Amazon introduces the Kindle Fire HD at Santa Monica event.
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Can Kindle Fire HD challenge the iPad?

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The tablet wars are on! Amazon has kicked off the 2012 holiday shopping season with its new Kindle Fire HD.
But critics are asking: Is it enough to light a fire, and seriously challenge the iPad?

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has rolled out several new Kindles, including a new basic model called the Paperwhite.

The New Kindle Choices

Starting in November, Bezos plans the following changes to the Kindle line:

       -The basic Kindle will drop in price from $79 to $69.

       -Book lovers will have the option of buying the new Kindle Paperwhite for $119. It's an upgraded model that adds a light for nighttime reading, that will compete with the Nook Simple Touch Glow Light.

       -The seven-inch Kindle Fire will have a sharper screen and some new features, but sell at a lower price: $159.

       -The big news is the brand new Kindle Fire HD, designed to be a serious iPad challenger.  It will come in three models: hope you are taking notes.

Fire HD Options

You will have a choice of buying a seven-inch Fire HD for $199.

Or you can upgrade to the 8.9-inch Fire HD for $299.  That's almost the size of Apple's iPad, but $200 cheaper. The Fire HD  will feature high def video, plus a front facing camera and Skype app for video chatting.

Finally, you can buy a 4G network model for $499, but that is in iPad price territory.

Will advantage be short lived?

Amazon hopes the Kindle Fire HD will take a bite out of iPad sales because of its lower price.

But critics say if Apple releases an iPad mini in the coming days -- at around $250 -- all bets are off.  A $250 iPad could mean that Kindle's low price advantage may be short lived.

As always don't waste your money.


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