Yesterday, Jeff Bezos of Amazon introduced a new line of Kindle eReaders including the Kindle Fire — a first step into the tablet market which Apple has dominated since the release of the iPad in 2010. The Kindle Fire is more like a tablet with it’s 7″ color touchscreen, Android-powered system, and dual-core processor. From the outside, the Fire’s display makes the biggest difference with 16 million colors at 1024 x 600 resolution (169 ppi) and in-plane switching capability.
The most interesting part about the whole Fire release could be the introduction of a new web browser called Silk. Silk was built to be cloud-accelerated on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud and uses a “split browser” architecture which pushes some of the processing of a web page to the cloud.
Lots of industry experts are downplaying the Fire, claiming the device comes too late in an already saturated market and lacking features the iPad and Android-based tablets have such as cameras and microphones.
But the Kindle Fire has two main advantages. One is that the price is so low. Jaws dropped at Bezo’s press conference when he announced the $199 price tag. It’s the perfect price for consumers who don’t want to spend more money on a tablet than a laptop. The other advantage(s) is that the Fire does the things that most people want to do on their tablets: check email, watch movies, read books, and play games.
Amazon boasts you can stream 17 million songs, download over a million books, and watch over 100,000 movies and TV shows on the Kindle Fire.
The disadvantage is, of course, the Fire doesn’t have 3G connectivity. But you can expect Amazon to release a 3G model in due time, especially considering three other Kindle models come with the feature. For now, you’ll need to be close to a WiFi signal for internet connectivity.
The Fire also only has an 8GB internal drive, which will limit your storage capabilities if you plan on storing many movies and songs. However, users might be advised to make use Amazon’s cloud to store the majority of their content, using the Fire to mainly store apps and books.
The Kindle Fire will be released on November 15, 2011. Amazon is taking pre-orders on a first come, first served basis.