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Amazon Kindle Fire   (Source: Bloomberg)
Amazon's tablet undercuts the 16GB iPad 2 Wi-Fi by $300

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."

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Good price point but lots of big questions still
By Netscorer on 9/28/2011 12:28:25 PM , Rating: 1
I think, the price point came as a surprise to a lot of people as we were more or less expecting $250 entrance. To create Tablet with IPS screen and modern chipset for sub $200 we need to give Amazon kudos. Not sure if the price is subsidized, but knowing how Amazon operates, I doubt it is. There are still big questions left with this tablet:

- highly customized outdated Android 2.1 is not inspiring confidence. This will be the first for Amazon to venture into software development and support and we will have to see how they are able to keep the OS current feature-wise. We all saw how slow and inadequate was support from B&N for Nook Color.

- no Google Market means a lot of unnecessary restrictions. Someone here mentioned ePub support. I guess this can be taken care of with purchase of Aldiko from Amazon app store. But I still would like to see how the tablet with limited App store can successfully compete with the established players.

- Reliance on Cloud is commendable but we'll see how it works after consumers start to complain about having to be on fast Wi-Fi all the time in order to run anything.

By Solandri on 9/28/2011 1:49:58 PM , Rating: 2
Technically, it's priced at $229. There's a $30 discount if you agree to have ads continuously delivered to it.

But yeah, this is a shot across the bow at B&N's Nook Color. Lighter, better CPU and apparently better performance. But the Nook Color has a microSD slot and is very hacker-friendly (it tries to boot off the microSD first, before internal ROM).

By Cheesew1z69 on 9/28/2011 1:56:58 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry but I don't see anything to indicate it's 229 with a 30 dollar discount for ADS, I see it listed as 199. Link to prove this?

By gwem557 on 9/28/2011 4:48:57 PM , Rating: 2 Wrong. That's for the e-ink kindles, not the Fire.

By Reclaimer77 on 9/28/2011 2:22:06 PM , Rating: 1
- highly customized outdated Android 2.1 is not inspiring confidence.

I've never seen a device running Android yet that was locked down. You'll be able to boot-ROM any version of Android on the Kindle Fire you wish, I suspect.

- Reliance on Cloud is commendable but we'll see how it works after consumers start to complain about having to be on fast Wi-Fi all the time in order to run anything.

I don't feel this is a valid concern. Tablets aren't smartphones, I feel they are ancillary devices to be used with home/away wi-fi networks, specifically designed for this in fact. Most people are happy enough to have something to play with while on the crapper or on the couch lol.

By TakinYourPoints on 9/28/2011 4:37:48 PM , Rating: 2
Almost all of the things you see as negatives, I see as positives.

Amazon is doing something that none of the other hardware manufacturers outside of Apple are capable of: total vertical integration aimed at enhancing user experience.

They have movies, music, books, and application covered, and they've been doing cloud sync very well ever since they launched the Kindle in 2008. The fact that they're forking off their own version of Android is also a plus, totally customized and what will surely be a better UI than what Google has provided thus far.

By gwem557 on 9/28/2011 4:50:44 PM , Rating: 2
- no Google Market means a lot of unnecessary restrictions.

This is a non-issue. Download the google market .apk, install it. Presto. Non-issue.

Also, this thing will be rooted within a day. Everyone worrying about being 'stuck' tied to 'just' Amazon should rest easy. That's not even going to be close to the case.

By Netscorer on 9/28/2011 6:42:09 PM , Rating: 2
I would suggest we wait and see before we pronounce that this will be hacked within a day. Amazon clearly wants to create its own walled garden with Fire and they may not look favorably on people who would try break in. This is not Nook 2.

By gwem557 on 9/28/2011 7:35:13 PM , Rating: 2 doesn't matter what Amazon wants, with regard to hacking or not. It will be done. Period. Within a day or two.

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