Books & Review | Jessica Durham
Updated: Oct 11, 2012 02:56 PM EDT

Kindle Fire HD

An employee demonstrates the new Kindle Fire HD 8.9" at Amazon's Kindle Fire event in Santa Monica (Photo : Reuters)

Amazon looks like it's back in business with its new Kindle Fire HD.

According to Reuters, the new HD tablets got FCC approval to sell the 4G tablets, a company spokesperson said on Wednesday. Many can pre-order their tablets, which Amazon plans to ship on Nov. 20.

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The new Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch comes with Dolby Audio, Dual-Band-Antenna Wi-Fi, and comes in 16GB or 32GB. There is also a 4G LTE Wireless tablet that comes in 32GB or 64GB. Both come with a 1920x1200 HD display with "polarizing filter and anti-glare technology for rich color and deep contrast from any viewing angle." It also comes with a 1.5Ghz dual-core processor with Imagination PowerVR 3D Graphics core.

How important are the 8.9-inch tablets?

"The new gadgets are important for Amazon as the world's largest retailer tries to compete with Apple Inc for a slice of the booming tablet market," Reuters said.

Apple is expected to release an iPad Mini, a smaller version of the current iPad. On its website, Amazon claims that the Wi-Fi is 40 percent faster for downloads and streaming compared to the iPad 3. However, it may not be enough for Amazon to stay in the game against Apple and their smaller tablet that is coming soon.

WPTV reported that ipad mini will "kill holiday sales" of the new Kindle, and that the while the 7-inch Fire HD, which was released on Sept. 14, is better than the original Kindle, it's still not an iPad.

"The Amazon Kindle Fire HD may not meet the company's goal of creating 'the best tablet at any price,' our tests suggest. But it's a fine performer that improves markedly on the first-generation Fire,"according to a Consumer Reports review.

One of the good things is that Consumer Reports found "no major flaws" and that glare is reduced creating an easier-to-read screen. Also, the 7-inch HD tablet received high marks for its 8-hour battery life, improved access to cloud storage, and the addition of a physical volume button and camera.

However, there is a lack of a fully stocked app store, lack of a memory card to add to its 16GB and 32Gb of memory and the fact that the advertised prices are for a "special offers" version that includes ads. (Ad-free versions are available for $15 more). 

Joshua Topolsky from TheVerge wrote that when stacked up against the iPad and Google's Nexus 7, the device "still has a long way to go," WPTV reported. "I think it can get there, but it isn't there yet."

It looks like Amazon has another big problem on their hands.

According to Nasdaq, Richard Shim, an analyst at NPD DisplaySearch, said that Google is teaming up with Samsung to build a 10-inch version of the Nexus 7 tablet. The device is expected to ship before the end of 2012.

The new Nexus 10 tablet will feature a 10.1-inch display and the resolution is to reach 2,560x1,600 versus the iPad's resolution of 2,048x1,536. Shim also believes that the tablet will feature a 299ppi vs 264ppi for the iPad 3.

"It's going to be a high-end device," Shim told CNET, adding that Google will also produce a $99 tablet in December.

Still, Amazon might be winning when it comes to a great e-reader.

Kindle Fire HD series poses a huge threat to other tablets to give the readers the best experience when having an e-reader. It features Whispersync for Voice, which Amazon syncs all your books across all your gadgets, that syncs your words-book with your audiobook. You can also sync up your progression in games. Another feature will be Immersion Reading. You can listen to the narration of your book while you read it. It has over 11 hours of reading, surfing the web on WiFi, watching video or listening to music. Of course, battery life depends on users' personal settings and factors such as downloading content and how much they browse the web.

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