Finally I think we have some competition for Apple’s iPad. Today Amazon announced a new range of Kindle devices ranging from the low-cost $79 Kindle to the very interesting Kindle Fire at $199.
The Kindle Fire is an Android powered 7″ touch device that is going to be great for consuming content ( all served by Amazon of course) and at half the price of an iPad could be real competition. It looks like the hardware is actually very much like RIM’s Playbook but Amazon have shown it’s more than just the hardware it’s about the ecosystem. The have been very successful with the Kindle so far due to how easy it is to purchase and consume content and I am sure this will be the same.
In some ways I am not sure it will be a direct competitor for the iPad, but it is definitely competition for the many Android tablets, I can’t see why you would want to pay £400 for an Galaxy Tab when you could get a Kindle Fire for £200.

It’s exciting times in the tablet space with Amazon entering the game dominated by Apple and Windows 8 tablets coming next year.
Are you thinking of getting one or are you holding out for a Windows 8 device?

Details from Amazon:

We are excited to announce four new products: the all-new Kindle for only $79, two new touch Kindles – Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G – for $99 and $149, and a new class of Kindle – Kindle Fire – a beautiful full color Kindle for movies, TV shows, music, books, magazines, apps, games, web browsing and more, for only $199.

These are high-end products – the best Kindles we’ve ever made. Kindle and Kindle Touch have the most-advanced E Ink display technology available, and the 3G Kindle Touch adds free 3G wireless – no monthly fees and no annual contracts. Kindle Fire brings everything we’ve been working on at Amazon for 15 years together into a single, fully-integrated experience for customers – instant access to Amazon’s massive selection of digital content, a vibrant color IPS touchscreen with extra-wide viewing angle, a 14.6 ounce design that’s easy to hold with one hand, a state-of-the-art dual core processor, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, and an ultra-fast mobile browser – Amazon Silk – available exclusively on Kindle Fire.

Technical Details

Display7″ multi-touch display with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and anti-reflective treatment, 1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi, 16 million

Size (in inches)7.5″ x 4.7″ x 0.45″ (190 mm x 120 mm x 11.4 mm).
Weight14.6 ounces (413 grams).

System RequirementsNone, because it’s wireless and doesn’t require a computer.

On-device Storage8GB internal. That’s enough for 80 apps, plus either 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books.

Cloud StorageFree cloud storage for all Amazon content

Battery LifeUp to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, with wireless off. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as web browsing and downloading content.

Charge TimeFully charges in approximately 4 hours via included U.S. power adapter. Also supports charging from your computer via USB.

Wi-Fi ConnectivitySupports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, or 802.1X standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication; does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks.

USB PortUSB 2.0 (micro-B connector)

Audio3.5 mm stereo audio jack, top-mounted stereo speakers.

Content Formats SupportedKindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8.

DocumentationQuick Start Guide(included in box); Kindle User’s Guide (pre-installed on device)

Warranty and Service1-year limited warranty and service included. Optional 2-year Extended Warranty available for U.S. customers sold separately. Use of Kindle is subject to the terms found here.

Included in the BoxKindle Fire tablet, U.S. power adapter (supports 100-240V), and Quick Start Guide.

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