Amazon has long focused on the value proposition with its lineup of Kindle Fire Android tablets, but, if new rumors out today are accurate, the company's new models may impress with their specifications. Tech blog BGR cites "multiple trusted sources" that say Amazon's new Kindle Fire HD tablets will be powered by a Qualcomm chip (MSM8974) from the Snapdragon 800 family — the most powerful of the chipmaker's offerings. Prototype models of both the 7- and 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD are said to have their processors clocked at 2GHz. We've yet to see Qualcomm's most powerful system-on-a-chip in a mass market device, but the company said to expect the first devices around half-way through 2013.
The rumor also suggests that the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD will have a 1,920 x 1,200 display, 2GB of RAM, a front-facing camera, optional LTE connectivity, a range of storage options from 16GB to 32GB, and Wi-Fi. The 8.9-inch model is said to have the same specifications, save for a 2,560 x 1,600 display and an 8-megapixel rear camera. As usual, the tablets will run a heavily-skinned version of Android, based on 4.2.2 Jelly Bean this time, according to the rumor. Unsurprisingly, both models are said to be thinner and lighter than before.
If these specifications prove accurate (BGR has an uneven track record), the Amazon tablets will offer stiff competition to Google's new Nexus 7 — especially if the retailer can maintain the same $199 and $299 price points it launched with last year for the 7- and 8.9-inch models, respectively. The Nexus 7 impressed with its high-resolution screen and low $229 price, but a Snapdragon 800-equipped Kindle HD will have far more power and may very well have the upper hand.