Amazon unveiled a pair of new tablets today that could cement its position as Apple's main competitor in the tablet market. The new Kindle Fire HDXes, available as a 7-inch tablet for $229 and an 8.9-inch tablet for $379, are thinner, lighter, faster, and come with higher resolution displays and a much-heralded tech support feature. The tech press is already geeking out:
- USA Today is calling the "Mayday" tech support button a "disruptive" and "knock-your-socks-off feature." Push the button and within 15 seconds a human rep shows up onscreen to talk out your problem, while taking over the device to fix it.
- The processor offers "essentially desktop speed in a hand-held device" and the screen resolutions "are starting to make 'Retina Display' look quaint," Mashable observes.
- Wilson Rothman at NBC calls the tablets a "real threat to iPad dominance." After all, "why would you buy an expensive iPad when Amazon sells a cheaper tablet with high performance and little to no compromise?"
Jeff Bezos is accompanying the device with an unusual sales pitch: He's not looking to get rich off of the thing. Amazon's goal is to sell content, not hardware. "We want to make money when people use our devices, not when they buy our devices," Bezos tells the Wall Street Journal. "We don't have to have our customers on the upgrade treadmill." Still there are skeptics: Fast Company notes that Amazon won't reveal how many tablets it's actually sold, and that its international footprint is lacking.