Amazon launches new Fire HD

Features quad-core processor, front and rear-facing cameras and HD display

Amazon has launched the latest iteration in its Kindle range, the Fire HD. It's available in two sizes: 6in (US$149) and 7in (US$179).

The Fire HD tablets feature high-definition displays, both with a 1280x800-pixel resolution (252 pixels per inch for the 6in and 216PPI for the 7in). Amazon said the new displays are brighter than those of the previous generation Kindle Fire HD tablets.

The new Fire HD has improved graphics performance, helped by a new 1.5 GHz, quad-core processor. The US-based firm claims the Fire HD has three times the graphics performance of the Samsung Tab 4.

Amazon said the Fire HD delivers a world-class entertainment experience. It offers access to millions of books, Android apps and games. The tablet can also be used for regular tablet-based activities such as watching movies, playing games, listening to music and reading e-books.

The Fire HD introduces several new features to the Amazon tablet family, including a new operating system, Fire OS 4 Sangria.

The new OS enables profiles for several users to personalise the one device. Amazon said family members get their own profile, including individual email, Facebook and Twitter accounts. The profiles also allow users to save an individual page in book, a spot in movie, and game levels.

Fire OS 4 Sangria also features Family Library, which links Amazon accounts to those of a spouse or partner for sharing apps, games, audiobooks and e-books. The service also enables cross-platform sharing of purchased content. Although not available on release, Amazon said the new service will soon be available as a software update.

Amazon is currently taking pre-orders for the new tablets. Items begin shipping on 2 October.

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