Amazon Kindle Tablet Has 7-inch Screen, Custom Android
TechCrunch puts more wood behind the Amazon.com tablet craze, scoring a one-hour hands-on with the slate to whet the public's appetite for the next iPad challenger.Amazon.com's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Android tablet has been one of the worst kept secrets for months since CEO Jeff Bezos alluded to it.
Analysts have predicted features and price points below $300 to help it effectively compete with Apple's standard-bearing iPad. Price right with Amazon's powerful brand, Forrester Research believes the tablet could sell 3 million to 5 million units in the fourth quarter.
- It has a 7-inch tablet, full-color, capacitive touch screen, which is back-lit.
- The tablet looks and feels a bit like Research in Motion's Blackberry PlayBook, with a rubbery back.
- Navigation is purely virtual; it has no physical buttons below the display.
- Google is the default search engine.
- Tabbed Android Webkit browser.
- It runs not Android's "Honeycomb," build tailored for tablets, but a custom version of Android, which has been forked yet again. Siegler said this is a Kindle-flavored Android modification, employing black, dark blue and orange color schemes.
- The main screen is a carousel, which displays books, apps, movies, etc. Below is a dock to pin favorite items. This dock disappears when the users turn the slate to landscape mode.
- A status/notification tray sits above the dock.
- Content is all Amazon: there is a Kindle app, Amazon Cloud Player for music, Amazon's Instant Video player, and the Android Appstore.
- In that vein, there is only 6 GB of internal storage for books and apps, with music and movies running from the cloud. Amazon wants to offer a cloud device, not a storage hog.
- It will cost $250, the same price as Barnes & Nobles' Nook Color, half the cost of Apple's iPad, and $50 less than the price point analyst have been expecting for a successful alternative to the iPad.
- Amazon Prime, the $79 a year service that lets consumers get unlimited two-day shipping and access to limited Instant Videos, is free for Amazon Kindle Tablet.
- Successful sales of the 7-inch model could lead to a 10-inch version in early 2012.