Amazon has lifted the lid on three new Kindle Fire tablets this morning – an HDX model available in 7-inch and 8.9-inch guises and a budget HD tablet.
Both are "built for work and play" and are targeting businesses. They run on a new Fire 3.0 Mojito operating system – a tweaked Android OS that adds cloud services, a new user interface, apps and built-in media libraries.
They also are available with ultra-fast 4G LTE wireless on the AT&T network, and for the first time on the Verizon Wireless network.
Enterprise features include Wi-Fi networks with WPA2 support, printer compatibility, a built-in OfficeSuite to read documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, a native VPN client, hardware data encryption, as well as Kerberos authentication for single sign-on and the ability to browse secure Intranet websites from the Silk browser on Kindle Fire.
A native SCEP (Simple Certificate Exchange Protocol) lets clients retrieve digital certificates for secure resources, while Kindle-specific device management APIs integrate with existing mobile device management (MDM) systems, to "make it easy for IT departments to manage Kindle Fire".
Kindle Fire supports MDM solutions such as Amazon’s Whispercast service, as well as AirWatch, Citrix, Fiberlink, Good Technology and SOTI.
“Kindle Fire is already the second most popular tablet at work in the US,” said Raghu Murthi, Vice President of Enterprise and Education, Amazon.
“As employees increasingly bring their own devices to work, the new Kindle Fire tablets can be easily integrated into the workplace with the new enterprise features, including encryption, secure Wi-Fi, a native VPN client, integration with leading MDM solutions, and Kerberos support for Intranet access.”
The all-new Kindle Fire HDX (out November 7th) features a quad-core 2.2 GHz processor with three times the processing power, twice as much memory, 11 hours of battery life, and dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus audio. It has reduced glare, dynamic image contrast and is a third lighter than the previous generation at 13.2 ounces.
The 8.9-inch model is priced at $379 for the 16GB model, $429 for the 32GB model and $479 64GB model.
The 7-inch version is $229 for the 16GB version, $269 for the 32GB variant and $309 for the top 64GB model.
Amazon says it "goes beyond HD with exceptional pixel density" – 323 ppi for the 7-inch version and 339 ppi for 8.9-inch model.
The 8.9-inch model also has an 8MP Rear-Facing Camera which can record in 1080p and has an LED flash, while both the 7-inch and 8.9-inch variants have a Front-Facing HD camera.
Amazon has also introduced a Mayday Button to the new Kindle Fire HDX, which offers users free tech support for 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. A tech advisor appears on the screen to talk through features and help users with their problem – and Amazon’s response time goal is 15 seconds.
The HDX also has new origami-style covers.
Finally, the budget Kindle Fire HD (out October 2nd) features a 1280×800 216 ppi HD display, a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor, Fire OS 3.0, dual speakers with Dolby audio and more. It’s $139 for the 16GB model and $169 or the 16GB version.