Gadgets

Amazon unveils updated Kindle Fire tablets

Above: Amazon Kindle HDX

Image Credit: Amazon
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Amazon revealed its new Kindle Fire HDX tablets Tuesday with features such as 24/7 help for users.

With the help service, you can press a “Mayday” button on the screen and get a live video of a tech support person in a small window on the tablet.

“Things that you do every day, you know how to do. But things you do once every couple of months? You sort of forget,” Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos told AllThingsD in an interview. “Describing to the customer where to tap and what to do is very difficult. Here, our tech-support agents can just draw on your screen.”

The new tablets have high-resolution screens, faster quad-core Snapdragon 800 processors from Qualcomm, and low prices. A 7-inch version costs $229, and the 8.9-inch Kindle HDX starts at $379. Both models can come with AT&T or Verizon wireless data plans for an additional $100. An entry-level 7-inch model sells for $139 starting Oct. 2.

The 8.9-inch model is thinner and about one third lighter than last year’s model. It ships Nov. 7. The 7-inch HDX comes out Oct. 15.

The devices support a new feature that company can use to stream content to a tablet, where it’s then stored temporarily for offline viewing. You have 30 days to watch the videos and 48 hours to finish once you start viewing. You can also use a Kindle Fire HDX to “fling” a TV show from a tablet to some TVs, similar to how the Google Chromecast sends video content from the Chrome browser to a television screen.

In “reading mode” the tablets can run for 17 hours, compared with 11 hours in standard mode.

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