Amazon has announced that its Kindle Fire HD tablet is now available to customers in the UK.

From today, the company's flagship device can be purchased from the website and from retailers including Carphone Warehouse, Comet, Currys, John Lewis, PC World, Rymans, Staples, Tesco and Waterstones.

At a price of £159, the 7-inch tablet offers an HD screen with 1.2GHz dual-core processor and runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It also features Dolby audio with dual stereo speakers, front-facing camera and a choice of 16GB or 32GB storage.

Unlike the 8.9-inch version launched in the US, the Kindle Fire HD does not support 4G LTE, or even 3G, but relies solely on WiFi connectivity – although Amazon claims this is the “fastest Wi-Fi of any tablet”, with dual antenna, dual-band and MIMO.

The Kindle Fire HD is squarely positioned as a media consumption device and aims to take on the Google Nexus 7 and the Apple iPad Mini, which was unveiled earlier this week.

Owners of the device can tap into Amazon’s vast content ecosystem, which includes over 22 million movies, TV shows, songs, apps, games, books and magazines. They can also stream films and television series directly from LOVEFiLM Instant.

The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library also launches later this month, which will allow all Kindle owners to borrow one free book a month with no due date.

“Kindle Fire HD is our most advanced 7” tablet and is already the bestselling product for Amazon worldwide,” said Jorrit Van der Meulen, VP Kindle at Amazon EU.

Amazon also announced the UK availability of its Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Paperwhite 3G e-readers. The devices are built with 62 percent more pixels and 25 percent higher contrast than previous models, and include a built-in front light.