Kindle Fire tablet for the holidays? GameStop is the place

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Kindle Fire seekers who want to put the tablet under the tree should run over to GameStop. Retailers like Wal-Mart and Target quit selling the devices months ago.

An alliance between Amazon and GameStop is a win-win for both companies, even as the big-box chains question the slim margins on Amazon’s hardware and the way the online retailer cannibalizes brick-and-mortar store saleswhen people test out products in person but buy them online.

GameStop will benefit from people looking to handle Amazon’s popular hardware, which last holiday season were flying off the shelves, before making a purchase decision. And while some have speculated that without Wal-Mart and Target as sales outlets Amazon could open its own storefronts to sell Kindle products, now there’s no need for that with GameStop stepping up.

Will Kindle products be a hit again? Most likely, at least if early sales are any indication.

Right after Thanksgiving, Amazon announced that sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday were the best ever for the Kindle line. In fact, the online retailer said since its launch, the Kindle Fire HD is the product people most often buy as a gift or add to a wish list on its site. It also said that nine out of 10 of its best selling products worldwide since early September have been Kindles as well as accessories and digital content for the tablets.

If you already own an older Kindle Fire, you can trade it in for a new model and receive up to $100 in GameStop store credit, which you can apply to your purchase. Also, if you buy a new Kindle Fire tablet you’ll get a free $25 Amazon gift card you can use to load your new tablet with content, or buy something else.

In September, Amazon launched its 8.9-inch $499 Kindle Fire HD as a potential rival for Apple’s iPad.

As for the7-inch version, PCWorld’s Melissa Perenson says it does a good job of correcting many of the issues that plagued Amazon's first foray into tablets in 2011.

“The Fire HD also introduces several tech enhancements over competing tablets, and while in the end the Kindle Fire HD falls short of Amazon's goal of being the best tablet at any price, it does excel on many metrics — and at $199 for the 16GB version and $249 for the 32GB version, it delivers a strong, value-priced experience that's optimized for consuming stuff from Amazon,” she wrote.

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At a Glance
  • The Kindle Fire HD is a tremendous improvement over its predecessor, and has a sharp, pleasing display. However, its heavy integration with Amazon's services is a strength, but also a limitation.

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