Amazon Fire Tablet of Limited Use for Small Businesses
Amazon's Kindle Fire has a low price, but not much of a punch for small-business tablet users.With the HP TouchPad on the ropes and Apple's iPad 2 cornering the tablet market, small businesses might think they don't have as many choices as they'd like when it comes to an efficient, business-centric tablet. While devices like the BlackBerry PlayBook cater to a more professional market, consumer-savvy devices like the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the iPad seem to make the biggest splash in the market. That is unlikely to change with the impending debut of the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, which aims to challenge the Apple iPad but at a price far below Apple's $499 starting point. The Kindle Fire is expected to sell for $199, giving it a significant cost advantage over pricier rivals-but at the expense of some features thought of as standard on tablets, like a video camera. Small business owners considering a dip in the tablet pool are also likely to find the tablet on the shallow end of productivity features essential to running a company.
The device sports a 7-in. screen and will run on Google's Android software. While the device is WiFi-capable, it will not have access to 3G networks. That, and the lack of either a forward or rear-facing camera, will likely limit its appeal for companies in which tablet devices are taken out of the office and into the field. While portability among business tablets is often the key factor, the business applications, email capabilities and a lasting battery are also top considerations.