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Amazon.com begins taking orders for larger, 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD 5 days early

  • The Kindle Fire HD 8.9, a new version of Amazon's tablet sized to compete more directly with the Apple iPad.Amazon

  • The Kindle Fire HD 8.9, a new version of Amazon's tablet sized to compete more directly with the Apple iPad.Amazon

  • The Kindle Fire HD 8.9, a new version of Amazon's tablet sized to compete more directly with the Apple iPad.Amazon

Amazon has started taking orders of the larger version of its Kindle Fire HD tablet computer on Thursday, five days ahead of schedule.

But because buyers could "pre-order" the device, Amazon is short on stock — orders placed today won't ship until Dec. 3, according to the company's website.

Amazon.com Inc. said Thursday that its customers can now order the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD from its website for $299. The tablet will be available at Best Buy stores beginning on Friday and at more retailers in the coming weeks.

Seattle-based Amazon had originally planned to ship the tablet on Nov. 20. The smaller version, which has a 7-inch screen, is already available.