This morning Amazon announced a refresh of its Kindle line. New models include the Kindle Fire for $199, Kindle Touch for $99, Kindle Touch 3G for $149, and a new low priced Kindle reader for $79.
The most anticipated model is arguably the Kindle Fire so that's the one we'll focus on. Running Android and Linux under the hood, the Fire is an all-Amazon experience with nary a Google app in sight. Aimed squarely at the Apple iPad for its all-purpose tablet and multi-media capabilities and the Barnes and Noble Nook for its color e-reader capabilities, the Fire will be out on November 15.
Amazon enters a crowded tablet market dominated by the iPad but filled with dozens of Android-based offerings from companies as varied as Samsung, Asus, HTC, Motorola, and ZTE. To stand out in the crowd, Amazon will rely on its unique content and partners.
There are e-books of course, but Amazon believes if all you want is an e-book reader then one of the e-ink black-and-white models might be better for you. The higher powered (and higher priced) Fire tablet brings you full color magazines (New York Times, Wired, and more), video streaming (through Amazon Prime, Netflix, CBS, NBC, Universal, Fox, and others), comic books, games (Angry Birds of course), and other applications.
Here's a look at the Kindle Fire specifications revealed so far, and how they stack up against the competition:
|Amazon Kindle Fire||Apple iPad2||Color Nook|
|Operating System||Android 2.3||iOS 5||Android 2.2|
|Screen Size & Technology||7.0" IPS||9.7" IPS||7.0" IPS|
|Screen Density||169 dpi||132 dpi||169 dpi|
|Thickness||0.45 in.||0.34 in.||0.48 in.|
|Weight||14.6 oz.||21.3 oz.||15.8 oz.|
|Storage space||8GB||16GB, 32GB, or 64GB||8GB + SD card|
|Processor||ARM Cortex A9-based TI OMAP 4430 dual core @1.0GHz, PowerVR SGX540 GPU ?||Apple A5 dual firstname.lastname@example.orgGHz, PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU||ARM Cortex A8-based TI OMAP 3621 @ 800 MHz|
|Communication||WiFi b/g/n||WiFi a/b/g/n, BT2.1+EDR, optional 3G||WiFi b/g/n, optional 3G|
|Battery life||8 hours||10 hours||8 hours|
|Charger||Micro USB||Proprietary||Micro USB|
|No (there's an app for that)||Native client (Exchange, Gmail, IMAP, POP)||Native client (IMAP, POP)|
|Web Browser||Amazon Silk split browser||Safari (WebKit based)||WebKit based|
|Multi-touch||2 finger||10 finger||2 finger|
|Sync to TV||Yes, Whispersync||Yes, AirPlay||No|
|Price||$199||$499 and up||$249|
What do you think? iPad and Nook killer? Or is this something else entirely?