Amazon's entry into the growing tablet sector has been one
of the worst
kept secrets in the tablet industry. Amazon has already stormed the
e-reader market with its line of Kindle
devices, so delivering the company's expansive multimedia platform to a
more versatile platform seemed like a given.
After a pretty expansive
leak earlier this month, Amazon is officially taking the wraps of its
Android-based Kindle Fire today. Fortunately, Bloomberg jumped the gun a bit early and
revealed that the Kindle Fire indeed will feature a 7" IPS display (1024 x 600), and it
checks in at a low $199 (you can pre-order today, but your Kindle won't ship until November 15), which undercuts Apple's entry-level iPad by $300.
To reach that price point, the Kindle Fire forgoes 3G
access, a microphone, and the usual bevy of cameras that come on
today's tablets. However, the Kindle Fire does include Wi-Fi (802.11n) and a free 30-day
trial of Amazon Prime (an Amazon Prime membership normally runs $79/year). The Kindle Fire weighs 14.6 ounces and features a dual-core processor. Amazon says that the Kindle Fire provides up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback (Wi-Fi disabled). The devices fully recharges within 4 hours via its USB 2.0 port.While the Kindle Fire has 8GB of internal storage, apps from the Amazon Appstore, music, magazines, and Kindle Books will all be stored on Amazon's Cloud Drive service which makes having a large amount of onboard storage unnecessary.
"Kindle Fire brings together all of the things we've been working on at Amazon for over 15 years into a single, fully-integrated service for customers," said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. "With Kindle Fire, you have instant access to all the content, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, the convenience of Amazon Whispersync, our revolutionary cloud-accelerated web browser, the speed and power of a state-of-the-art dual-core processor, a vibrant touch display with 16 million colors in high resolution, and a light 14.6 ounce design that's easy to hold with one hand - all for only $199. We're offering premium products, and we're doing it at non-premium prices."