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The Boston Globe

Business

Tech lab

New Kindle Fire a delight — with limits

Wait a second — isn’t this National iPhone Day? Not quite. Apple Inc.’s new iPhone 5 looks pretty appealing, but I’ve yet to get my hands on one. Meanwhile, in a cunning effort to capture my attention, Amazon.com sent me its newest tablet computer, the Kindle Fire HD.

It worked. The new Fire, which Amazon will start shipping on Friday, is basically the old Fire done considerably better, with a sleeker body, a better video screen, and surprisingly good sound. With a starting price of $199 for a version with 16 gigabytes of memory, or $249 with 32 gigs, it should give its nearest rival, Google Inc.’s Nexus 7 tablet, plenty of competition. But the Fire’s got enough annoying weaknesses to keep it firmly in second place.

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