Amazon has just officially takes the wraps off the Kindle Fire, a new Android-based, relatively low-cost tablet, that’s poised to make some waves this holiday season.
The Kindle Fire is a 7” tablet with a screen resolution of 1024 x 600 that runs Android 2.3. The display uses IPS technology and features an anti-glare coating, which should help make it somewhat more readable outdoors than untreated screens. There is also a dual-core CPU at the heart of the Kindle Fire, but the exact model has not been disclosed just yet—rumor has it, a TI OMAP 4 powers the device. There is 8GB of storage on-board, 512MB of RAM, Wi-Fi, and Amazon claims up to 8 hours of battery life during continuous reading or 7.5 hours during video playback. The actual dimension of the device along with more features and specifications are listed in the table below.
|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.|
|Size (in inches)||7.5" x 4.7" x 0.45" (190 mm x 120 mm x 11.4 mm).|
|Weight||14.6 ounces (413 grams).|
|System Requirements||None, because it's wireless and doesn't require a computer.|
|On-device Storage||8GB internal. That's enough for 80 apps, plus either 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books.|
|Cloud Storage||Free cloud storage for all Amazon content|
|Battery Life||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.|
|Charge Time||Fully charges in approximately 4 hours via included U.S. power adapter. Also supports charging from your computer via USB.|
|Wi-Fi Connectivity||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 Port||USB 2.0 (micro-B connector)|
|Audio||3.5 mm stereo audio jack, top-mounted stereo speakers.|
|Content Formats Supported||Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8.|
|Documentation||Quick Start Guide(included in box); Kindle User's Guide (pre-installed on device)|
|Included in the Box||Kindle Fire tablet, U.S. power adapter (supports 100-240V), and Quick Start Guide.|
In terms of its hardware features and specifications, it’s obvious the Kindle Fire isn’t targeting more powerful tablets like the iPad 2 or Galaxy Tab 10.1 and is more in-line with the B&N Nook. There’s no 3G/4G connectivity, no camera, the screen is only two-point multitouch, and the device is thicker than some other tablets at 11.4mm.
Amazon is hoping the Fire’s relatively low price and customized experience help set it apart from its competitors and entice consumers. The Fire reportedly sports a highly customized version of Android 2.3 that focuses on the user experience and Amazon claims its proprietary Silk Browser offers cloud-accelerated browsing. According to Amazon, Silk is a “revolutionary, cloud-accelerated browser that uses a "split browser" architecture to leverage the computing speed and power of the Amazon Web Services cloud.” And yes, it supports Adobe Flash. With Silk, Amazon says it has refactored and rebuilt the browser software stack to push pieces of the computation workload into the Amazon Web Services cloud. Amazon claims, “This lets Silk do more work, more quickly, and all at once.”
Perhaps, most importantly, Amazon will also be leveraging its massive ecosystem of content that’s already available for current Kindle variants. Having the Amazon content and Android apps seamlessly integrated on a single device will give owners access to a myriad of content and apps.
The Amazon Kindle Fire is available for pre-order now at a price of $199. The devices are expected to ship on November 15, on a first come first serve basis. A couple of the crew members here at HotHardware have already placed their orders, so expect some more comprehensive coverage the moment the devices arrive—perhaps even sooner.