SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Online retail giant Amazon on Thursday introduced a new suite of its Kindle devices, from e- reader Kindle Paperwhite with front-lit display to 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD tablet computer.
Kindle Paperwhite is a black-and-white e-reader with a front- lit display. The redesigned screen allows users to read easier in the dark and offers more contrast as well as brightness.
The Paperwhite technology enables the new Kindle to have as much as eight weeks of battery life, making the device highly power-efficient.
The device can also calculate users' reading speed and give estimates how long it will take the user to finish a given chapter or the whole book.
Scheduled to ship on Oct. 1, Kindle Paperwhite will start from 119 U.S. dollars, while the model with a built-in 3G connection sells for 179 dollars.
Amazon also introduced a new Kindle Fire tablet, featuring a 7- inch display, faster processor and longer battery life. According to Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos, the new Kindle Fire processor is 40-percent faster than the previous model.
Amazon also slashed the price of Kindle Fire by 40 dollars to 159 dollars. It will start shipping on Sept. 14.
Meanwhile, the focus of the company's media event held on Thursday in Santa Monica, California was the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD tablet. The device boasts a faster chip from Texas Instruments and the HD screen has 25-percent less glare with a laminated touch sensor.
The next generation of Dolby Digital Plus is now available for the first time on the new line of Kindle Fire HD tablets.
It also has a feature called WhisperSync Voice, allowing users to sync between an audio book and the text version of the book.
The 16-gigabyte Kindle Fire HD costs 299 dollars and will ship in November. The device will also come with a 4G model that has 32 gigabytes of storage and costs 499 dollars.
According to Amazon, Kindle Fire HD is much more affordable than Apple's latest model of iPad. It offers a data plan of 50 dollars per year for 250 megabytes of data per month and 20 gigabytes of cloud storage.
The one-year cost is 549 dollars for Kindle Fire HD, while that for Apple's new iPad is 959 dollars, Amazon stated.
The competition between Apple and Amazon on the tablet market has kept intensifying. Amazon first introduced Kindle Fire last September, trying to grab the low-end tablet market.
The debut of Kindle Fire HD is seen as Amazon's new strategy to step up competition against Apple, which is expected to introduce a smaller iPad, possibly called "iPad Mini," at a media event in October.