Amazon Kindle Fire – 7″ Android tablet with custom interface

Well, it’s finally happened. Amazon has confirmed its long-rumoured plans to launch an Amazon-branded Android tablet, with the 7″, 1GHz dual-core Amazon Fire set to arrive before the end of the year. It’s a relatively standard, run-of-the-mill Android tablet externally, giving us the usual black slab aesthetic that’s become so familiar of late.

However, internally it’ll stand out. The Fire apparently runs on Android 2.3, although Amazon has layered its own retail-friendly, very heavily modified user interface over the top, which sadly masks much of what makes Android… Android.

The 7″ screen runs at 1024×600 resolution. There is no camera. This is it:

amazon kindle fire

As is sadly customary with all things Amazon, the company has only announced US prices and dates for the Fire so far. It’ll arrive over there for a very competitive price of $199, from mid November. Here’s the full press release. Tech stuff is below all the HARD SELLING.

New Class of Kindle–“Kindle Fire”–Only $199

All The Content–Over 18 Million Movies, TV Shows, Songs, Apps, Games, Books, and Magazines

Kindle Fire puts Amazon’s incredible selection of digital content at your fingertips:

  • Over 100,000 movies and TV shows from Amazon Instant Video, including thousands of new releases and popular TV shows, available to stream or download, purchase or rent – all just one tap away. Amazon Prime Members enjoy instant, unlimited, commercial-free streaming of over 11,000 movies and TV shows at no additional cost. Kindle Fire comes with one free month of Amazon Prime.
  • Over 17,000,000 songs from Amazon MP3, including new and bestselling albums from just $7.99 and individual songs from $0.69.
  • Over 1,000,000 Kindle books, including thousands of bestsellers, children’s books, comic books and cookbooks in rich color.
  • 100 exclusive graphic novels, including Watchmen, the bestselling – and considered by many to be the greatest – graphic novel of all time, which has never before been available in digital format, as well as Batman: Arkham City, Superman: Earth OneGreen Lantern: Secret Origin and 96 others from DC Entertainment.
  • Hundreds of magazines and newspapers – including The Wall Street JournalThe New York TimesUSA Today,WiredElleThe New YorkerCosmopolitan and Martha Stewart Living – with full-color layouts, photographs, illustrations, built-in video, audio and other interactive features are available from the new Kindle Fire “Newsstand.” Kindle Fire customers will enjoy an exclusive free three-month trial to 17 Condé Nast magazines, including Vanity Fair, GQ and Glamour.
  • All the most popular Android apps and games, such as Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies, Cut the Rope and more. All apps are Amazon-tested on Kindle Fire to ensure quality and Amazon offers a new free paid app every day.

Cloud-Accelerated Web Browser – “Amazon Silk”

The Kindle Fire web browser Amazon Silk introduces a radical new paradigm – a “split browser” architecture that accelerates the power of the mobile device hardware by using the computing speed and power of the Amazon Web Services Cloud. 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 cached content. The result is a faster web browsing experience, and it’s available exclusively on Kindle Fire. Additional technical details are available in the Amazon Silk press release, released today at www.amazon.com/pr. To see a video about Amazon Silk go towww.amazon.com/silk.

Simple and Easy-To-Use

Amazon designed the Kindle Fire user interface from the ground up to make it easier than ever to purchase, manage, and enjoy your digital content. Just like with Kindle e-readers, Kindle Fire comes automatically pre-registered to your Amazon.com account so you can immediately start enjoying your digital content purchased from Amazon or shop for new content. All of your digital content is instantly available to enjoy and manage with a simple, consistent experience across all content types.

Free Cloud Storage

Just like Kindle e-readers, Kindle Fire offers free storage for all your Amazon digital content in the Amazon Cloud. Amazon digital content is automatically backed up for free in the Amazon Cloud’s Worry-Free Archive where it’s available for re-downloading anytime.

Amazon Whispersync Now for Movies & TV Too

Just like Kindle e-readers, Kindle Fire uses Amazon’s popular Whispersync technology to automatically synchronize your Kindle library, last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights across the widest range of devices and platforms. With the introduction of Kindle Fire, Amazon is expanding this technology to include video. Start streaming a movie on your Kindle Fire, and when you get home, you can resume streaming right where you left off on your TV – avoid the frustration of needing to find your spot.

Easy to Hold in One Hand

Just like Kindle e-readers, Kindle Fire was designed to disappear so you can lose yourself in the content. Weighing in at just 14.6 ounces, Kindle Fire is small and light enough to hold in just one hand and carry everywhere you go. The lightweight, compact design makes Kindle Fire perfect for web browsing, playing games, reading and shopping on-the-go.

Brilliant Color Touchscreen

Content comes alive in rich color on a 7-inch full color LCD touchscreen that delivers 16 million colors in high resolution and 169 pixels per inch. Kindle Fire uses IPS (in-plane switching) technology – similar technology as used on the iPad, for an extra-wide viewing angle – perfect for sharing your screen with others. In addition, the Kindle Fire display is chemically strengthened to be 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic, which means it is incredibly durable and will stand up to accidental bumps and scrapes.

Fast, Powerful Dual-Core Processor

Kindle Fire features a state-of-the-art dual-core processor for fast, powerful performance. Stream music while browsing the web or read books while downloading videos.

Free Month of Amazon Prime

Right out of the box, Kindle Fire users will experience the benefits that millions of Amazon Prime members already enjoyunlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming of over 11,000 movies and TV shows with Prime Instant Video and the convenience of Free Two-Day Shipping on millions of items from Amazon.com.

Only $199

The all-new Kindle Fire – with all the content, Amazon’s revolutionary cloud-accelerated browser, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, Whispersync, 14.6 ounce design that’s easy to hold with one hand, brilliant color touchscreen, and a fast and powerful dual core processor – is only $199. Customers in the U.S. can pre-order Kindle Fire starting today atwww.amazon.com/kindlefire and it ships November 15.

15 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. Chris

     /  September 28, 2011

    We might at least get this unlike the Nook Color.

    Reply
  2. Dick Socrates

     /  September 28, 2011

    On a 7″ device, how would that screen resolution work out for reading books? Or should I still be considering the standard E-ink Kindle? I understand all the outdoor/indoor stuff with regards to the different types of display. And any speculation as to whether the Fire will affect Kindle’s price?

    Reply
    • Gary_C

       /  September 28, 2011

      You need to find a different blog for that level of actual insight.

      Reply
    • It’s the same pixel format and size as the Nook Color (1280×600 at 7″ diagonal) and most reviews thought that was pretty good, better than the iPad which had slightly more pixels, but a fair bit more area to cover.

      They seemed to be putting that down partly to the quality of the screen manufacturing as well as the physical dimensions, so it would partly depend on if it’s made by the same folk.

      Reply
      • Dick Socrates

         /  September 28, 2011

        Isn’t the Fire 1024×600? My laptop screen is 1280×800, and I can read off it fine but I’m never closer than 2 feet (just measured with a shatter resistant ruler), though it is much larger than 7″.

        I had been quite keen to get a Kindle, but then I bought a load of real books for about £30 and realised it was essentially pointless, I’ve never been in a situation where I had one book with me and really wished I had instead access to 1000 different ones.

        Reply
    • Rik Hemsley

       /  September 28, 2011

      http://members.ping.de/~sven/dpi.html

      says… Display size: 6.04″ × 3.54″ (15.34cm × 8.99cm) = 169.55 PPI, 0.1498mm dot pitch, 28746 PPI²

      Which, in real world terms, means… nothing.

      Reply
  3. Rik Hemsley

     /  September 28, 2011

    Ooh a crippled tablet designed for renting books on. Party round mine tonight.

    Reply
    • which will probably sell more than all the galaxy tabs put together.

      Because it’s focusing on what customers *want*: content.

      Not that we get any of it here ffs.

      Reply
  4. DaveP

     /  September 28, 2011

    All that waiting and they come up with that? Seriously disappointing.

    Reply
  5. MetalMickey

     /  September 28, 2011

    The sad part is, if this does come to the U.K. it will cost £199, even though it should convert to around £130.(USD-GBP) and considering they haven’t got around to officially launching the AppStore over here yet, I wouldn’t expect to see one any time soon.

    Reply
    • Rik Hemsley

       /  September 28, 2011

      You forgot sales tax.
      xe.com converted $199 to £127.59.
      Add VAT and that’s £153.11.

      Reply
  6. Gary_C

     /  September 28, 2011

    WELL I THINK… the Kindle Fire is an “Amazon tablet” not really an “Android tablet”. It’s for your dad, really, isn’t it?

    I’d certainly rather have Android 3.2 than an Amazon shopfront as my Home screen.

    Reply
    • Dick Socrates

       /  September 28, 2011

      Most people don’t know or care what Android is. I only sort of know and don’t care. But I do know what Amazon and books are. So there is definitely a large market for it, but yes, thinking of it as an Android tablet is wrong. It just uses Android as the base to build on.

      I can’t see why it won’t get hacked and have proper Android put on it within days of launch though, even the Kindle has hacks.

      Reply
  7. This will be a breath of fresh air for normal folk wanting to access the Internet…
    Most people find ordinary Android too difficult too use. The Amazon system will help millions get on the Internet without splashing out for the excellent, but expensive ipad.

    It’ll be stunningly successful. Expect quick sell-out as Xmas approaches.

    Reply

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