Proving for one and all that there can be a fire without smoke, Amazon launched a new 6" Kindle Fire HD tablet on Wednesday. The new tablet is both the cheapest and the smallest tablet ever made by Amazon, and I may or may not be getting one.
The Kindle Fire HD 6 is a cut down version of the new Kindle Fire HD 7, with all of the same software and much of the same hardware. It sports a 6" IPS display with a screen resolution of 1280 x 800, and it runs Fire OS 4 Sangria.
Sangria is Amazon's newest version of Android. Based on KitKat, it adds a number of under the hood improvements as well as profiles, enabling a household to share a tablet by giving each member access to their own individual email, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, as well as personalized settings options.
It will also have all the new reading features which Amazon announced for the Kindle platform yesterday, and the software features found on last year's model.
The Kindle Fire HD 6 runs Sangria on a quad-core 1.2GHz CPU with 1GB RAM, 8GB or 16 GB internal storage. Like Amazon's previous tablets, there's no card slot, but this tablet does have a couple cameras: a VGA resolution webcam, and a 2MP rear-facing camera. That's better than most $99 tablets on the market (and better than last year's camera-less KFHD).
This tablet also sports a single rear-facing speaker (a major step down from the $139 2013 Kindle Fire HD), and while it doesn't have an HDMI port it does have a microUSB port which Amazon says can take an HDMI or VGA adapter.
Weighing in at 10.1 ounces, the Kindle Fire HD 6 measures 6.7" x 4.1" x 0.4". According to the spec page it has up to 8 hours of battery life, and it comes in five different colors (Black, White, Cobalt, Magenta, Citron).
Retail will be $99 for the ad-subsidized model with 8GB internal storage. It's expected to ship on 2 October.
So will you be getting one?
I will probably need to get one so I can review it, but I'm not sure yet that I'll get one for myself.
I see the Kindle Fire as a media tablet, and I do have one. But one of the key features I want in a media tablet is good quality sound. The Kindle Fire HD 6 only has a single rear speaker, which suggests that the sound quality will be lacking.
I don't know of any budget Android tablet that has a single rear speaker with good sound, so that is one of the details I would want to learn about the Kindle Fire HD 6 before I committed to a purchase.
Sure, I like the cameras and expect them to be of good quality, but I see the Kindle Fire as a media tablet first.
What do you think?