Amazon has just opened up new markets today for its seminal Kindle Fire HD 8.9 tablet in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Japan. With the expansion of Kindle Fire HD 8.9 to Europe and Japan, Amazon also announced it is able to lower the price of Kindle Fire HD 8.9 in the US, with the Wi-Fi version now starting at $269 and the 4G version starting at $399.
The planned release of the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 into Europe has taken months of development to gain approval of publishers to have their content delivered into new markets. Customers can now buy them from the official Amazon website and have them sent out in a few days.
The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 features the highest resolution touchscreen display panel Amazon has ever produced. You are looking at a very respectable 1920 × 1200 pixels, compared to the 1280 × 800 showcased in the Kindle Fire HD 7. The enhanced colors really make more graphic-heavy content very vibrant. The screen is actually flush with the bezel because of the Gorilla Glass they use. Most tablets have a small dip from when the bezel hits the screen. Kindle is very unique because it’s easier to utilize the touchscreen for a longer duration.
Underneath the hood is a OMAP 4470 1.5 GHZ dual core processor. It has 1 GB of RAM and comes in 32 or 64 GB of internal memory. There is no possibility to enhance your storage via an SD card, so make sure you buy the storage capacity that suits your needs. Most purchases from Amazon and most apps are stored in the cloud these days, so you don’t need to bog your device down with videos and television shows.
There are a few major elements that seperate the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 from other competition in the tablet space. The first is X-Ray, which is an app compatible with movies and ebooks that gives you an informational breakdown on who the main characters are and how much they are referenced. The second is immersion reading and Whispersync for Voice, so you can listen to audiobooks and pick up in the ebooks exactly where you left off. You can also listen to the audiobook while reading the ebook and the text will automatically highlight as the words are being pronounced. Finally, there is a ton of functionality for disabled readers, with the inclusion of audio when you are interacting with the touchscreen.
“We’re thrilled with customer reaction to Kindle Fire HD 8.9. Customers tell us they love our large-screen version of Kindle Fire HD for web browsing, email, gaming, watching TV shows, reading magazines, and more,” said Dave Limp, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “As we expand Kindle Fire HD 8.9 to Europe and Japan, we’ve been able to increase our production volumes and decrease our costs. Across our business at Amazon, whenever we are able to create cost efficiencies like this, we want to pass the savings along to our customers.”
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.