest in something like the Fire, or any other touchscreen device. (I am slightly interested in the original-style Kindles, with e-ink screens and physical keyboards. Not interested enough to have purchased one, though.)

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Re: Kindle Fire 7" HD - What's not to like ?

Well that's your privilege but if you don't try, you don't get, nor do you learn new skills. It's your call.

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Anonymous Coward

Killers.

"iPad-Killer" - Really? People are still using this ridiculous term.

Unless the Kindles have an Apple logo stamped on them and are running iOS, then plenty of people will still keep buying the competition. There's no killing going on.

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I hate paying for ads

I was rather excited about the announcement and was interested in ordering one

BUT...

Pushing ads on your tablet even if you pay for the $400 to $500 ones???

Sorry but I'll get a Samsung one instead.

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Re: I hate paying for ads

I just hate ads, full stop. My understanding is that they appear only on the Home Screen or Screensaver.

I guess the jury is out until they ship. If enough customers moan then there may be a change of heart.

Always possible to turn WiFi off, as a last resort. Or just don't buy the product.

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Bronze badge
Joke

I notice that it's a flat rectangle with rounded corners. It even has a touch interface. Be careful Apple doesn't sue the pants off you.

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Coat

You're safe - there's plenty of prior art for THAT joke!

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Anonymous Coward

Why not post the patent number for the 'rectangle with rounded corners' patent?

Oh you can't - because it doesn't exist.

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Thumb Down

@AC 9:30

Square with rounded corners is covered by design patent D504889 in US and community design 000181607 in EU. No kidding.

PS I agree it is ... controversial, to say at least, and one of these designs is currently under "Invalidity procedure pending".

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Bronze badge

Re: @AC 9:30

EDIT of course meant to write "rectangle" , not "square". With the numbers provided anyone can see these designs anyway.

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I wonder if it'll be allowed to be touted as 4G when it comes to the UK? I thought Apple got into trouble with the new iPad for their claims that it was a 4G device in a country that at the time had no 4G network? Perhaps EE's awarding of the 4G spectrum will be considered enough of an intent to get 4G off the ground in the UK so as to permit Amazon to use the '4G' tag in their marketing and naming language.

Wonder if Apple will re-add the 4G bit to the iPad at that point too.

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Pint

Kinda right...

Apple were given a slap on the wrist for promoting the iPad with Cellular connectivity and stuck the 4G in advertising even though there were never going to be an networks that could support the frequency. Although EE have the 4G green light, their frequency is 1800MHz (not 2100MHz/700MHz that is supported by the iPad with 4G).

Reading the tech-specs of the Fire HD 4G, their device only supports one of the US supported bands (2100Mhz). That's probably why it won't be available in Europe for a long while. If they release it with EE supported bands as an exclusive product to EE themselves, that's probably the only way they could do it in the next 6 months.

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Re: Kinda right...

Ah - makes sense - thanks for the informative reply!

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