Amazon launches Kindle Fire HD in UK and backlit ereader

Amazon reveals 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD and new Kindle Paperwhite ereader

Amazon has confirmed the existence of the Kindle Fire HD tablet and a new, backlit eReader at an event in Los Angeles this evening.

The Kindle Fire HD will come in two sizes, the previous 7-inch and a larger 8.9-inch configuration. The impressive display features a 1,920 x 1,200 pixel resolution that will see it compete with the likes of the new iPad and the Google Nexus 7.

Amazon confirmed that for the first time the Kindle Fire range would officially go on sale in the UK, with the 7in Kindle Fire HD with 16 gigabytes of storage costing £159 in the UK, and the lower-end Kindle Fire £129. Both will be available from 25 October.

On the hardware side, Amazon has included a laminated touch insert on top of the Kindle Fire HD display that should reduce glare on the screen by 25%.

Powering the device is a OMAP 4470 processor developed by Texas Instruments which, according to Amazon, will outperform a Tegra 3 processor. Internal storage on the Kindle Fire HD will start at 16GB.

A few third party apps, including Facebook and Skype, have been optimised for the Kindle Fire HD. The tablet will also support multiple accounts and parental controls.

Meanwhile, the new eReader has been christened the Kindle Paperwhite and adds a backlight to the traditional e-ink display. The new display also adds 25 per cent more contrast and 62 per cent more pixels to the display.

According to Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, the new screen means the Kindle Paperwhite is “perfect in the bedroom, perfect in direct sunlight.”

“People are going to love this device, and they're going to love the light. In fact, they're going to love it so much they're going to leave it on all the time," he said.

The Paperwhite also comes with a new feature called Time To Read - which tracks your reading speed and calculates how long it will take you to finish the book.

US prices for the 3G and Wi-Fi Kindle Paperwhite are $179 and $119 respectively, with the device shipping from September 14. Unfortunately, there's no word yet whether this device will be launching in the UK.