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Amazon unveils 5 new Kindle tablets; touted as lighter, faster

September 6, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled a total of five new Amazon products Thursday, all lighter in weight and more interactive with better sound, faster Wi-Fi and a bigger selection of movies, songs, books and magazines.

"It's the software features that I think are really starting to set these companies apart," said Joanna Stern, technology editor for ABC News. "And I think something like the movies X Ray is really awesome. I thought that was actually the coolest thing. There, you're able to watch a movie, tap on someone's face and then it will bring up their IMDB profile so see what they were in before."

And because of Amazon's selection of software content, they can keep the prices low on the actual devices.

"We want to make money when people use our devices, not when they buy our devices," Bezos said.

The new Kindle Fire comes in 7 inch and 9.8 inch screens and is billed to have the fastest Wi-Fi of any tablet. It will be sold for $199. The Kindle Paperwhite is the first lighted Kindle with higher resolution and contrast than the original. It's also front-lit to avoid eye-strain and glare in the sun or the dark. Bezos says it has a battery life of eight weeks, even when the light is on.

The baseline entry Kindle has been updated and the price has been knocked down to $69.

"We packed in dual stereo speakers, Dolby sound -- never done before in a tablet -- MIMO Technology, which means the fastest Wi-Fi, 40 percent faster than the latest iPad," said Jay Marine vice president of Kindle at Amazon.

Amazon established the market for smaller, affordable tablets, but now the question is, can it keep up with emerging products from competitors, including Apple?

"Google released a 7 inch tablet in June, better than the previous Kindle Fire, and it sold a lot of them, and we have Apple, basically rumored to release a new one, smaller, seven inches, more affordable, later this year," said Stern.

You can start ordering the first of the new products October 1.


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