Amazon's Kindle Fire: Can it save 7-inch tablets?

If Amazon can make a go of the Kindle Fire perhaps 7-inch tablets will stick around. If not, the 7-inch tablet is toast.

In the tablet world, 7-inch screens are tweeners that users have little use for. If Amazon's Kindle Fire doesn't make 7-inch tablets stick nothing will.

Let's face it: The 7-inch screen is a bit confusing. It's not big enough for a full screen browsing experience and small enough to not be all that much different than some smartphones with 4-inch screens.

It's a tweener. Sure, some folks like a smaller form factor, but Samsung's 7-inch

Galaxy Tab isn't exactly lighting up the sales charts. RIM's PlayBook is increasingly looking like a disaster. When you walk into Best Buy the corner with the 7-inch tablets looks a bit deserted. Perhaps Amazon's $199 price tag will reinvigorate demand for 7-inch tablets.

Photos: Amazon's three new Kindles

Amazon's 2011 Kindle, Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G (hands-on photos)

Amazon Kindle Fire photos

Amazon's mission is to save the 7-inch tablet category. If Amazon can make a go of the Kindle Fire perhaps 7-inch tablets will stick around. But if Amazon launches a 10-inch Kindle Fire and sales of the smaller version tank it's safe say that 7-inch tablets are going to face extinction.

In other words, there's an inflection point for 7-inch tablets. Amazon will have a lot to do with which way this form factor goes.

Amazon's Kindle Fire has content, price to compete Every time a new tablet computer hits the market, experts speculate whether it could be the one to take down Apple's iPad. CNET's Kara Tsuboi explains why Amazon's Kindle Fire could be its stiffest competition yet.

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