Is Amazon's tablet really the 'Kindle Fire'?

Summary:Here's a recap of what we think we know about the almost official Amazon tablet.

With just an hour to go until Amazon takes the wraps off its first ever tablet in New York, it seems we already know the slate inside and out -- or maybe not.

After all, Amazon is notoriously secretive about its product launches so no one besides CEO Jeff Bezos truly has a firm grasp on what the Kindle slate is all about. Here's a recap of what we think we know about the Amazon tablet, based on what we could find online. Which rumor will turn out to be completely bunk after 10 a.m. Eastern today? We hope you'll be keeping score with us.

  • The "Kindle Fire": According to TechCrunch's MG Siegler September 26 post, Amazon has named its tablet the "Kindle Fire," which differs from his earlier claim that the device will simply be known as the "Amazon Kindle." Nate Hoffelder over at The Digital Reader has checked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's database and found "Amazon have not registered Kindle Fire or Fire." So the official name of Amazon's tablet is still up in the air.
  • The Amazon tablet is a 7-incher: Most of what we know about the Amazon slate is based on Siegler's picture-less, hands-on preview of the device back on September 2. And that's what we're expecting Bezos to hold on stage this morning: a full color, 7-inch capacitive two-finger touchscreen that looks like the BlackBerry Playbook but runs Amazon's own version of Android (Kindle OS), has a single core processor, with possible tie-in with Amazon Prime membership for $300, or $250 without. It goes without saying that Amazon services like the Cloud Player, Instant Video player and Android Appstore were featured prominently on the preview unit, as the strength of the tablet is really in providing access to the content consumers want, rather than wowing them with state-of-the-art hardware specs.
  • An Amazon-branded Playbook: gdgt's Ryan Block takes the reference to the BlackBerry Playbook one step further by reporting that the Amazon tablet is not only made by the same manufacturer as the Playbook (Quanta) but also derived from the same hardware design. This way, Amazon could get a tablet out to customers for this holiday season to compete with the popular Barnes & Noble Nook Color, which is also rumored to be introducing two updated Nook Colors this year.
  • Kindle Cloud Storage integration:  Eagle-eyed readers of The Digital Reader reportedly found a couple of lines of code (pictured below) on the "Manage your Kindle" page that suggests Amazon may be readying a Cloud Drive for e-books to be accessible on Kindle devices. If that's the case, then the notes you make on your Kindle e-reader and or tablet will be saved to the cloud, and therefore accessible on other platforms. (Thanks, Carolyn!)

Related:

Topics: Storage, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

About

Gloria Sin is a New York-based freelance journalist who writes about the tech toys that you can't live without for ZDNet. She has little patience for poorly designed user experiences, and is not afraid of opening the guts of her own machines for repair or hacking her gadgets for new uses.She has written for FastCompany.com, Popular Scienc... Full Bio

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