Amazon's new Kindle and Kindle Fire 2: What you need to know

Kindle Fire 2 and new Kindle
Amazon hopes the new Kindle Fire 2 will burn down the competition

Amazon's announcement in Santa Monica, Calif. showed more than just a new Kindle and Kindle Fire 2.

A slew of new devices - the Kindle Fire HD, the upgraded Kindle Fire, the Kindle Paperwhite - were all unveiled today.

Amazon also refreshed its entire Kindle lineup with features like X-Ray, Immersion, Whispersync for Games, 4G for Kindle Fire HD and unlimited 3G for the Kindle. Here's what you need to know.

new Kindle

Kindle Fire HD

Multiple flavors of Kindle Fire HD mean multiple prices, so here goes: The 7-inch Kindle Fire HD price is $199. The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD price is $299 for 16GB. With 4G service, the 8.9-inch 32GB Kindle Fire HD price is $499, plus a $49.99 monthly service fee.

Kindle Fire HD

As mentioned, the Kindle Fire HD comes in two screen sizes, either 7-inch or 8.9-inch inches. The 7-inch screen is 1280x800 and is only available with 16GB storage, while the 8.9-inch is 1920x1200 and comes in 16GB, or 32GB if you buy in for 4G service.

The Kindle Fire HD screen is an IPS LCD display working at 254 PPI, and will offer reduced glare thanks to a lack of "air gap" between the display and the screen glass.

Kindle Fire HD

Kindle Fire HD specs report a Texas Instruments OMAP 4 4470 dual-core processor, dual speakers with Dolby sound, a front-facing HD camera, Bluetooth and an HDMI out.

The Kindle Fire HD is a dual-band device with two antennas, supporting both 2.4GHz and 5.0Ghz.

Amazon tablet fans can expect the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD to be released on Sept. 14. The the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD release date is Nov. 20.

The new and improved Kindle Fire

The original Kindle Fire has been refreshed with more RAM and a faster processor. According to Amazon, it's 44 percent faster than its predecessor.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

The new Kindle Fire now boasts a full 1GB of RAM, twice what the original Kindle Fire had. It's also helped by new processor, and a battery life that beats the original.

The new Kindle Fire price is $159. It's available for pre-order now, and begins shipping on Sept. 14.

Kindle Paperwhite

Ever wished your Kindle was self-illuminating and had a touchscreen? Well Amazon has heard you, the Kindle Paperwhite has both those things, and comes in Wi-Fi or contract-free 3G.

It's extremely light and thin, weighing only 7.4 ounces with a thickness of just 9.1mm.

Kindle Paperwhite

The Kindle Paperwhite uses fiber optics for a front-lit screen that can be read in the dark. It offers 25 percent higher contrast and 62 percent more pixels than the standard Kindle. It also boasts a battery rate for a jaw-dropping eight weeks, and that's with the screen illuminated.

Lastly, the Paperwhite offers global 3G service that works in more than 100 countries, all with no contract.

Kindle Paperwhite

The Kindle Paperwhite price is $119 for Wi-Fi only and $179 for 3G. The release date is set for Oct.1.

The new Kindle

Finally, Amazon refreshed its original e-reader, the Kindle, with new features and a lower price.

The new Kindle price is $69 and available for pre-order today. It now has new fonts, sharper text and 15 percent faster page turns.

Immersion Reading

No more robot voice narration, with Immersion Reading, Amazon will offer professionally read audiobook components for major titles.

These will be read by actors, and will allow users to go between text and voice seamlessly.

Amazon's presentation showed actors like Samuel L. Jackson and Anne Hathaway reading bestsellers.

Whispersync for Voice and Games

Whispersync, the feature that keeps your place in whatever you're reading across Amazon devices, will now work with games and e-book Immersion Reading narration, on the Kindle Fire HD or a smartphone with the Audible app. You'll be able to pick up right where you left off by reading text or by listening.

Kindle Fire HD

For gaming, Whispersync on the Kindle Fire HD will now back up your progress, letting you continue at your last checkpoint, and keeping track of your scores and completed levels.

Kindle FreeTime, parental controls at last

This should help household negotiations. Parents will now be able to create individual profiles for their children, and limit what they can do on a Kindle Fire HD.

Parents can set individual time limits for activities like reading, watching videos and playing games. It can all be tweaked, so you can rig the device for your children to have unlimited reading time, but only an hour or two of game time a day.