At a live event held today, Amazon announced an all-new lineup of Kindles (via The Verge) – and they seem to be targeted directly at Apple’s throat! The Kindle Fire line now starts at just $169, and aggressively beats Apple’s price points at every turn.
The most significant announcements include a new Kindle Fire HD, which boast a faster processor, twice as much RAM, and a longer battery life than the original model. The Kindle Fire HD comes in both 7-inch and 8.9-inch models, and starts at just $199, with 16GB of storage.
The 8.9-inch model costs $100 more, coming in at $299 , but that extra $100 gets you a lot – the 8.9-inch model includes a 1920 x 1200 IPS display with 254 pixels per inch, placing it on relatively equal ground with the new iPad’s Retina display, which comes in at 264 pixels per inch.
Other new additions to the Kindle Fire HD models include a front-facing camera, Bluetooth, and HDMI out. They’ve also improved the WiFi hardware on both models.
Amazon also announced a 4G LTE version of the Kindle Fire HD, which includes 32GB of built-in storage, and lets users sign up for 250MB per month of 4G data (and 20GB of cloud storage) for only $50 a year. That’s an incredible price for 4G data.
Along with the new Kindle Fire HD models, Amazon also boosted the specs of the original Kindle Fire, and has reduced the price to just $159, making it a pretty serious bargain for anyone looking to pick one up.
To make matters even better, Amazon has also improved their WhisperSync technology, which now also allows users to save their place in games and audiobooks as well as ebooks. In many ways, Amazon’s cloud service is now far superior to Apple’s iCloud. Apple needs to work on that.
The name refers to its expected new screen technology for a sharper (212 ppi) and higher-contrast display, and also features a frontlight that brings parity with Barnes & Noble’s Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight. The device is entirely controlled by touch — hardware page-turning switches are out, and so is the home button.
The Kindle Paperwhite starts at $119 for the WiFi-only version, and is also available with built-in 3G data for $179. The addition of a front-lit service is a pretty huge deal, in my opinion
For more details on all of Amazon’s announcements today, check out The Verge’s full, detailed coverage of the event, or head to Amazon’s website. Note: Amazon is still updating their website with the new products and pricing.