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Image gallery: What makes up Kindle Fire HD?

Posted: 01 Oct 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MIMO? LTE? Nexus 7? Kindle Fire HD?

Last September 6, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos addressed a packed house and announced what could be another bee in Apple's bonnet. It was approximately one year to the day since Amazon surprised the industry with the announcement of the Kindle Fire, a low-cost tablet that had the benefit of Amazon's vaunted collection of content and applications. With its $199 price tag, the Kindle Fire was an immediate hit, quickly establishing Amazon as a player in consumer electronics space.

Fast forward one year, and Amazon is not only introducing a new version of the Kindle Fire, but three other tablets meant to further establish the company as a viable competitor to Apple's iPad family and Google's foray into the tablet space, Nexus 7.

The first announcement came in the form of a new Kindle Fire featuring a beefed up processor but much of the same in terms of quality and performance. What was more intriguing was Amazon's next announcement: a new family of tablets called the Kindle Fire HD. With the creation of the Kindle Fire HD, Amazon is taking the Apple iPad head on, not only with the introduction of a 7-inch tablet, but also an 8.9-inch model that will rival the 10.1-inch iPad.

The Kindle Fire HD features a 1920 x 1200 high-resolution display, dual speakers, a front-facing HD camera and HDMI out capability. The Kindle Fire HD is also the first tablet to be released featuring MIMO technology. Amazon claims MIMO, with its dual-bands (2.4GHz and 5GHz) makes the tablet 41 percent more efficient at W-iFi connectivity.

Amazon didn't stop there, however. The company rolled out an LTE version of the Kindle Fire HD, a move that was not that surprising considering that many tablets have already made the move to the faster 4G network. The corresponding data plan from AT&T gives consumers 32 GB of cloud storage and 250 MB of data per month for $50...per year. Such an offering is unprecedented by any network carrier, and it remains to be seen what effect this will have on other manufacturers and the agreements they make with cellular providers in the U.S.

The LTE model will be released in November. So, for now, we'll take a closer look inside the Kindle Fire HD 7-inch tablet.

Faster processor
In terms of tech specifications, the Kindle Fire HD improves upon its predecessor with a faster processor (Texas Instruments' dual-core OMAP 4460 applications processor selected over the OMAP 4430 featured in the original Kindle Fire). The OMAP 4460 can be clocked at up to 1.5GHz. What is interesting about the discovery of the OMAP 4460 is that Amazon had indicated that the Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch would incorporate TI's OMAP 4470a dual-core ARM Cortex A9-based processor that can be clocked at up to 1.8GHz. Using the OMAP 4470 in the 8.9-inch and LTE versions but not the 7-inch variant is likely a cost-saving measurethe 4470 is pricier than the older, more widely used OMAP 4460.

A look at the OMAP 4460 and the corresponding die mark inside the package.

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