3 of 5Image
The Kindle Fire HD comes with 16 or 32GB storage, to better accommodate the large file sizes of HD content such as movies. The tablet's beefed-up processor is the dual-core 1.2GHz OMAP 4460.
The UK won't, however, be getting the 8.9-inch version of the Kindle Fire HD, also pushed out on Thursday, which remains US-only for now. An Amazon spokeswoman was unable to tell ZDNet if this version of the tablet will be released in the UK.
The 7-inch Kindle Fire HD can switch automatically between 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks and newer, less-crowded 5GHz networks, which Amazon says results in better range and less interference when downloading content.
Just as its Kindle e-reader spurred sales of e-books, Amazon is looking for its tablets to push up sales of apps, films and other downloadable content. The Fire devices plug into a marketplace of some 22 million e-books, movies, games, apps and music tracks.
"Not only does Kindle Fire HD feature the most advanced hardware, it's also a service. When combined with our enormous content ecosystem, unmatched cross-platform interoperability, and standard-setting customer service, we hope people will agree that Kindle Fire HD is the best 7" tablet available anywhere, at any price," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, in a statement.
The Kindle Fire HD weighs 395g, measures 10.3mm thick, and promises 11 hours of battery life. It will go on sale at £159. By comparison, the 7-inch Google Nexus tablet with 16GB of storage costs £199.
The UK will also be getting the latest version of the standard 7-inch Kindle Fire. The tablet runs on a 1.2GHz OMAP 4430 processor, which Amazon says provides 40-percent faster performance than its predecessor. It has a 1024x600-pixel resolution and promises nine hours of battery life.
At £129, however, the price difference is so small it's hard to see many people opting for the lower-specced device.