Amazon added some fuel to the Kindle and announced their entry into the tablet market with the Amazon Fire. Its biggest feature is undoubtedly the $199 price tag, positioning it well below Apple’s cheapest iPad.
The Fire has a 7-inch IPS display (Gorilla glass and 169 pixels per inch) and only 8GB of storage. The fire has a dual core CPU, 512MB of RAM, WiFi only, and weighs a meager 14.6 ounces. Oddly, battery life wasn't addressed during the presentation. For those of you worried 8GB wont be enough storage space, Amazon is going to let anyone who buys a Fire store as much content in Amazon's Cloud as they want, allowing them to delete and retrieve content as they please.
Fire users will have access to 100,000 movies and TV Shows, 17 million songs, the Android Appstore, Kindle Books, and all of Amazon’s content via the Fire (fees and subscriptions apply). Movies and content will synch across all the user’s Amazon streaming enabled devices meaning a movie paused on the Fire will pick up exactly where the user left off on their TV at home. Everything synchs in the background as well. No updates of any kind will have to be done by the user.
The Fire runs an incredibly customized Android user interface and reports from the announcement confirm that this little device is fast. Very, very fast. Amazon—in an effort to speed up mobile web browsing—has even developed their own web browser called “Silk.” Silk works by processing some information on the tablet itself, but farms the bulk of the processing load to Amazon’s EC2 computer cluster. The technology—called Dynamic Split Browsing—can do every process locally or remotely.
Silk essentially uses Amazon’s cloud to act as an infinite cache for your web pages. Silk even learns your browsing patterns. Frequent ModMyi? Silk will pre-load those pages allowing for an almost instantaneous launch when visiting the site.
Amazon appears to have delivered, but not necessarily an iPad killer. Rather they produced a device with a decidedly different approach. It’s minimalistic. Doesn’t flaunt its power like other Android tablets. It clearly lacks features the iPad has like a camera, microphone, 3G connectivity, GPS, etc. but, this is purely a media viewing device. Content creation and business communication isn't a concern.
Amazon has distilled the media viewing experience down to its bare essence and appears to have successfully married it to their cloud services to produce the first true cloud-based tablet. Sure it isn’t an iPad killer, it lacks a number of features to do so. But, I’m willing to bet there are enough consumers out there who will opt for a cheaper device, and at $199 it’s $300 cheaper than Apple’s cheapest iPad. That’s a lot of money to a lot of people.
Pre-orders start today and the first shipments will land on customers' doorsteps November 15th.
Source: Amazon Announcement