Amazon has finally announced their much-anticipated tablet. Called the Kindle Fire, it could very well be the tablet that shakes up the mobile market. And not for the usual reasons.
Running down the specs sheet, it doesn't sound all that different from any of the dozen or so non-Apple tablets competing for market share right now. It doesn't look all that different either, bearing the familiar slate form factor with plenty of bezel for one-hand gripping (dimensions are 7.5 x 4.7 x 0.45 inches). Amazon's touch, however, could be the difference maker.
Details of the Kindle Fire include a:
7-inch IPS touchscreen panel (1024 x 600 resolution) with Gorilla Glass coating.
Dual-core 1GHz TI OMAP processor.
512MB of RAM.
8GB of internal storage.
WiFi, microUSB, stereo speakers and a 3.5mm jack. Battery is rated at up to 8 hours of reading and 7.5 hours of video playback.
Android 2.3 is the OS of choice, with an entirely new UI layer that Amazon designed from the ground up (read: it looks nothing like stock Android). As with most of the 7-inch tablets running anything below 3.0 Honeycomb, it won't have Market access, although, you do get Amazon's Android Appstore to compensate. Other notable features include Amazon Cloud Storage access (all your books, magazines, apps and other content can be stored for free), Amazon Silk (the company's proprietary cloud-accelerated browser) and one free month of Amazon Prime.
All those sound sweet, but what could really get the Amazon Kindle Fire to take off is the price: $199. For a dual-core machine with an IPS panel and free cloud access, it's quite the tempting offer. You can pre-order Kindle Fire now, with shipments going out on November 15.