Kindle Fire – Amazon’s First Tablet

Posted by at 9:29 am on September 28, 2011

Amazon officially has entered the tablet market today by launching the Kindle Fire. The seven-inch tablet uses a heavily customized version of Android 2.1 with special support for Amazon Prime, Amazon MP3, Cloud Player.

Video for Prime Members

The $79 Prime subscription gets the usual free two-day shipping as well as unlimited access to Amazon Internet video; a 30-day trial comes with the sale.

Great Magazine Support

The Fire has optimized magazines on the Kindle bookstore with a newsstand for titles from Condé Nast, Hearst, and Meredith.

Using a heavily modified Android build, which uses a “bookshelf” metaphor for organizing content based on recent items, keeps the tablet out of using Google apps. It’s partly made up for through the Amazon Appstore, which will have key apps like Angry Birds or Pulse’s newsreader.

The Slik Browser with Flash Support

A web browser, Silk, is now much more prominent and is joined by a universal search that looks for both all content the owner has access to as well as the web. It even predicatively loads upcoming pages, much like Google Instant, and optimizes content to speed up the loading times.¬† The name “Silk” is inspired by the idea that a thread of silk is an invisible yet incredibly strong connection between two different things.

The Silk browser software resides both on Kindle Fire and on the massive server fleet that comprises the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). With each page request, Silk dynamically determines a division of labor between the mobile hardware and Amazon EC2 (i.e. which browser sub-components run where) that takes into consideration factors like network conditions, page complexity and the location of any cached content. The result is a faster web browsing experience.

The notification bar also has full settings at top along with quick controls for playing music in the background.

Tech Specs

Along with screen size, it keeps costs down through a feature set closer to the Nook Color, such as its use of just Wi-Fi for Internet access as well as the absence of a camera. A 1024×600, IPS-based display gives it richer colors, and it still manages to perform well with a dual-core, 1GHz TI OMAP processor where the Nook Color and rivals are currently using single-core chips.

A total 8GB of storage is small by competing tablets’ standards but is compensated for by the cloud movie and music services, which can still send a hard copy for those who need access offline.

Battery life is seven and half hours of continuous Wi-Fi video streaming.

Price

Pricing on the Kindle Fire will come in at a low $199. The price is $50 lower than a Nook Color and just 40 percent that of the fuller-featured iPad.Preordersstart today but won’t ship until mid-November.

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