Desktops and Notebooks: Amazon`s Kindle Fire Takes Aim at Apple iPad, Android Market

By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2011-09-28 Print this article Print


During a Sept. 28 presentation in New York City, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos positioned the Kindle Fire as a device capable of consolidating Amazons various multimedia and cloud services onto a single piece of hardware.
Amazon's Kindle Fire, with its 7-inch tablet running a highly modified version of Google Android, is a potential game-changer for the tablet market. Priced at $199.99, and linked to the online retailer's extensive multimedia libraries and cloud services, it could offer a significant challenge to not only Barnes & Noble's Nook Color, but also Apple's iPad (which offers an extensive media collection of its own) and the growing ranks of Google Android tablets (such as Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 8.9). Unlike some other tablets currently on the market, the Kindle Fire lacks a camera, microphone, or access to 3G or 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks. It's WiFi only. But Amazon is betting that consumers will gravitate toward a cheap tablet optimized for multimedia capability, with easy access to online media and Android apps. The device can multitask; it has the ability to play music while e-reading. The Kindle Fire also comes with Amazon Silk, a mobile Web browser that splits processing duties between the device and Amazon's Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) Web services cloud, which in theory will accelerate page-rendering. In addition to the Kindle Fire, Amazon also issued a revamped line of grayscale Kindle e-readers. The new $99 Kindle Touch relies on the retailer's EasyReach touch interface and menu system. The Kindle 3G, which costs $149, offers free 3G access for downloading books. Both devices will ship Nov. 21.??í
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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