Amazon unveils $159 7inch Kindle Fire 2012 with 1GB RAM and 44 percent better performance

Amazon has officially unveiled the 2012 vintage of the Kindle Fire, which is reportedly 44 percent more powerful than its predecessor. The service-orientated slate (as opposed to a gadget, which CEO Jeff Bezos claims nobody wants) comes with a bigger battery, a new processor and 1GB RAM -- double that of the 2011 model. The only other change comes in the form of a front-facing camera, unlike its closest rival.

Internally, the device is called the Kindle SD as it now plays second-fiddle to a pair of Kindle Fire HD devices with 1,920 x 1,200 displays, but will be called the "new" Kindle Fire in public. Amazon has also slashed the price of the hardware, which at $159 is $40 cheaper than Google's Nexus 7 -- as well as competing with e-book tablet adversaries Kobo Arc and the forthcoming Nook Tablet replacement with an "incredible" 243ppi display, unless Barnes & Noble are also producing SD and HD hardware. It'll begin shipping on September 14th, with pre-orders expected to begin very soon.

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Amazon officially announces the new $159 Kindle Fire

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Kindle Fire press shots

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New Latest Generation Kindle Fire-Only $159

Kindle Fire, the #1 best-selling product on Amazon for the past year, is now even better, with all the features customers love about the original Kindle Fire-all the content, seamless integration with the Amazon Cloud, Whispersync, and a brilliant 7" touchscreen-now with a faster processor for 40% faster performance, twice the memory and longer battery life. The new Kindle Fire also offers all of the new features that are exclusive to the Kindle Fire family-including X-Ray for Movies, X-Ray for Books, Immersion Reading, Whispersync for Voice, Kindle FreeTime and more.

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Amazon unveils new Kindle Fire with doubled RAM, 44 percent better performance and $159 price