A couple of years ago, Amazon decided to enter the tablet space with the Kindle Fire. It featured a 7" LCD touchscreen, a heavily skinned version of Android, and a $199 price that made it an absolute steal when compared to Apple's iPad. Then came last year when Amazon introduced the Kindle Fire HD, which came in both a 7" and 8.9" version. Both pack a TI OMAP 4470 processor, a front-facing HD camera, and a 1280x800 resolution on the 7" and a 1920x1200 resolution on the 8.9". The prices for both remain a steal, as the 7" is $199 and the 8.9" is $269 (a $30 drop since introduction). However, those are last year's models, and it appears Amazon is going all out on the upcoming generation.
Rumored specifications have appeared for the next generation Kindle Fire HD tablets, and if true are very impressive. The 7" tablet gets a resolution bump all the way to 1920x1200 and a new exterior design, while the 8.9" increases the resolution to 2560x1600 and a new exterior, too. Each tablet is expected to run a 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974) SoC (which features four Krait 400 CPUs and an Adreno 330 GPU), 2GB of RAM, front-facing camera, WiFi, optional cellular coverage, and either 16, 32, or 64GB of storage. The 8.9" also adds an eight-megapixel rear camera, making it even more of a tablet. Android 4.2.2 is powering the show, with heavy customizations, and performance all around has been improved up to three times over the current Kindle Fire HD tablets, at least according to benchmarks of the test units.
Each tablet has been made lighter and more comfortable than past models, with a more angular approach to the exterior design. Button placement has also been redone, so the power and volume buttons are now on the back and positioned so they won't be accidentally pressed when laying the Fire HD down. The bezel of the 7" model is said to be about half an inch and the 8.9" at three-quarters of an inch, so each one should look even larger. A fall launch is expected once again, and do keep in mind that all of this is just rumor for now. Hopefully Amazon will officially announce the next generation Kindle Fire HDs soon, and when that happens you can hear about it at OCC.