Amazon unveiled two groundbraking products today, its first tablet, the 7-inch Kindle Fire, and Kindle Touch, its first e-Ink ebook reader with a touchscreen and a mouthwatering price tag to boot.
The Fire is a pretty interesting piece of kit. For just $199 you’ll get a 7-inch tablet with a dual-core processor and quite a few services provided by Amazon, including one-month Prime and cloud access free of charge. It runs Android with a revamped UI that looks more like my bookshelf than an OS. Yes, I read Elle.
In terms of hardware, the new tablet is closely related to RIM’s PlayBook, or should we say it is based on the PlayBook. It is said to weigh just over 400 grams and it features a 7-inch 1024x600 IPS panel with Gorilla Glass on top. Not bad for $199, it will be rather difficult to beat Amazon in the bang for buck department.
In addition, Amazon also introduced the Kindle Touch, a $99 ebook reader, and a slightly revamped Kindle sans keyboard, which will cost just $79. Frankly, both look a lot better than previous Kindle incarnations and adding a touchscreen to an ebook reader is a godsend.
Over the past couple of quarters a few companies tried to take on Apple in the tablet game with little to no success. Just ask HP. However, we believe Amazon stands quite a good chance of grabbing a sizable chunk of the market and attracting more sensible users who are unwilling to spend $500 on a tablet.
Now for some bad news – for the time being Amazon will ship Kindle Fire only to US consumers and Europeans will have to wait their turn.