Amazon starts selling 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD

While Amazon is going larger with the Fire HD, Apple thought small when it unveiled the iPad Mini ($329). Google, meanwhile, has been broadening its Nexus portfolio of mobile devices, unveiling a line-up featuring 4.7- ($299), 7- ($199), and 10-inch ($399) displays.

Amazon looks to one up the competition in the battle for holiday shoppers’ mind share as it begins selling the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″. Priced at $299, the tablet features an 8.9-inch display, 16GB of memory, dual-band wi-fi, 1920×1200 HD display, Dolby audio, and is powered by a 1.5Ghz dual-core processor. A 32GB model is also available for $369. Many buyers will likely consider Amazon’s deep content library — 22 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, books, audiobooks, and popular apps and games — as a key reason to purchase.

The new tablet joins an increasingly crowded roster of products vying for attention. While Amazon is going larger with the Fire HD (earlier models sport 7-inch displays and have been popular sellers), Apple thought small when it unveiled the iPad Mini ($329). Google, meanwhile, has been broadening its Nexus brand, unveiling a line-up of three models featuring 4.7- ($299), 7- ($199), and 10-inch ($399) displays.

Unlike the competition, Amazon’s tablets include ads, or “special offers” which appear on the lock screen. For an additional $15 these can be removed; and it seems to us like an easy decision to opt for the non-ad models. After all, do you really want your tablet to function as a mobile billboard 24/7?

Demand appears strong

Though orders can be placed today, according to the Amazon web site the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ won’t begin shipping until December 3rd.

[Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9″]

Explore. Create. Live. Follow Stark Insider on Twitter and Facebook. Join our 9,000 subscribers who read SI on tablets and smartphones on Google Newsstand. Prefer video? Subscribe to 
Stark Insider on YouTube, the largest arts & travel channel in San Francisco.