Amazon intros Kindle Fire tablet, arrives November 15 for $199

By on September 28, 2011, 10:23 AM

Amazon has finally unveiled its much-rumored Android-based tablet today, dubbed the Kindle Fire. The 7-inch (1024 x 600 ) device will feature a heavily customized interface tailored around Amazon's services and a low starting price of $200. To reach that price point, the Kindle Fire forgoes 3G access, a microphone and front/back cameras. However, the device does include Wi-Fi and a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, which normally runs $79/year.

That means you'll get a taste of Amazon's collection of streaming video content and free or discounted shipping for your purchases at Amazon.com. You'll also get access to the Android Appstore, Kindle books, magazines, and more -- all stored for free via Amazon Cloud Storage and synced between devices invisibly in the background. Whispersync now works with video content, so you can pick up where you left off in a movie or TV show even after switching devices.

Other specs include 8GB of internal storage, a USB 2.0 port, and battery life good for up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, with wireless off.

The company is also introducing something called Amazon Silk, which it described as a lightning-fast web browser that takes advantage of Amazon's EC2 cloud computing engine. CEO Jeff Bezos explains that Silk splits the workload so that some web requests are handled locally by the Kindle Fire, while others are handled remotely on Amazon's cloud and sent back optimized for your device. It'll act as a "limitless cache" for the sites you visit to let you browse faster.

Amazon says the Kindle Fire will start shipping on November 15 but pre-orders are starting today. The company also unveiled a $99 touchscreen e-reader called the Kindle Touch and a regular Kindle that will start at just $79.




User Comments: 25

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Xero07 said:

Good prices. Something I could consider someday.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I was thinking that, I guess actual humans work at Amazon unlike HTC in regards to Tablet pricing.

Arris Arris said:

A new tablet after so many others (Playbook, HP TouchPad) have struggled to stand up against the ipad? I don't find this of interest. If they had a colour e-ink Kindle I'd be very interested, but this just gives us another device in a sea of similar ones.

Raswan Raswan said:

Arris said:

A new tablet after so many others (Playbook, HP TouchPad) have struggled to stand up against the ipad? I don't find this of interest. If they had a colour e-ink Kindle I'd be very interested, but this just gives us another device in a sea of similar ones.

Except that Amazon offers alongside it a whole buttload of parallel services. Oh, and it's three hundred dollars cheaper than the competition. /sigh

Guest said:

This is the first time I've seriously considered getting a tablet, I think Amazon might well be onto something here. It's small and not as powerful as the others but I consumers are increasingly asking themselves if they need so much power for the basic use these tablets tend to get.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I think I'm going to buy one of these up when it comes and get it shipped over here. Seems like everyone is using e-books and notes much more than physical books, and a tablet would be much better for reading than a laptop. Maybe even pick up a Kindle Touch, $300 for 2 tablets isn't bad.

1977TA said:

They are going to sell these things like hotcakes. This will also but pressure on other Android manufacturers to drive prices down. Good stuff all around!

howzz1854 said:

without 3G wireless is going to be its achilles heels tho.

Guest said:

Is it going to have removable storage? Or are you stuck with the 8GB

Staff
Jos Jos said:

Guest said:

Is it going to have removable storage? Or are you stuck with the 8GB

There's no mention of an SD card slot on the Kindle Fire's product page

Guest said:

The iPad is NOT powerful enough for $5-700 but the fire sounds like it will do enough for $200 reader / browser & color.

After getting an older kindle (THE BEST READER) - I can see all students having a newer kindle soon - NO MORE BOOKS!!!

Guest said:

Nice price but small scree...Come on give us a 10" screen for $249 and you will win!

Butch said:

1977TA said:

They are going to sell these things like hotcakes. This will also but pressure on other Android manufacturers to drive prices down. Good stuff all around!

Agreed. Leave it to Amazon to finally release a reasonably priced tablet. I've been waiting for this to happen to drive down the over-priced crap out there. I will probably be ordering one as soon as I see a few reviews.

ghostchili said:

10" screen please!

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Just pre-ordered one. I love my ipod touch (which cost me $250 for a 3.5" screen), and think this definitly has potential. I actually like the 7in form factor personally. I definitly have some questions about how it is going to work with my exiting music and movies, and how the cloud sync will work as well. I am shocked that more people arn't talking about Amazon and Google's relationship becuase Amazon obviously went behind google back on this one. No supprise though and I am glad they did becuase they are really the only ones who can challenge Apple in the digital content area. Worst case i give it a 30day try and return it if it doesn't work out for me. Amazon is awesome!

Guest said:

No expandable sd card? No access to root or ABD? Due yourself a favor and buy a nook color instead. Full root ABD access, Multiple android operating systems and memory expandable to 32gb. Boot from the SD card which makes it virtually un-brickable. I'm sure B&N will be dropping the price shortly on the Nook Color and then you can have yourself a full working android tablet with access to all the features Amazon has and the full google market, calender email, contacts, maps,netflix and more. Oh sorry I forgot to mention that Bluetooth was included as well.

Arris Arris said:

raswan said:

Arris said:

A new tablet after so many others (Playbook, HP TouchPad) have struggled to stand up against the ipad? I don't find this of interest. If they had a colour e-ink Kindle I'd be very interested, but this just gives us another device in a sea of similar ones.

Except that Amazon offers alongside it a whole buttload of parallel services. Oh, and it's three hundred dollars cheaper than the competition. /sigh

A buttload of services that are pretty much already available elsewhere. It's a good price point, but as another article is stating they will be taking around $50 loss on each sale. So really it should be around $250. And a 7 inch screen when I have a 4.2 inch smart phone screen device. No thanks again. I like the idea that they offer books, movies etc. but after such a heavy campaign slating(pun intended) other tablets for their poor screens for reading I think they have balls to market this. I think its certainly more likely to succeed than HP and Blackberry products as its using Android, but for me all these tablet devices are pretty much of a form factor that isn't of interest to me. Phone for on the go stuff, laptop for stuff when travelling between locations, desktop for everything else. I have a Kindle and would really have been interested in a colour e-ink device, Then again the e-ink is too much of a single purpose technology, can't really watch movies and play games etc. on it, so maybe this is the compromise. The new Kindle Touch looks like a nice update to the Kindle though.

Guest said:

Display: 7" multi-touch display with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and anti-reflective treatment, 1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi, 16 million colors.

Size (in inches): 7.5" x 4.7" x 0.45" (190 mm x 120 mm x 11.4 mm).

Weight: 14.6 ounces (413 grams).

:

System Requirements None, because it's wireless and doesn't require a computer.

On-device Storage 8GB internal. That's enough for 80 apps, plus either 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books. Cloud Storage Free cloud storage for all Amazon content

Batery Life Up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, with wireless off. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as web browsing and downloading content.

Charge Time Fully charges in approximately 4 hours via included U.S. power adapter. Also supports charging from your computer via USB.

Wi-Fi Connectivity Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, or 802.1X standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication; does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks.

USB Port USB 2.0 (micro-B connector)

Audio: 3.5 mm stereo audio jack, top-mounted stereo speakers.

Content Formats Supported Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8.

Documentation: Quick Start Guide(included in box); Kindle User's Guide (pre-installed on device)

Warranty and Service: 1-year limited warranty and service included. Optional 2-year Extended Warranty available for U.S. customers sold separately. Use of Kindle is subject to the terms found here.

Included in the Box: Kindle Fire device, U.S. power adapter (supports 100-240V), and Quick Start Guide.

Guest said:

Fine if all you want is a magazine reader. But for a bit more you can have a full blown Android tablet and just load the kindle app. Why buy a crippled android tablet? It didn't work for the Nook and won't work for Amazon. They will sell some to the very price oriented buyers, but in the end it will lose to others like Samsung's 7". The only good news is that it may force price reductions by others.

Guest said:

i think this is what i am looking for, ipad got it, too heavy, ipad2 got it, just clumsy to carry and no flash the whole i cant update apps downloaded by my kids that used different apple id is a headache i can live with out even though every one thinks it is the tablet to have. nook i love the size makes me want to read more books and surfing is doable. slow processor doesnt play all the movies i like. samsung galaxy 10, love the usb ports fast enough if i just made it the 7" i think it would be perfect except the price. this new device is not meant to replace my laptop as none of the others could either but 7" is a better size for holding in one hand watching movies and reading. just being on the go and using the device. 10" means it is staying at home and i might as well use the laptop. so far nook is my favorite just for the size happy to see some other options as much as i like the galaxy i dont need two.

Guest said:

The Kindle Fire device is a giant step away from the personal computer as we know it today as a desk top - laptop - notebook - tablet - etc. with a great deal of data available locally and on external disks, CD, flash drives, etc. The questions concerning external storage via the device itself indicates a weaning away from that sort of dependency to the storage of most of information locally. The information will be stored on servers on the internet. The desktop will be around for a long time just to upload the desired information to the "cloud (internet)" so that we can reach the data from devices that do not allow connection to external hardware. - The HoocherDog

kd3569 said:

@ Arris, I've only just started reading about the Fire but it is in color and it does allow you access to your Kindle library. Is it e-Ink? Don't know much the display quality must be good if you're gonna watch movies and TV shows on it.

kd3569 said:

there is no 3G but there is Amazon's whispernet. I have a Kindle, first gen, and whispernet is 1. free, 2. fast, and 3. doesn't require you to be in a wi-fi or hotspot.

kd3569 said:

there is only 8gb on-board storage, but you have free access to amazon's cloud storage

Arris Arris said:

kd3569 said:

@ Arris, I've only just started reading about the Fire but it is in color and it does allow you access to your Kindle library. Is it e-Ink? Don't know much the display quality must be good if you're gonna watch movies and TV shows on it.

No, it isn't e-ink, it's an IPS screen the same as ipad etc.

That's my biggest problem with the device. Campaign of Amazon "Don't read on a tablet, they hurt your eyes and suffer from glare" and now it's "Buy our all singing, all dancing device that you can also read on but suffers the problems we used in our marketing of the Kindle e-ink reader". I spoke with someone the other day and there is talk of a switching mode device that would give you an e-ink mode for reading and a OLED screen for movies/general purpose. As far as I know the technology behind the e-ink display means it isn't any use for displaying moving images, so can't be used for games/movies/browsing anything more than the most basic websites...

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