Watch LIVE

Amazon Is on 'Fire': Your Guide to the New Tablet for Under $200


"We don’t think of the Kindle Fire as a tablet. We think of it as a service."

The Kindle Fire (7 inches) is a bit smaller than iPad (about 9.5 inches), but it has some rivaling capabilities. (Photo: Steve Kovach/Business Insider)

Kindle shook the e-reader and tablet world today with its announcement of four new tablet devices all under the $200 price point.

The devices include the regular, non-touchscreen e-reader ($79), a touchscreen version ($99), a touchscreen and 3G version ($149) and the much anticipated Kindle Fire ($199), a tablet that could light a little fire under other tablet competition including Android and iPad.

Analysts report that three out of every four tablets sold is an iPad ($499), which gives Fire some lofty goals to shoot for right out of the gate. The tech industry expect this 7-inch device to start rivaling tablets like those with Android operating systems before it is able to reach the heights of iPad.

Fire features a dual-core processor with wi-fi capability but does not have a camera or 3G wireless access like its more expensive competitors.

CNET has more on Fire:

Amazon is also offering free cloud storage to customers of the devices. Since most of the content is backed Amazon's cloud, the Kindle Fire is also wirelessly synced to the cloud service, eliminating the need for users to manually back-up or sync their content.

And Amazon has included its Whispersync technology, which delivers digital books to the Kindle and now will also work with movies and television shows. The benefit here is that people will be able to view a movie or TV show on their home TV, pause it, and then pick up where they left off on their Kindle Fire, much like Netflix allows people to do between its TV, PC, and mobile apps.

Watch the report here:

[youtube expand=1]

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told BusinessWeek "We don’t think of the Kindle Fire as a tablet. We think of it as a service."

Amazon also announced a new browser -- Silk -- to enhance the web browsing experience on its tablets. PC World reports:

Silk is different from other browsers because it can be configured to let Amazon's cloud service do much of the work assembling complex Web pages. The result is that users may experience much faster load times for Web pages, compared to other mobile devices, according to the company.


"The modern Web has become a complicated place," Bezos said. As a result, "It is difficult -- challenging -- for mobile devices to display modern Web pages rapidly."

To speed page rendering on the Kindle Fire, Silk uses a "split browser" approach, Bezos said. "It partially lives in EC2 and it partially lives on Kindle Fire."

This video explains the onus for Silk and how it works:

[youtube expand=1]

If you're not sold yet on the device that will be ready to ship November 15, watch Kindle Fire's first ad:

[youtube expand=1]

The Associated Press Contributed to this report.

Most recent
All Articles