Amazon Kindle Fire tablet: $199, 7-inch screen, ships Nov. 15


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Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet was finally introduced Wednesday. It will sell for $199, feature a 7-inch touchscreen and ship on Nov. 15.

The Fire will run on, as expected, a unique version of Google Android developed by Amazon.


The first tablet from the world’s largest online retailer has been anticipated for months as the first device that really might be able to challenge Apple’s iPad, given Amazon’s ability not only to sell hardware at a low price, but also to offer a full suite of downloadable music, movies, TV shows, eBooks and apps.

A look at the specs of the Kindle Fire reaffirms the idea that the focus of this tablet is consuming media -- and consuming it directly from Amazon.

Amazon has tailored the Android operating system to look unlike any other version of Android out there, with Amazon’s media and app store the focus of the user experience.

The tablet has a dual-core processor and eight gigabytes of storage, but no camera or 3G connection, and its screen is just a two-point touchscreen versus the iPad’s ability to handle up to 10 points of touch at a time.

Amazon began taking pre-orders for the Kindle Fire on Wednesday.

Buyers of the Fire will get a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, the Seattle online retailer’s $79 yearly service that provides free video streaming and free shipping for items purchased from


Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, announced the Kindle Fire at an event in New York on Wednesday, after Bloomberg reported details of the specs earlier in the day and released the first official image of the device.

[Updated 8:28 a.m.: Here’s a look at Amazon’s first Kindle Fire TV commercial, as posted on YouTube, which shows a bit of the tablet in action.]


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles