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Amazon Kindle Fire HD: what you need to know

Jim Martin | Sept. 10, 2012
Amazon's new Kindle Fire HD is the first 7in tablet to provide stiff competition to Google's Nexus 7. We tell you everything you need to know about the new device and how it compares to the Nexus 7.

Amazon has finally announced the long-awaited Kindle Fire in the UK. Here's everything you need to know about the flagship HD version which will be released on 25th October.

The headline specs are: a 7in IPS screen with a resolution of 1280 x 800, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor plus a PowerVR graphics chip for gaming, 16GB of RAM (or 32GB in the £199 version), dual-band Wi-Fi (on both 2.4 and 5GHz), and a battery that's claimed to last for 11 hours of video playback.

The device measures 199x135x10.5mm and weighs 395g. That's around 45g heavier than identically priced Google's Nexus 7.

You can pre-order one today, at Amazon's UK website.

Kindle Fire HD: Content

Specifications are interesting if you're into technical details, but content is more important. BlackBerry's PlayBook was a great tablet when it launched, but there are precious few apps to install on it and many are more expensive than their Android or Apple iOS rivals.

The Kindle Fire HD gives you access to Amazon's extensive library of not just eBooks, but also video and music.

Kindle Fire HD: Music

Amazon has sold MP3s alongside CDs for a long time now, and there are 20 million songs in the MP3 music store.

Like Apple's iTunes Match, Amazon's forthcoming Cloud Player (which will launch at the same time as the Fire HD) means you can import your music to the cloud and download any of your collection to your Kindle Fire HD. This means you're only partially limited by the internal storage: you simply remove the music you don't want to listen to, it stays in the cloud, and you can download it again when you want it back again. The only snag is that, while your Amazon music purchased are stored free of charge, only the first 250 songs of your own collection can be uploaded before you have to pay. See Amazon introduces Kindle Fire HD to UK too.

Kindle Fire HD: Videos

Since Amazon bought Lovefilm, the Kindle Fire HD benefits from access to the vast movie and TV collection. If you're already a Lovefilm subscriber and have Instant as part of the package, you'll be able to stream movies just as you do already on your TV or computer. Whispersync means you can carry on watching a movie on any of your devices, as the Pause and Resume feature remembers the scene you last watched.

Kindle Fire HD: Books

The Kindle Fire HD has a colour LCD screen just like your laptop or PC, rather than the black-and-white e-Ink screen of a traditional Kindle. You can still read books on the Fire HD, of course, and can choose from the same million or so paid-for eBooks, plus millions of free titles in the public domain.

 

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