Amazon readies thinner and lighter Kindle Fire

Details of an improved Kindle Fire 2 tablet have been steadily trickling out for some time now, but with Amazon now actively approaching developers with its new hardware, expect those leaks to become something of a steady stream over the next few weeks.

Amazon's first Kindle Fire flew off the shelves, but sales are starting to slow, so a successor is inevitable, especially after the launch of the rival Google Nexus 7 tablet. That successor should be here fairly soon, possibly a year after the original tablet launched, with 'late in the third quarter' already being tipped by sources 'familiar with Amazon’s plans'.

With this rapidly-approaching date in mind, Amazon is said to have been approaching developers to bring them up to speed on the new hardware. That's obviously led to the first 'confirmed' leaks about the tablet.

The Kindle Fire 2 will be thinner and lighter than the original. It will also have a built-in camera and a much-improved display – developers have been instructed to build their apps for a display with a 1280x800-pixel resolution, in comparison to the 1024x600 display of the current Kindle Fire.

'The really interesting thing here is that the screen shape is changing slightly: From an aspect ratio of 1.71 (tall and narrow in its standard portrait mode) to an aspect ratio of 1.60,' DisplayMate president Raymond Soneira told AllThingsD.

'That’s a 67 percent increase in total pixels, and it is visually significant,' he added. 'It gives the display a ppi (pixels-per-inch) of 216.' In short, that would mean improved visual clarity and image crispness.

Other details are still a little vague, but there is expected to be a faster processor, improved graphics, and an updated version of Android to support that new display – but that is still likely to be Amazon's own take on the OS.

If Apple also launches the iPad Mini and both this and the Kindle Fire launch in the UK alongside the Nexus 7, we could have something of a tablet war in the run-up to Christmas.

Source: AllThingsD

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