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Amazon has announced a big upgrade to its Android-based Kindles, adding better displays and a 'Mayday' button for free live technical support.

The Kindle Fire HDX tablets will now boast improved displays that Amazon says are 'beyond HD with exceptional pixel density' and a new processor that provides 'three times the processing power' of the last generation of Kindles.

The e-retailing giant will be offering both a 18cm version and 23cm model, in a move that mirrors Apple with its iPad and iPad mini products.

"It's been just two years since we introduced the first Kindle Fire, and the team is innovating at an unbelievable speed," said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

"We've worked hard to pack this much hardware, innovation and customer obsession into these prices."

At the same time Amazon also announced a 'revolutionary' tech support system to help Kindle users, that will provide users with a response within 15 seconds or less, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

"You shouldn't have to be afraid of your device," Bezos said.

"Simply tap the Mayday button in Quick Settings, and an Amazon expert will appear on your Fire HDX and can co-pilot you through any feature by drawing on your screen, walking you through how to do something yourself or doing it for you -- whatever works best,' Amazon said in a statement.

It's unclear if this service is exclusive to the US.

Meanwhile Stephen Baker, an analyst for NPD Group, said the price cut to the Kindle Fire HD ($199 to $139) is a more important announcement as it will better Amazon compete in the tablet market than the added features on the newer models.

"That's where that model needs to be priced," Baker said.

Amazon's new smaller tablet will start at US$229 ($245), with pre-orders starting on Wednesday for shipping October 18, while the larger Kindle Fire HDX starts at $US379 ($405), and will begin shipping on November 7.

No Australian launch information has been announced.

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David Swan

David Swan is a tech journalist from Melbourne and is iTWire's Associate Editor. Having started off as a games reviewer at the age of 14, he now has a degree in Journalism from RMIT (with Honours) and owns basically every gadget under the sun. He also writes for Junkee and Fasterlouder. You can email him at david.swan@itwire.com or follow him at twitter.com/mrdavidswan

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