Amazon announced the Kindle Fire today at a press event. Possibly the most shocking feature of the Kindle Fire is a $199 price tag. The Kindle Fire will be an Android powered ebook/tablet featuring a 7″ multitouch display with IPS (in-plane switching) technology covered in an anti-glare coating. Coming in with a resolution of 1024×600 at 169ppi will offer very nice viewing of media. The weight of the unit will be 14.6 ounces or 413 grams, a bit under the iPad’s 601 grams (expected with a 2″ screen real estate loss). The screen itself is said to be hardened, allowing much better protection from wear and tear such as everyday scratches. Perhaps some of the most interesting features are the 8 hours of battery life, free cloud storage for all Amazon content, 802.11n support, stereo jack/top mounted speakers, and wide array of supported content. With a completely redesigned interface, Amazon hopes to set this tablet apart from other competition on the market. The only downside to all this would be the 8GB of internal storage, but it looks like Amazon’s argument is the online storage it’s offering for customers. Kind of off topic, but Amazon will also offer a free 30-day Amazon Prime trial with the purchase of this tablet.
As far as competition with the iPad, we don’t think it’s in the exact same market. The Amazon Kindle Fire is somewhat of a merger between a Kindle reader, and an iPad so to speak. It will offer the Android Marketplace and run all of the Android apps you know and love, but at the same time will have many features geared towards Magazine and Ebook reading, giving access to it’s thousands of ebooks and emagazines already available. Perhaps it could one-up the iPad in the sense that it will offer a “Ultra-fast web browsing experience” with Amazon Silk, a half-server half-user side rendering system that will take advantage of Amazon’s web servers to deliver web content faster to the Fire. Whispersync will allow you to watch all of your Amazon Videos and even leave off from where you were on another device, such as a PC or TV and continue watching on the tablet itself. The two devices have some differences, but the sales figures will show themselves in the coming future and we’ll have a better idea of what the people really favor.
The Kindle Fire will be shipping out November 15th, with Pre-Order availability going on now at a first-come-first-serve basis.