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  • Amazon Drops a Bomb, Announces $199 'Fire' Tablet

    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
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Amazon Drops a Bomb, Announces $199 'Fire' Tablet started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 28 Comments
    1. brianiino's Avatar
      brianiino -
      How many Android tablets do they have to make to compete with one IOS ipad?
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Looks very nice and the price tag is fantastic.

      I'm very interested in checking out how it is for reading books.
    1. iYeow's Avatar
      iYeow -
      Price is really good, runs android and plays flash, thinking of getting one too. Ain’t going to do any upgrades on iPhone nor iPad if apple continues to ban flash.
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      1. This would not be competing against Android, it is using "highly customized Android OS". What this device do is get people to go with Android if they can prove the device is user friendly.2. This is smaller + lighter + less powerful device than iPad, but I seem to recall people saying the same thing when iPad was compared to a notebook...3. This thing is cheap enough that many people would buy this thing to play around with, hell I am going to buy one just to see what it does. If someone can root this thing like the Nook, more people would play around with it just so they have a cheap tablet.
    1. ChicagoV's Avatar
      ChicagoV -
      Nice little product here. The only things that will keep me from picking one up (THIS version, anyway) are:
      1. No 3G
      2. No SD card slot (particularly with only 8gb storage space onboard)
      3. Slightly larger screen preferable for me

      ...and I bet, as with their previous Kindles, that these options will be available on future versions. If they can do that and still keep the price sub-$350, you'll be drowning in "iPad killer" talk. More accurately, closer to direct competition than "killing" anything. Apple should take note: In reality, for every 10 people I know (and I know dozens out here) with an iPad, 7 of them use it solely for media consumption, games and reading. (yes, even the ones who bring theirs to work or school) This little Kindle speaks directly to that demographic.

      I bet a Kindle Fire 3G (or DX 3G), with SD card support - or 16 and 32GB version - for $249-299 would sell like crazy.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      I'd like to give this thing a test run before passing judegement. That said, I am sure it will have a strong following with custom Android rommers (that's a made up word, I know), so we will get various roms. As long as cyanogen supports it, this may be something I buy. Still waiting for the hp touchpad to get cyanogen support though too!
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Swanson View Post
      Haha very true about the lawsuit, but it is noticeably smaller at only 7" and shares a ton of physical similarities with the BlackBerry Playbook, a device Apple hasn't attacked yet.
      Apple sues against successful devices, hence, not blackberry playbook.

      Quote Originally Posted by brianiino View Post
      How many Android tablets do they have to make to compete with one IOS ipad?
      This is a silly thing to say. We may as well say the same thing about all of the windows laptops and desktops out their versus their OSX counterparts, except that Apple is actually trailing in those regards.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Pity it's not going to be available outside the USA.

      I think it will be a success but most of it's Market will come from people that would not have bought an iPad anyway.