If you're under the assumption that the Kindle Fire tablet is merely a device you can use to read books and magazines from Amazon, think again. Amazon has released three new versions of its popular tablet -- all with bells and whistles that are handy for business users.
Powered by Amazon's newest version of Google's Android operating system called "Mojito," the new line of Kindles include two models called Kindle Fire HDX (one at 8.9 inches, the other at 7 inches) as well as a new Kindle Fire HD. Here's what's useful about the HDX for entrepreneurs: they come loaded with support for business email (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, AOL and more), a suite of productivity apps, data encryption and a built-in virtual private network (VPN) which business owners can use for accessing private or sensitive company documents while on the road.
Perhaps the coolest new, free feature on the HDX is something Amazon calls Mayday. "With a single tap, an Amazon expert will appear on your Fire HDX and can co-pilot you through any feature by drawing on your screen, walking you through how to do something yourself, or doing it for you -- whatever works best," Amazon says.
In addition to access to the usual slew of apps and games, Amazon says a feature called Second Screen will be available in October that lets users stream TV shows and movies from their Amazon tablets directly to their TVs.
The HDX models come with a 2.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and a reading mode that allows for up to 17 hours of battery life. The 8.9-inch HDX has a higher resolution display -- up to 339 pixels per inch, Amazon says. The Kindle Fire HD comes with a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor.
In terms of storage, the HDX tablets come in 16-, 32- and 64-GB versions. The Kindle Fire HD comes in 16- and 32-GB versions. The 8.9-inch HDX will start at $379 while the 7-inch version will sell for $229 and up. The Kindle Fire HD will start at $139.
For everyone who's keeping tabs on all the new tablets coming out, Microsoft has rolled out a new pair of its Surface line of tablets -- the next generation Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. Like the Kindle tablets, Microsoft hopes its new versions of the Surface will appeal to business-minded buyers.