Amazon has announced major changes to its Kindle range of hardware, with a new 6in Fire HD tablet, a revamped HDX 8.9, and the basic Kindle e-reader now has a touchscreen, with the Kindle Voyage also being launched.
Where to start? Let's begin with the e-readers: The base model of the Kindle now has a touchscreen, and retails at £59 (with "special offers" i.e. ads). It also has double the storage, and is apparently 20 per cent faster in performance terms due to a new 1GHz CPU.
The big new addition for e-readers, though, is the Kindle Voyage (pictured above) which Amazon claims is its most advanced model yet. Priced at £169 (compared to £109 for the Paperwhite), it has a magnesium rear and scratch-resistant glass front, with a thickness of 7.6mm (the thinnest Kindle ever) and a light weight of 180 grams.
A new Paperwhite display boasts a higher resolution which offers 300 ppi, and the screen is micro-etched for better visibility in bright sunlight. The device also adjusts the brightness of the display intelligently depending on ambient light levels, and Amazon claims that the screen is 39 per cent brighter than the Paperwhite, too.
A new PagePress feature offers a new more intuitive way to turn pages, via a sensor under the bezel which you can rest your thumb on and lightly press to turn, with subtle haptic feedback registering your press.
As for the Kindle Fire line-up, that has a new Fire HD 6 version priced at £79, and boasts a quad-core CPU running at up to 1.5GHz, and a 6in screen with a 1280 x 800 resolution. The device is apparently twice as fast as the previous Fire HD thanks to the new CPU, and it also has front and rear cameras.
There's still a 7in version, the Fire HD 7, which has been refreshed in line with this, and has the slightly bigger screen priced at £119.
Finally, the Fire HDX 8.9 has been refreshed and packs some serious hardware with a 2.5GHz quad-core CPU and 2GB of RAM, plus Adreno 420 graphics, driving an 8.9in display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600.
It has also been enhanced with Dolby Atmos audio, is 20 per cent lighter than the iPad Air, and supports 802.11ac MIMO Wi-Fi with a 4G LTE option. There's also a Fire Keyboard now, for those who want to go hybrid. The device starts at £329, and Amazon is clearly stacking it up to be a preferable iPad Air alternative (though Apple will announce new tablets next month, of course).
You can pre-order all these devices now, with the new base Kindle and Fire HD 6 plus the HD 7 set to ship on 2 October, and the Voyage and new HDX 8.9 a bit further out with a ship date of 4 November.
Over in the US, Amazon is also planning to unleash a Fire HD Kids Edition, a 6in model with a chunky frame and tougher build, packing a quad-core CPU and twin cameras. If and when this might come to the UK isn't clear, yet.
Also note that Fire OS 4, a new version of the forked Android operating system, will be on board these new devices. It's based on KitKat and will offer numerous interface improvements, as well as individual profiles for different family members.