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9/25/2013
02:27 PM
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Amazon Kindle Fire HDX Breaks Tablet Ground

Third-generation Kindle sports a Mayday button, to call for tech support.

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Amazon.com on Wednesday introduced its third-generation Kindle Fire tablet, the Kindle Fire HDX, featuring a variant of Google's Android operating system called Fire OS and a dedicated help button.

CEO Jeff Bezos in a statement said that Amazon's goal with its "Mayday" button is to revolutionize tech support. "With a single tap, an Amazon expert will appear on your Fire HDX and can co-pilot you through any feature by drawing on your screen, walking you through how to do something yourself, or doing it for you -- whatever works best," he said.

Though devoting a button to customer support might be taken as an admission of product complexity, Amazon nonetheless portrays the move as one its customers welcome by pointing to approving testimonials. The Mayday button might make the Kindle Fire HDX more appealing to a technically disinclined audience, a group more inclined to buy content than to seek it out for free.

[ Apple is still in the desktop game. Read Apple Updates Its iMac. ]

Amazon could certainly use more buyers of its hardware. Although the company has not released unit sales figures for its Kindle Fire line, it ranked sixth in tablet unit sales during the second quarter of 2013, according to IDC. That means its unit sales during the quarter came to fewer than 1.4 million, about 10 times fewer than the number of Apple iPads sold during the same period.

Amazon says it aims to respond to the year-round, 24/7 tech support call button in 15 seconds or less. In a nod to privacy concerns, the company said that although the user can see Amazon's tech support representative, the representative cannot see the user.

The Kindle Fire HDX comes in two screen sizes: 7 inches at 323 ppi or 8.9 inches at 339 ppi. The larger model's 2560-by-1600-pixel screen is similar to Google's Nexus 10 (2560-by-1600 pixels at 300 ppi) and exceeds Apple's iPad with Retina display (2048-by-1536 pixels at 264 ppi), although an updated iPad is expected next month. The Kindle Fire HDX includes a 2.2-GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor with 2 GB of internal memory and an Adreno 300 GPU.

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OtherJimDonahue
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OtherJimDonahue,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/27/2013 | 12:38:16 PM
re: Amazon Kindle Fire HDX Breaks Tablet Ground
Yeah, the idea is intriguing, but 15 seconds during peak times?! C'mon, that's just not realistic.
jvanbeek
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jvanbeek,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/26/2013 | 8:08:11 PM
re: Amazon Kindle Fire HDX Breaks Tablet Ground
If they had the HDX six weeks ago, I would have purchased it. Instead I purchased a Google Nexus 7 and I have been quite happy with it. It is good to see them upping their game a bit.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
9/26/2013 | 7:26:49 PM
re: Amazon Kindle Fire HDX Breaks Tablet Ground
I'll be interested to see if Amazon can dispense help efficiently at scale. I suspect response times may get longer than 15 seconds over the holidays.
OtherJimDonahue
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OtherJimDonahue,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/26/2013 | 7:03:11 PM
re: Amazon Kindle Fire HDX Breaks Tablet Ground
My mom would like the Mayday button. And by "my mom" I mean me.
anon4112079621
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anon4112079621,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/25/2013 | 10:18:03 PM
re: Amazon Kindle Fire HDX Breaks Tablet Ground
Another Android tablet also launching this week with some great features is the new Ramos i-8($199) -- which is the worldGăÍs thinnest 8-inch tablet -- offering a 7.9-inch HD-screen and aluminum-nickel frame for a sleek design... and similar in size to the mini iPad and easy to carry... almost as compact as a 7" tablet, such as the new Kindle Fire, but with 40% more screen space -- which makes a significant difference in viewing tablet content (a key reason the iPad mini is 8")-- the new Ramos i-8 also matches most features of the Nexus 7 G㢠plus MicroSD storage...

This new Android model also offers one of IntelGăÍs newest processors with solid performance for a mid-range device. Ramos Technology has partnered with Intel to introduce the i-Series with 8", 9", 10" and 12" models ($199-$299) -- and all feature HD displays along with a processor with Hyper-Threading technology, which runs four threads simultaneously and outscores many mainstream quad-core tablets in benchmark testing --

More details at--T ab l e t Sp r i n t-
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