Amazon lines up faster, lighter Kindle Fire HDX devices

Amazon has lined up new devices called Kindle Fire HDX that are significantly faster and lighter than its previous offerings.

The 7-inch and 8.9-inch versions also feature  sharper, more colourful displays with higher number of pixels per inch than the latest iPad.

In a solicitous touch, the company has also added a feature called "Mayday", which allows access to a live customer service representative in a tiny video window on the display.

The representatives help users with the new features, troubleshoot problems while guiding users with on-screen hand scribbles and can even take remotely control of the devices.

Introducing the feature to reporters yesterday, CEO Jeff Bezos said it was "completely unique" and took advantage of Amazon's massive cloud computing and customer service infrastructure, while building  on Amazon.com Inc's reputation for excellent customer service.

With the Mayday button, our goal is to revolutionise tech support,'' said Jeff Bezos, Amazon's chief executive in a media statement. ''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.''

While the devices had been upgraded in several ways, Amazon also cut the price on what would be its entry-level 7-inch tablet, the Kindle Fire HD with 8 GB of memory, to $139 from a $199 version with 16 GB of memory, which made the tablet just $20 more than Amazon's latest dedicated e-reader, the Kindle Paperwhite.

The tablet also offers the option of a new ''Origami'' cover that would wake up the tablet when opened, put it to sleep when closed and serve as a stand in portrait or landscape orientations.

The plastic covers are priced $50 or $55, depending on tablet screen size. The cost of the leather versions would be $65 or $70.

With the new tablets, users who subscribe to Amazon's Prime service would also be able to download and watch a number of movies and TV shows offline, for free, for up to 30 days, and the titles that users watched once could stay on the device for up to 48 hours, according to a report from All Things Digital.

The new features are expected to help users to speed up downloads and making it easier for people to use their Amazon content across devices.