If you're looking for a good throw-in-your-bag tablet with an excellent form factor and beautiful display, it's hard to beat Amazon's 8.9-inch Kindle Fire. Sure, it doesn't have the Play Store, and belongs in a completely different playing field than something like the Nexus 7, but for a consumption tablet, it can deliver the goods with the best of 'em thanks to Amazon's massive collection of Kindle books and quick access to Instant Video for Prime members.
The shiny new Nexus 7 may be the current king of the 7-inch jungle, but that doesn't mean you should pass up a good deal. The Kindle Fire HD - that's the upgraded 720p tablet, not the newer non-HD Fire - is $40 off for all models at the moment. The Amazon storefront shows "For a Limited Time," so we have no idea how long this price will last.
The price drop applies to all the variations of the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD.
Amazon tends to be a bit focused on the United States because, well, it's a US company. But they're expanding the reach of both the Amazon Appstore (which now works in almost 200 countries) and the Kindle itself. A press release this morning announced that the Kindle Fire HD is now available for pre-order in more than 170 countries, in both the standard 7" model and the premium 8.9". Hardware will begin shipping out to customers on Thursday, June 13th.
Earlier this year, Amazon announced that it was preparing a proprietary virtual currency specifically for its Appstore. Then the incorrigible Eric Ravenscraft spent a few thousand words explaining exactly why Amazon Coins, and any system that substitutes real money for meaningless points, is just a pretense for sucking money out of people's wallets. If you can't wait to pay Amazon's tax on those without common sense, you can now hand over your real dollars for fake ones to spend on apps and in-app purchases.
At the moment, the Amazon Appstore is available in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Japan. But that's hardly enough for Amazon's global ambitions. In a press release, the company announced plans to widen the Appstore to "nearly 200 countries" across North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. A specific timeframe was also absent, but prospective developers can manage their international distribution on the Mobile App Distribution Portal.
The Kindle Fire HD is, at the moment, the best Android tablet that's not really an Android tablet but is still kind of an Android tablet. The LTE model, while pricier than the others, is handy for those that still need to download on the go. Now, AT&T is going to start selling the connected model for $399.
As a temporary introductory offer, AT&T has a "deal" that allows customers to sign a 2-year contract in exchange for $150 off.
For each device, the update provides enhancements for viewing textbooks, with the 2nd generation Fire and the Fire HD 7" getting "X-Ray for Textbooks". This feature allows users to access the most important terms and concepts, with glossary definitions and links to relevant pages within books.
Whether to combat flagging sales or reflect lower component prices, Amazon dropped the price of its Wi-Fi 8.9" Kindle Fire HD today by roughly 10% - down to $270 for the 16GB model. The price of the 32GB model dropped by $30 as well, to $300. The LTE model received a much more substantial 20% cut, and now costs $400 - $100 less than the price it debuted for.
The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 isn't exactly old news - it began shipping only 5 months ago in the US, and $300 for the entry-level model was scarcely believable even at that time.
One of the more annoying things about the Android app ecosystem is that there are loads of apps and games that are needlessly restricted to one device or another. If you care to get down and dirty, you can edit the build.prop file on rooted devices to make your device appear to be something other than what it is. Market Helper gets you the same results, but it doesn't touch the build-prop and it's easy to revert to your original profile.
Do you want a Kindle Fire HD 8.9? Do you have an Amazon Prime Student account, or a .edu email address you're willing to commandeer for the purpose of making one? Good news! You can save $50 on a Kindle Fire HD 8.9.
When you get to checkout, enter the promo code KNDL4STU, and you'll be good to go with $50 in instant savings. The promo is going on through January 30th, and applies to all Kindle Fire HD 8.9 models.