Amazon announced their updated line of third-generation Kindle Fire tablets early Wednesday, continuing to expand the basic specs, content features and other extras.
Now called Kindle Fire HDX, they promise an "exclusive new display" that "goes beyond HD" with "exceptional pixel density." The 7-inch model starts at $229 and will ship October 18 (the 4G version, at $329, ships November 14) ; the larger 8.9-inch model -- "startlingly light at 13.2 ounces, 34 percent lighter than the previous generation" -- ships starting November 7, and starts at $379 (the 4G version ships on December 10.)
Feature and service additions include free "on-device tech support," through what they call the Mayday Button, with a promised "response time goal" of "15 seconds or less."
In a challenge to Netflix, Amazon's prime instant video service will now allow downloading for offline viewing as well. Their new OS has taken on the Google habit of cute names (Fire 3.0 is called Mojito). They are adding enterprise support and variety of other services to make the Fires even more full-feature tablet competitors.
Meanwhile, in the UK, Nook keeps lowering the price of their Simple Touch GlowLight, trying to move some merchandise. It is now down to £49 (versus £109 for the forthcoming new Kindle PaperWhite).