The internet has been a buzz since last week when Amazon unveiled the new Kindle Fire. Adding size and tablet-like functionality to its popular Kindle device, the Kindle Fire is purported to be a potential contender for the mobility device top spot. Amazon has been very careful to market the Kindle Fire as a Kindle device – not as a tablet – consider that it is an ebook reader, a magazine reader, a comic book reader, and a media player (for movies and music purchased through Amazon). There is also a Web browser and you can buy apps (purchased through Amazon's store), but they aren't hyping it.
Measuring only 7-inches, the Kindle Fire is smaller than the ipad, but it is distinguished by a dual core processor; a rich, color drenched display and a quick, intuitive touchscreen. It has a reported 8-hour battery life and supports both public and private Wi-Fi networks. Of particular note is the Kindle Fire’s interface with Amazon content, providing users with access to over 18 million books, songs, TV-shows and movies. Amazon’s app store also provides access to over 10,000 games, tools and resources which will run on the Kindle Fire’s Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system.
Previously ipad users could point to an advantage over the Kindle because in addition to college textbooks, the ipad stores video lectures, online notes, lab materials and more. This essentially meant that a student could carry his or her entire classroom on an ipad. Kindle Fire users will have access to similar functionality facilitated in part by access to cloud storage, which incidentally, is free for all Amazon content. Therefore, it does not matter much that the Kindle Fire won't have much memory or expandable storage. Additionally, Kindle fire users will be able to access Word, PDF and related documents.
Summary specs for the Kindle Fire are as follows:
7 inch IPS 1024×600 resolution display with 169 PPI
7.5″ x 4.7″ x 0.45″ (190 mm x 120 mm x 11.4 mm) at 14.6 ounces (413 grams)
8GB of internal storage
Up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback (charges in four hours and can be charged using a USB port on your PC)
802.11b/g/n WiFi (no ad-hoc support)
3.5mm headphone jack and top-mounted external speakers
Available for preorder at the Amazon website, the Kindle Fire is competitively priced at $199. “The Kindle Fire will be a tablet for users who know how to take advantage of a tablet, and it will be a Kindle for users who just want a media player and book reader” says Will Greenwald (2011 PCMag).
To learn more about the Kindle Fire, please click here.