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Amazon moves ahead with Kindle tablets, ereaders (photos)

Amazon takes the wraps off its new tablets, the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD and the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD. They expect to give Apple stiff competition in price and features.

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Topic: Amazon
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1 of 13 Andy Smith/ZDNet

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos was thrilled to show off his company's new tablet and ereader devices. The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD 8.9 will come in two basic versions: one at $299 and a higher-end model with 4G LTE that will go for $499. The 7-inch Kindle Fire HD 7 with 16GB will retail for $199. Here is

Larry Dignan's analysis: Gadget as a service: How hardware soon becomes irrelevant.

Amazon is trying to take on the iPad more directly with a larger focus on productivity in the enterprise. Bezos pitched the Fire's all new email functionality, which includes "world-class" Exchange support, faster access to new email, and improved sync reliability for contacts and calendars.

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Amazon claims the the Kindle Fire HFD has  41 percent faster Wi-Fi than the iPad 3 and 54 percent more than the Nexus 7.

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New features include a Dolby audio engine exclusive to the Kindle Fire HD as well as a new system called MIMO, which essentially improves Wi-Fi reception by using echos for better signals.

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The side view.

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The Kindle Fire HDs will sport a new X-Ray feature, which basically zooms in on everything from character names in books on any upcoming Kindle or integration with IMDB for actor biographies on the Fire.

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Kindle Fire games.

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The Kindle Fire 7 will be pretty much the same as the Kindle Fire 8.9.

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The Kindle Fire 7 fits into your hand.

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Bezos also unveiled a new ereader, the Kindle Paperwhite. It features three display stacks: a patented light guide, capacitive touch, and a paperwhite display. Read .

It's 9.1mm thin and 7.5 ounces light, "thinner than a magazine and lighter than a paperback," according to Bezos. It's biggest new improvement might be its 8-week battery life.

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The Kindle Paperwhite display includes 62 percent more pixels at 212 pixels per inch to offer what might be the closest any e-reader has come to actually replicating the look of paper pages.

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In a protective cover, the Kindle Paperwhite almost looks like a real book.

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The Kindle Fire had its price cut to $159.

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The low-end Kindle is having its price cut by $10 to $69.

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