Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet is finally reaching British shores, almost a year after it was released in the US.
The latest version of the Android-based tablet and its higher-specced companion, the Kindle Fire HD, are available for pre-order now, and will ship in the UK on 25 October, Amazon said on Thursday.
The 7-inch Kindle Fire HD (pictured) has a higher screen resolution of 1280x800, a Gorilla Glass screen and customised features that Amazon says reduce glare and make it easier to view at different angles.
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.
The price of Amazon's basic Kindle e-reader has now dropped to just £69 following the announcement of the Kindle Fires. It has a 6-inch e-ink display, weighs 170g and holds up to 1,400 books.