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Kindle Fire HDX tablets show big push for business users

Matt Hamblen | Sept. 26, 2013
Updated Fire OS 3.0 'Mojito' adds several business functions; new 7-in. HDX starts at $229 and an 8.9-in. model at $379

Kindle is already the second most popular tablet at work in the U.S., said Amazon's Raghu Murthi, vice president of enterprise and education, in a statement. "As employees increasingly bring their own devices to work, the new Kindle Fire tablets can easily be integrated into the workplace with the new enterprise features." Murthi said.

Microsoft this week unveiled the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets, both with 10.6-in. displays that allow them to approach laptop capabilities when used with covers that double as keyboards. Microsoft adapted the tablet kickstand of both devices to work in two positions to enable them to be used more easily as laptops.

Analysts believe larger displays are considered better for maximum productivity, while 7-in. to 8-in. displays are generally seen as consumption devices, for reading books and watching videos. In its new tablets, Amazon stuck with the smaller form-factor and at the same time chose to market them as productivity devices for workers and consumers, while noting that many customers will use the machines for both work and personal use.

It remains to be seen how Amazon's new enterprise-ready features will resonate.

IDC and other analyst firms have noted a strong trend toward sales of smaller tablets in the 7-in. to 8-in. size to business users, and even the iPad mini, at 7.9-in. is designed to capitalize on that trend. Amazon benefits from a huge online store of products and services that will resonate with all kinds of tablet customers, analysts have said.

"Amazon hasn't had much traction with Fire tablets in the enterprise, but they're clearly targeting that group more [with HDX]," said IDC anayst Tom Mainelli. "It remains to be seen if they'll have any luck there, but they are putting the right features into the products to make that happen."


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