Home Your IT Mobility Will Amazon's Kindle Fire fire up the tablet market?

Amazon's much-rumoured tablet has been announced. The Kindle Fire is an aggressively priced 7in colour device with a new approach to web browsing.


A revamp of Amazon's Kindle range includes the introduction of the Kindle Fire. Featuring a 7in multi-touch IPS display, the Kindle Fire weighs just over 400g.

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One shortcoming that may be a deal breaker for some potential buyers is that (at least in its initial version) the Kindle Fire is a Wi-Fi only device with no provision for 3G connectivity. On the upside, it does have more memory than other Kindles - the 8GB of storage is enough for 80 apps plus either 10 movies, 800 songs or 6000 books, company officials claimed.

All content from Amazon can be redownloaded at any time. Kindle Fire includes one month's Amazon Prime membership (usually $US79 per year), giving streaming access to more than 11,000 movies and TV shows, among other benefits. Since a one month free trial is available anyway, it is questionable whether it should be considered part of the Kindle Fire package.

The new device also extends Whispersync to video content, so if you don't reach the end of a movie during a flight, when you get home you can pick up where you left off using a compatible TV, set-top box, Blu-ray player, or computer (Windows or Mac).

As for apps, Amazon will offer "All the most popular Android apps and games, such as Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies, Cut the Rope and more", all tested on the Kindle Fire by the company. To encourage frequent visits to its app store, there will be a new free paid app every day.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.

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