Kindle Fire HDX

Amazon's new 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX tablet has begun shipping. (Amazon)

Amazon.com said it is now shipping the latest version of its Kindle Fire tablet, just a few days before Apple holds an event where it is expected to announce a new lineup of its iPad tablets.

The Seattle-based online retailer announced Friday that the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX is now shipping to customers, after its announcement in September.

The $229 Kindle Fire HDX features a redesigned, more angular look, a higher resolution screen than its predecessor and a new customer service feature called Mayday.

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Amazon improved the Kindle Fire HDX with a full 1080p HD screen with a 323-pixel density. By comparison, 2012's Kindle Fire HD featured a 720p HD screen with a 216-pixel density.

Meanwhile, the Mayday feature allows users to press a button and launch a video call with an Amazon representative who can help users fix an issue on their tablet or figure out how to do specific tasks.

The Kindle Fire HDX has been available for pre-order since last month. Customers who want to purchase the device on Friday will likely have to wait a few days. Most versions of the tablet say they won't be in stock until next Friday.

The $244 16-GB version of the tablet with no ads is listed as in stock by Monday while the $309 64-GB Kindle Fire HDX is the only version listed as being available for purchase now.

However, customers might want to hold off on buying the Amazon tablet a few days and see what Apple has to offer.

At a press event in San Francisco on Tuesday, Apple is expected to announce a redesigned version of its full-size iPad, now with a new look that is expected to be similar to that of the iPad mini. The company is also expected to announce a new version of the iPad mini, and many believe that Apple could introduce it with its high-resolution Retina display technology.

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