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Amazon Ignites Kindle Fire

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, an evil capitalist, introduced the new range of Kindle e-readers at a recent Amazon press event in NYC. The new Kindle Touch debuts at $146 with 3G and $99 without 3G. The e-ink, non touch screen Kindle will now sell for $79. Jeff used his press event to showcase Amazon’s step into the tablet market via Kindle Fire.

Kindle Fire’s important specs as per Amazon:

  • 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.
  • 14.6 ounces (413 grams).
  • 8GB internal. That’s enough for 80 apps, plus either 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books.
  • Free cloud storage for all Amazon content.
  • 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.
  • 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 2.0 (micro-B connector)
  • 3.5 mm stereo audio jack, top-mounted stereo speakers.

Fire is running  on a dual core processor powered by Android 2.3 OS.  Owners will access the internet using Amazon Silk web browser. In addition, customers who purchase Fire will receive a month of Amazon Prime at no charge. The tablet is competitively priced at $199 and Amazon is accepting pre orders with an anticipated ship date of November 15th.

This isn’t your granny’s Kindle, folks.

Fire changes everything. This was my first blind pre-order of a tech gadget. I knew nothing about the product this morning but within 5 minutes of clicking on a Twitter link, I completed my purchase of this device.

It didn’t take long to get up to speed with the pros and cons of this new device from Amazon. Google + and Mashable.com were excellent resources for solid, in depth analysis of this product.

Without getting my hands on the tablet, my initial impressions are that this is a robust product from Amazon that will knock the iPad but not replace it in the marketplace.

This first generation tablet has no camera or 3G capability. Owners will have to find a wi-fi hotspot to stream movies or download a book. I’m not sure if Amazon could have kept the price at $199 with free 3G networking, but it would have been nice to have the option to add on 3G. Perhaps this will be a feature in a future generation of Fire. Another concern of mine is really an aesthetic issue – touch pads tend to quickly become smudge pads with use. I will certainly look out for this when my Fire arrives in November.

With the technology and product inventory of Amazon supporting it, this tablet shows tremendous future potential as a lower cost alternative to the iPad. When my tablet arrives in November,  I plan to review and update this post with more specific impressions of the tablet.

As for the Ipad, I’m not inclined to splash out the dollars on one until it becomes a true replacement for a laptop. As I see it, the iPad is just an overgrown iPod.

Interested in Kindle Fire? Watch the whole media presentation by Jeff Bezos:

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2 responses to “Amazon Ignites Kindle Fire

  1. says:

    I like amazon kindle because i love books. I think iPad is really over rated. People just want to buy it because of the brand and not because they needed it or something…

  2. PapaMAS

    This is cool and I was excited when I went to Amazon the other day and saw it. I think I will wait until they add 3G, though.

    The pricing is very good. I could not justify a few hundred for an iPad when I could get a laptop for about the same amount. When HP dropped the price for its tablet to $100 people snapped them up, even though it is now discontinued. The market exists for tablets, just not at iPad prices.

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