Details on the New Amazon Kindle Fire HD

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Amazon recently held a huge event in Santa Monica, California to talk about all things Amazon.  Most importantly, they talked about the new Kindle devices that will be coming soon.

Originally being searched on the internet as the “Kindle Fire 2″, Amazon is releasing the Kindle Fire HD this November (but taking pre-orders now).  The new Kindle will be lighter and thinner then its previous model.  The new version of the device is coming in 3 flavors.

kindleYou can get a 7″ Wi-Fi version or a 8.9″ Wi-Fi version.  Both are available in 16GB or 32GB.  They both also have a front facing camera so you can Skype it up and include integrated support for Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! and more.  This updated version also includes a micro-HDMI port.  This port was something I really wanted in the original Kindle and glad to see it arrive in the updated version.  Lastly, both versions include access to Amazon’s 22+ million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, books, audiobooks, and popular apps and games as well as Amazon Prime Instant Video and other Prime perks.

Hardware is where the two versions differ.  The 7″ version is rocking a 1280×800 HD display, Dolby audio/dual-driver stereo speakers and a 1.2 Ghz dual-core processor with Imagination PowerVR 3D graphics core.  The 8″ version is slightly beefier with a 1920×1200 HD display, Dolby audio/dual stereo speakers and a 1.5Ghz dual-core processor with Imagination PowerVR 3D graphics core.

The costs for each of these devices are different.  For the 7″ version, you’ll be shelling out $199.00 for the 16GB version and $249.00 for the 32GB.  The 8.9″ version will run you $299.00 for 16GB while the 32GB will cost $369.00.

The third version of the device is the 8.9″ 4G LTE Kindle Fire HD.  This one has all the benefits of the 8.9″ Wi-Fi version PLUS you can also connect using AT&T’s 4G LTE to connect to the internet when Wi-Fi is unavailable.  You can sign up for the 4G LTE service with a yearly payment of $49.99.  This gives you 250MB a month to stream and download whatever you want (not sure how much streaming you can do with 250MB).  You pair that up with the $79.99/year Prime membership fees and you’re looking at $129.98/year to have the best Kindle experience.  The device itself is going to run you $499 for a 32GB version of $599 for a 64GB version.

The new Kindle does have some software upgrades as well.  One neat feature is X-Ray for Movies.  While watching a movie, you can tap your screen to bring up info about the actors on the screen…

Explore favorite characters and actors at a touch. Kindle Fire HD uses the power of IMDb to bring Amazon’s exclusive X-Ray service to movies. Simply tap on any scene to instantly see which actors are currently on screen, jump straight to other movies in which they star, and more.

One other thing the new Kindle will have is something called Kindle FreeTime.  Amazon explains…

Kindle FreeTime is a new service, built from the ground up to help give parents peace of mind when it comes to tablet use. Parents can create a profile for each of their children and choose what books, apps, games and videos they want to give their kids access to. Kindle FreeTime is free on every Kindle Fire HD.

Our kids always want to play with our Kindle so this sounds like something we would definitely use.

We have the original Kindle Fire (which now available for $159.00) and it’s mostly used for reading books and browsing the web.  While movies and TV shows did look great on it, I’d much rather watch movies on our large TV.  I’m sure we will upgrade to HD mainly for the bigger display, the front facing camera and the micro-HDMI port.

You can pre-order your preferred device now.  They will be shipping them out starting November 20th (just in time for Christmas or whatever you celebrate).  Will you be getting one or do you have your eyes on another tablet device?