Amazon’s Fire HD Tablets Likely No Threat to iPad

Hitting the market tomorrow, Amazon is billing its new Fire HD tablets as lighter and more durable than Apple's much more expensive iPad Air. But Amazon probably doesn't have iPad killers on its hands, according to early reviews.

Amazon plans to start selling two new tablets tomorrow: the Fire HD 8 with an eight-inch display, which retails at $149.99, and the 10.1-inch Fire HD 10 [pictured], priced at $229.99. Jeff Bezos, the company's founder and CEO, has said the new devices "deliver the best entertainment experience available on a tablet."

Each device features a quad-core processor, widescreen HD display, Gorilla Glass screen and stereo speakers with Dolby Audio and 5.1 virtual surround sound. Available with 8 GB to 32 GB of memory (the HD 8 offers 8 GB or 16 GB, while the HD 10 comes with 16 GB or 32 GB), each tablet also supports up to 128 GB of additional storage via microSD.

Designed for Amazon Users

Many of the reviews of the Fire HD appearing today don't slam the devices so much as offer so-so praise. "Cheap, yet refined," according to Engadget, while SlashGear noted, "there's certainly a lot to like about the HD 10 on paper."

According to some reviewers, the new Fire HD tablets are clearly designed for regular users of Amazon's streaming video services and apps.

"Where the Kindle Fire HD 10 does shine is, to be honest, where Amazon shines, in content and access to its growing list of services," according to Mashable. "The experience is especially good if you are a paying Amazon Prime member."

Fortune's review is among the harshest, calling the Fire HD 10 "a rare misfire" for Amazon. Criticisms of the device include a "slow processor," "low resolution" and "not ideal for reading."

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