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

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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.

Gallery: Amazon officially announces the new $159 Kindle Fire | 5 Photos

Gallery: Kindle Fire press shots | 3 Photos

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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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