Sep 28, 2011

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Amazon Reveals Kindle Fire Tablet, New Touch Kindle

Amazon Reveals Kindle Fire Tablet, New Touch Kindle

Amazon held a press conference this morning to finally officially reveal their new tablet, the Kindle Fire, a seven-inch full, color touch tablet with its own Android OS, cloud-optimized web browser (called Silk), and the extremely affordable $199 price tag.

The operating system is unique, apparently seamlessly integrating content (whether it be books, magazines, music, or video) unlike that found on any current tablet OS.  It obviously doesn’t use eink, but for someone looking for an affordable tablet, the Fire is looking like a very reasonable option. I could even see some iPad owners considering purchasing a Fire as an additional accessory, rather than buying a kindle, since it enables you to watch any of your Prime videos (not to mention purchased video and music content) on the go as well as accessing your books and magazines.

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For gamers, the new tablet will support games as well, although it isn’t yet clear if you will have access to the full line-up of Android games, as it seems it may be possible to only purchase select games tested specifically for the device. The Fire will have approximately eight hours of battery life, which is significantly less than current kindles, and less than the iPad, but competitive for its size and full-color screen. Right now the Fire is only available in WiFi, but a 3G model may be released later, along with a larger, 10″ model, if sales are good, supposedly. The device only has 8GB of onboard memory, with no room for expansion at this time, although Amazon is really pushing cloud integration, so this may not be an issue, depending on how and where you plan on using the tablet.

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In addition to announcing the Fire, Amazon finally revealed the Kindle Touch, the first touch-screen eink reader from Amazon, which will be available for $99 (WiFi only) or $149 for the 3G model (prices go up if you want yours ad-free). A non-touch kindle will also be available, slightly modified from previous iterations, for a mere $79, and is available immediately. The other models (both touch and Fire) will be available for pre-order and should ship November 21, in time for the holidays.

The Kindle Fire page is now live, although it seems quantities may be limited, so if you want one, you should put your order in early to reserve your place in line.

[Source: Ars Technica Live Blog, Amazon, YouTube]