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Kindle Fire HD 8.9 starts shipping today, but Amazon's already backordered until December 3rd

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Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch
Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch

Over two months after it was first announced, Amazon's 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD is finally ready to go on store shelves. The retailer announced today that the $299 Wi-Fi tablet will begin shipping today from Amazon's website, and will be available tomorrow in Best Buy stores. The $499 4G LTE version won't ship until next week.

Unfortunately, it looks like you'll need to go down the Best Buy route if you want the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 anytime soon: Amazon's site already says that "due to popular demand" all orders placed today won't ship until December 3rd. That's two and a half weeks from now. Other than Best Buy, retailers like Radioshack and Staples are said to get the tablet in stock in the coming weeks.

Due to the long period between the flagship Kindle's announcement and release, the large tablet market isn't quite the same. Apple's latest entry in its dominant tablet line, the fourth-generation iPad, is already available, as is Google's Nexus 10. Those two competitors start at $499 and $399, respectively, in their 16GB variants, though both of those tablets best the Kindle Fire HD 8.9's 254ppi, 1920 x 1080 screen resolution, which still is impressive.