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.
Before Bezos launched into the Kindle Fire part of his presentation, he offered a graph showing consumer uptake of Kindle e-books (red line) versus traditional books (yellow line).
In addition to the Kindle Fire, Amazon is offering a line of revamped (but still grayscale) touch-enabled Kindle devices.
The new Kindle devices will continue to sync with Amazons cloud, and offer services via Facebook and Twitter.
Amazons Kindle Fire faces a variety of competitors, from Barnes & Nobles Nook e-reader to the Apple iPad.
The Kindle Fires screen measures 7 inches, with its applications powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor. It runs a heavily modified version of Android.
The Kindle Fire offers access to periodicals (via Newsstand, seen at top), books, music, video, personal documents, applications (via the retailers online app store) and the Web.
Amazons mobile Web browser splits processing duties between the device and Amazons EC2 Web services cloud, in theory accelerating the rendering of pages.
Amazon views the tablet as an extension of the Kindle line (hence the name Kindle Fire) as opposed to a device with separate branding.
The Kindle Fire will come with a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime, which includes access to Amazons Prime streaming movie service.
Amazon is also offering free cloud storage with each Kindle Fire.
Unlike some other tablets currently on the market, the Kindle Fire lacks a camera, microphone, or access to 3G or 4G LTE networks. Its WiFi only.
The Kindle Fires $199.99 price could prove attractive to those consumers looking for a cheaper tablet. Were building premium products at non-premium prices, Bezos said during the press conference.??Ã
In addition to cloud storage, the Kindle Fire offers 8GB of internal storage.
Amazon has rated the Kindle Fires battery life at roughly eight hours.