Amazon’s recent Back To School discounts on Kindle Fire HD and HDX tablets have consumers and techophiles alike thinking Amazon’s looking to offload some inventory in anticipation of rolling out a new pair of HD and HDX tablets (HD 2 and HDX 2?) late this year, as they’ve done each fall since the Fire tablet originally launched.
It appears the speculations are correct.
The New Fire Specs – So Far
Back in April of this year, TechRadar reported that while a new Fire tablet is expected toward the end of 2014, Amazon had done an excellent job of keeping any and all details under wraps up to that point.
But at the end of July of this year, mobileburn published the following list of specs from the AnTuTu Benchmark site (tap or click on image to view a larger version in a new tab or window):
How Do The Known Specs Compare To The Current HDX?
Pundits all seem to agree the new HDX will be thinner and lighter, as that’s the general trend in tablet design and it’s come to be what consumers expect. The specs shown in the table above indicate the new tablet will also have a faster and more powerful processor (Snapdragon 805 chip for the new tablet vs. 800 in the current model, Adreno 420 GPU processor for the new tablet vs. Adreno 330 in the current model), as well as a higher-resolution front-facing camera compared to the current HDX model. The table also reveals a more recent version of the Android operating system.
Note that the specs for RAM, display size and rear-facing camera resolution are all the same as for the current-model HDX.
What Other Improvements Are Rumored?
At this point, there’s still very little information to go on and most speculation outside the known specs is based on Amazon’s past behavior and mobile tech trends in general.
Presumably the newer operating system will offer some new conveniences and features, though Amazon isn’t revealing any details about them. Given Amazon’s investment in Prime Music it seems reasonable to expect some new bells and whistles in the Music area, and it wouldn’t be surprising to find some interaction between the new Fire tablet(s) and the Fire Phone or Fire TV streaming box.
But again, this is all just guesswork.
Is It Worth Holding Out For The New Model?
Since Amazon never seems to discount Fires more than $20 – $30, and tech bloggers and journalists all agree the new tablet(s) will remain a loss leader for Amazon, priced not much higher than current models, if you feel very strongly about having the newest and most powerful version of a Fire tablet and are willing to pay $50 or so more to get it, then you probably want to wait until the new tablet(s) is/are released.
On the other hand, the current model HDX is already quite a powerhouse and if you ultimately find the new model(s) don’t have any new features you feel strongly about, you may find yourself wishing you’d bought an HDX on discount when you had the chance. Even in that case though, you may still have an option to get a current-model HDX at a discount through Amazon’s Certified Refurbished Kindle store when owners of current-model HDXs start trading them in for the newer model(s).