Amazon has updated its line of Kindle e-readers and dropped some prices, the company announced Thursday in Santa Monica.
The new high-resolution Kindle Fire HD arrives in two screen sizes -- a 7-inch display and a larger 8.9-inch display -- with Dolby sound and dual stereo speakers, Wi-Fi connectivity, front-facing camera and 25 percent less glare than the initial Kindle Fire, Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos said.
The 7-inch Kindle Fire HD will retail for $199 and ships Sept. 14. The larger model will retail for $299 and ships Nov. 20, Bezos said.
New features also include WhisperSync, which syncs audiobooks with e- books, and X-Ray for Movies, which offers information about films that have been downloaded onto the Kindle Fire HD.
Amazon claims the tablets boast faster connection speeds than Apple's third-generation iPad.
Meanwhile, the original Kindle Fire -- released less than a year ago -- has been retooled for longer battery life and speed. It gets a price drop to $159, from the initial $199 sticker, and ships Sept. 14, the company said.
Bezos also introduced the Kindle Paperwhite, an e-reader described as thinner than a magazine and lighter than a paperback. The tablet is priced at $119 for the Wi-Fi only edition and $179 for the free 3G wireless network version. The tablet ships Oct. 1.
The readers are used to shop for, download, browse, and read e-books and other media.
Seattle-based Amazon announced last week that the first-generation Kindle Fire has sold out, and in its nine months on the market captured 22 percent of tablet sales in the U.S.
- City News Service