A post on BGR today has photos of what it claims to be the next-generation version of Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD. If these images are the real deal, the new tablet looks to have a sleek, angle-edged back, as well as physical volume buttons—for which the original Kindle Fire tablet was criticized for lacking.

According to the post, the new version of the tablet will come in two sizes: seven inches, and 8.9 inches. Both models have nearly identical tech specs, featuring Qualcomm’s quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, Wi-Fi and optional data, and three internal storage options of 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB. The seven-inch tablet will offer up 1,920 x 1,200-pixel resolution, while the 8.9-inch model’s display will be 2,560 x 1,600 pixels, along with a rear-mounted 8-megapixel camera.

In all, it’s a damn sight more impressive than the original Kindle Fire, which launched way back in 2011 as the vanguard in the cheapo tablet movement that’s taken the world by storm. I have a Kindle Fire, and while it was pretty impressive at the time, it didn’t take long for the technology world to quickly outpace it and leave it in the dust. Aside from its obvious technical limitations as a tablet, one of the biggest issues with the Kindle Fire was the fact that Amazon slapped its own proprietary launcher on top of its Android operating system. Doing so kept users within the Amazon ecosystem—a move that was good for Amazon, and not as good for users who wanted an inexpensive entrance into the Android experience.

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Personally, I went ahead and downloaded a different launcher for my Kindle Fire—Go Launcher EX, to be specific. As a result, I haven’t had to deal with the horror of Amazon’s interface for years now. It made using the tablet much, much more enjoyable, and far more like using an actual Android device.

Will these new Kindle Fire HD tablets keep Amazon’s launcher going strong? I haven’t had the chance to check out the most recent versions of the Kindle Fire, but the answer is “probably.” It’s completely within the company’s best interests to keep making great hardware that’s kept within its system for as long as possible. In the meantime, we’ll have to wait until Amazon makes a formal announcement regarding the next lineup of Kindle Fire HD devices to know if these images and specs are on the money.


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