Amazon Kindle Fire HDX Offers Mayday Button
Amazon is promising "instant" video tech support with its new Kindle device as it looks to gain an edge in the rapidly growing tablet market.
The Kindle Fire HDX has better processing power and a higher screen resolution than the previous generation, and is also lighter, but it is the Mayday feature that could see it tempt tablet newbies.
It allows users to start a video chat with a customer service representative at the touch of a button.
The Amazon rep can then explain features, troubleshoot problems, or take control of the device and guide users with on-screen hand scribbles.
The company said the free 24/7 service should pop up with 15 seconds of a user asking for help.
CEO Jeff Bezos told reporters that the Mayday function was "completely unique" and takes advantage of the online retailer's cloud computing and customer service infrastructure.
"You shouldn't have to be afraid of your device," said Bezos.
The HDX tablet comes in 7-inch and 8.9-inch versions - pitting it against the likes of Apple's iPad and iPad Mini, and Samsung's Galaxy Tab devices.
It also has an improved Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor running at 2.2 GHz.
Both versions of Amazon's new tablet also have a higher pixel density than its main tablet rivals, meaning images should be sharper.
However, one potential deal-breaker for shoppers could be the relative lack of apps.
Amazon's app store is around one-tenth of the size of Google's Play store and Apple's App Store.
The iconic iPad - which kick-started the tablet revolution - is still the biggest seller in the market with 48% of US sales in the last quarter, compared with 17% for Kindles and 8% for Samsung devices.
The tablet market is growing at a rapid rate and is expected to enjoy bumper Christmas sales.
Worldwide sales are forecast to outstrip laptops and reach 229.3 million units in 2013 - up from 144.5 million units last year, according to research firm IDC.
The growth has been driven by an influx of low-cost tablets, mostly powered by Google's Android operating system.
Supermarket giant Tesco this week announced its own budget Android tablet called the Hudl, while Microsoft also revealed upgrades to its Windows-based Surface tablet.