Tech Report – Kindle Fire
Amazon today began shipping its new Kindle Fire tablet, signaling what could be the start of a record-breaking holiday season for the giant online retailer. Initial sales of the $199 Kindle Fire have been estimated at between 3 and 5 million, which will put it far ahead of Barnes & Noble’s new $249 Nook and maybe even within striking distance of Apple’s iPad 2.
Comparisons with the iPad 2 have mostly centered on price, with the Kindle Fire costing $300 less than the cheapest version of Apple’s much-acclaimed tablet. However, it’s not even clear that Amazon intends the Kindle Fire to compete against the iPad. Rather it sees its new reader as the perfect delivery vehicle for its vast selection of content.
Whatever its competitive standing, Amazon has put together a remarkable device. The 7-inch color touchscreen is easy to use and delivers crisp and vibrant images, whether you are viewing text, photos, or video. While the touchscreen may not have the ultra-smooth responsiveness of the iPad 2, it is accurate and dependable. The split home screen adapts perfectly to your needs, making all your media choices instantly searchable, while highlighting the movies, books, and web sites that you use the most.
There is a serviceable e-mail program, the ability to load and read documents, and a super-fast web browser, which utilizes the dual core processor and the Amazon Silk cloud service to boost load times and refresh rates. There is also the ground-breaking Whispersync technology, which automatically syncs your Kindle library across all your devices, which on the Kindle Fire has been extended to video.
But the true strength of the Kindle Fire is the instant access to the vast array of Amazon content, which includes over 18 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, books and apps. And there is no need to worry about storage capacity. The 8GB internal storage is backed by free cloud storage for all Amazon content.
With a low price of $199, Amazon figures that you might have a little cash left for extras. An $80-a-year Amazon Prime membership will give you free unlimited streaming of 13,000 movies and TV shows, free two-day shipping on all Amazon purchases, and the loan of one free Kindle e-book a month.
All web browsing and content delivery is via Wi-Fi. There is no 3G service (unlike the new Kindle Touch 3G) and therefore no contract or monthly connectivity fees.
While it will be impossible to avoid Kindle Fire and iPad 2 comparisons (Kindle Fire wins on price, iPad 2 wins on polish, finesse, and functionality), there really is no need to match them up. The Kindle Fire stands alone as yet another breakthrough device, one that will help reshape the tablet market for many years to come.
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Comment by Grace, posted 12/1/2011, 11:24 AM:
What do you think about Kindle Fire for young child?