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Amazon prepping two new Kindle Fire tablets with improved build, metal casing

Updated Jul 8th, 2013 3:17PM EDT
Amazon Kindle Fire HD

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Amazon is working on not one, but two new Kindle Fire tablets that will launch in the coming months. Earlier reports suggested that Amazon will announce a new addition to its Kindle Fire lineup late next month and while we cannot speak to the timing of Amazon’s upcoming announcements, BGR has confirmed that Amazon is indeed finally readying the launch of its 10-inch tablet.

BGR exclusively reported last May that Amazon was developing two own-brand tablets, a 7-inch “Coyote” with a dual-core processor that launched as the Kindle Fire this past November, and a 10-inch “Hollywood” tablet that is powered by a quad-core processor. After a great deal of back and forth, a trusted source tells us that Amazon is finally ready to move forward with the tablet.

What’s more, Amazon is also prepping a new 7-inch version of its Kindle Fire tablet. Our source has handled both tablet models and provided a number of details surrounding the upcoming Amazon slates.

First, and this will likely come as welcome news to anyone who has handled the first-generation Kindle Fire, we’re told that the build quality of the new Kindle Fire tablets has been vastly improved. “It’s really up a notch from the current Fire,” the source told us. While the first-generation Kindle Fire was a great value, the build the materials used left much to be desired.

Our source says that the new models feature a metal casing in place of the current-generation model’s soft-touch plastic body. The back of the devices are said to include a chrome-look “rib” that adds contrast against the black matte finish, and the feature reportedly improves the feel of the tablets and the appearance as well. This area of the new Kindle Fire models also houses the tablets’ speakers, we’re told.

The overall shape of Amazon’s new slates is described as a thinner version of the first-generation iPad but there are no buttons on the front of either device. The 10-inch model includes a front-facing camera according to our source, and both new Kindle Fire models include a microUSB port and one additional jack that our source speculates may be an HDMI-out port.

UPDATE: Amazon ended up canceling plans to release the 10-inch model, as it was rumored to be considering, and instead launched the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″, which features the exact same design noted above with a slightly smaller display.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.