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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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By btc909 on 9/28/2011 3:59:30 PM , Rating: 2
No memory card slot.
No access to the Amazon Marketplace.
No Camera, front or rear.
Amazon Cloud is only good for Amazon material.
8GB of storage, nothing better right now.
7-8 hours of battery life.

RE: Lacking
By Wererat on 9/28/2011 4:49:06 PM , Rating: 2
>No memory card slot.
Good point; but given my own experience with an Android phone with a slot, I find that I nearly never swap cards.

>No access to the Amazon Marketplace.
By which you meant Google Marketplace; but I'm not sure if that's a plus or minus. I have both on my phone now and don't feel that Google's has any particular superiority.

>No Camera, front or rear.
Non-issue for me; might be for some.

>Amazon Cloud is only good for Amazon material.
Not true; I have other items on their cloud even now.

>8GB of storage, nothing better right now.
See above for swappable cards.

>7-8 hours of battery life.
Good concern - actually it should be less as the article cites those numbers with Wifi off.

RE: Lacking
By TakinYourPoints on 9/28/2011 5:43:39 PM , Rating: 2
Nobody who matters cares about the lack of ports, memory card expansion, etc. This is an excellent mass consumer device.

RE: Lacking
By TakinYourPoints on 9/28/2011 5:46:08 PM , Rating: 2
Also, 8GB is how they're able to get the price so low. If you want more memory, expect a more expensive device. It isn't ideal but compromises need to be made somewhere.

RE: Lacking
By Some1ne on 9/29/2011 9:41:42 AM , Rating: 2
And one more:

No e-ink display. This new "Kindle" will be all but useless as an e-reader. Maybe it isn't intended to be an e-reader, but if that's the case then it shouldn't have shared the "Kindle" brand. A Kindle without an e-ink display is not a Kindle.

RE: Lacking
By Smilin on 9/29/2011 10:31:22 AM , Rating: 3
No memory card slot.

So what. Don't want one.
No access to the Amazon Marketplace.

So what. Don't care.
No Camera, front or rear.

I don't need pictures of myself reading.
Amazon Cloud is only good for Amazon material.

Which is what I'm after.
8GB of storage, nothing better right now.

I'm at 75% capacity on my 250 MEG gen-1 kindle. I'll never fill the 8GB let alone run out of cloud.
7-8 hours of battery life.

And then what? It never recharges again?

If I want higher capability hardware then I'll want it bundled to a higher capability OS. Waiting on Windows 8 but for the price I can't turn down the Fire.

WTF is your point anyway?

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