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  • quiksilvr - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    *Starts digging grave*

    Seriously, how can they compete with this now?
  • lurker22 - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Well, lower their price as a starter... Reply
  • Spazweasel - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    "We're losing money with each unit, but we'll make up for it with volume."

    Most phones and pads, when you take into account the need to recover R&D costs (which can run into the hundreds of millions, or even billions of dollars), are selling with almost no margin or profit. The sellers are depending upon their portion of the app/book/media sales through their so-called "walled gardens" to sustain the business. But if nobody buys content through the producer's store... if everything is sideloaded or pirated... there is no profit to be made, and so the company stops making the phone/pad.

    I would be very surprised if Amazon will make even a single penny on the Fire hardware sales.
  • Spazweasel - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Stupid no-edit.

    B&N is in worse shape financially than Amazon; they can't afford to have a Playbook Moment. They could sink a lot of money into subsidizing the Nook by selling below-cost, and it's a huge risk. Amazon can afford that; I don't think B&N can.
  • SilthDraeth - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Your assessment is a good one. However, I don't really believe Amazon is expecting people to buy to much media with these devices. Sure they want you to consume media. But ultimately, the device will lead to more overall sales of products through Amazon directly.

    As it is, when I am in a store, I look up the product on Amazon, to read user reviews, and check prices. If reviews are bad, I look for an alternative that gets good reviews. Check prices in store, if the product is available.

    9 times out of 10, Amazon is the better deal.

    I think getting more of these tablets into hands of consumers will grow their business even more.
  • Zoomer - Sunday, October 02, 2011 - link

    You just have to remember that it's wifi only. Reply
  • DanD85 - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Your argument of "millions, or even billions of dollars R&D costs" hold no ground! Why? Because the Fire is just a product from an ODM, Amazon only buy from that ODM and with their buying power I don't believe they have to sustain any hardware loss on this.

    Secondly, with the release of the Xiaomi phone with the roughly the same performance with the galaxy tab 2 but half the price prove that WE, the consumer simply "believe" the cost of the product is what the manufacturer say without knowing anything better.
  • Guspaz - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Sure, but Amazon is the first tablet vendor other than Apple with a comprehensive set of first-party services behind it. They've got their appstore, their music store, their TV and movie services, their book store, their cloud syncing, all of it. None of the other tablet offerings have that all as first-party services under the same roof except Apple. Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    I would be surprised if Quanta would sell for much less than $200, certainly not enough for Amazon to have any appreciable margin on the Fire. Xiaomi is an interesting case of an Asian company using its home team advantage to bring costs down considerably. But it probably doesn't have the margins that Samsung has, let alone Apple. The key is what the market will pay for a device. Apple as mastered the art of finding a price point and owning it. The iPad is obviously a good example of this, but consider too the MacBook Pro 15. Most people would have trouble paying $1500 for a 15" Windows laptop, because decent models can be had for half that. Yet MBP15 sales have been rock solid for years. $750 is about what a person will consider spending on a Windows laptop, but $1500 is easily considered for a Mac.
    But no one is immune from price disruptions. And if the Fire does rise to the top of the Android heap, it may be enough to shake down Apple's pricing.
  • geedavey - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    I read yesterday that the $199 Fire costs $209 to make. Reply
  • fishman - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    The Color Nook is due for a replacement. If an updated one can match the specs, and drop the price, they could do fine. Especially if the Amazon tablet is too "locked in". Reply
  • alent1234 - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    there you go with specs

    this will kill the Nook
  • jasontech - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    Not good for B&N and bookstores. Reply
  • cjb110 - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Pity the Fire seems to be US only :(

    In the UK we do get the new Kindle, but for £89 not the £52/$79 US price.
  • r3loaded - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    If you add on the 20% VAT to £52, that gives £62.40. Which means we're getting ripped off to the tune of almost £27 :/ Reply
  • JoeMcJoe - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Don't forget that all US prices do not include the sales tax.

    Its 9.5% where I live.

    The UK price DOES include the sales tax/VAT.
  • kmmatney - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Order from a different state for no tax. I don;t think you have to pay tax in most states for Amazon. Reply
  • Spivonious - Monday, October 03, 2011 - link

    You have to pay sales in any state that charges sales tax. Amazon does not have to collect it in states where they do not have a physical presence.

    Of course, nobody actually pays the tax. In Pennsylvania, you're supposed to submit a PA-1 form for things that you bought but did not pay sales tax on. It's completely unenforceable.
  • JasperJanssen - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    There are continual proposals to change this situation, though -- one of them was with California, where they started considering amazon affiliates enough to make it a company with physical presence there. Amazon responded by cutting off their affiliate program in CA. The law was quickly repealed.

    It's going to take federal action to really bring amazon to its knees on this score.
  • Ushio01 - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    The $79 is with ads the version without ads (which we get) is $109 - £69 plus 20% VAT is £82.80 so only £6.20 more expensive. Reply
  • JoeMcJoe - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    yep, all the new e-ink kindles include lots of advertising. Reply
  • marvdmartian - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    Agreed on the US only pity.

    My niece just moved to Japan (to teach), and I'd love to get her one of the Kindle Fire's, as I know she was looking to get an e-reader before she left (but don't believe she did). She would LOVE the multi-media capabilities of the Fire, but when I contacted Amazon, they stated that not only is the Fire selling only the in the US, but that they are only supporting it's functions (buying material from Amazon, storage on the Amazon cloud, etc) in the US also.

    Seems a little bit short sighted to me. :(
  • etamin - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    so who is handling the 3G? and just curious why there is a ? next to the (2x Cortex A9s) in the spec chart. The OMAP 4430 does indeed have 2x Cortex A9s in it. Reply
  • z0mb13n3d - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    I think the '?' is because they might not sure if it does have the OMAP 4430 in it, although almost everything is pointing at that being the case. Reply
  • Wolfpup - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    As the article says, they don't know for sure if that's what it's using.

    Not bad hardware, but I'm done with Amazon and Kindle after the crazed right-wing moderation going on there...
  • Craig234 - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    "Not bad hardware, but I'm done with Amazon and Kindle after the crazed right-wing moderation going on there... "

    Hear, hear.

    I've ended my near boycott after they made a deal with CA, but I'm still wary.
  • A5 - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    There is no 3G on this yet. I assume that's on the list for version 2... Reply
  • etamin - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Ah sorry about the wording. My question about 3G was actually meant to reference the Touch. Reply
  • Guspaz - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    To be honest, it's largely irrelevant who does the 3G service, since it's free once you've paid the up-front cost. It might only be relevant in terms of coverage; even performance isn't that big a deal when it's primarily used for whispersync of books.

    In Canada, the 3G service is provided by Rogers. But to be honest, I find that I leave wireless turned off (all wireless, 3G and wifi) 99% of the time on my Kindle 3. It drains the battery, and I only need it when I want to buy a book, it's useless the rest of the time.

    In hindsight, I would have bought the wifi, not the 3G.
  • Lord 666 - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    ;) Reply
  • Choppedliver - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    I'm sure it does, since Plants vs Zombies is clearly displayed at the bottom. Much more intensive than angry birds.

    And amazon has their own android app store.

    Anyone who thinks this is going to be purely an e-reader/movie watching device with all that hardware inside is delusional.
  • Impulses - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    It's gonna be another Nook option to those that don't mind a little hacking. Though with full featured (and larger) tablets approaching $300 (Archos, sales, etc.), the market for this isn't gonna last long. Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    No need, it has the Amazon Appstore.

    Most high profile apps are available for the same price. And you can't beat those free apps (Cut The Rope is free today).

    Of course, the XDA crowd will root it and open up its functionality, but I think it will be a surprisingly functional $200 tablet out of the gate.
  • gevorg - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    The Kindle Touch is awesome! I would still prefer iPad for entertainment, but will use the Kindle as a dedicated reading device that doesn't kill the eyes. Kindle Touch + iPad FTW. Reply
  • steven75 - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    I'm thinking that's a good combo. Reply
  • kingbee1333 - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Already preordered, tied in to amazon ecosystem via thier android app store, kindle books and videos, seems like a nobrainer at this price. 3g conectivity seems to be an oversight, but at the price and no contracts with the nice display and soild soc seems like a nobrainer for me. It's going ot be much less enticing for anyone already invested into apples ecosystem apps etc.

    Seems like amazon is the first company to treat the hardware as a comodity of thier content. Where as other tablet makers are looking to profit from the hardware, and apple is looking to profit from hardware and content. Amazon was brillaint to make thier own app store. Google can't be happy with this.
  • jecs - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    I am gladly surprised because I read on other site this device has an IPS matrix and all the features for $199. I don't need a tablet really but now I am glad this option is available. And I really hope this device to become a huge success to bring other options down in price.

    Obviously I want to read a good review first and even hold it in my hands and use it, but it looks like the smartest move on the tablet market since the iPad was introduced.

    It is even more simplistic in appearance than the iPad, but that I don't feel it resembles the Apple line. It is not an iPad COPY, it is even simpler, more feature and market oriented and that is just $199?
  • munsie - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    The $200 price point sounds great, but is that with or without the special offers? Amazon clearly breaks out the price difference on the other models ($30), but the option is missing for the Fire. So does that mean that it only comes with the special offers or it only comes without? If it's without, it a much more attractive device. But I suspect it's with, considering how close it is in price to the other less capable models.

    And as far as it being an iPad killer, I think it's too early to make claims like this. The PlayBook, which it's apparently based on, hasn't been killing the iPad. Granted, it's more expensive, but I suspect that's because RIM can't afford to subsidize it like Amazon can. Also, the iPad has a larger display. If the 7" tablet market takes off, Apple could decide to make a smaller iPad at a cheaper price.

    One more thing -- when the first iPod touch came out in 2007, I remember $400 for the 16GB model. Today, the touch starts out at $229 and the $400 model has 64GB. The iPhone also got significantly cheaper (at least for the consumer) over the same period. I don't see why Apple wouldn't be able to make the iPad cheaper as well over time, especially if they figure out a way to subsidize some of the cost with either iTunes sales or with the carriers.
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Special Offers relies on the eink screensaver to display ads as unobtrusively as possible. Since the eink screens don't use power except on page turns, there's no battery hit. With no eink in the Fire, it's likely it has no Special Offers. As far as Apple trying to compete on price, Apple makes money on every single thing it sells, they prefer not to subsidize because the risk of failure is too high. Instead their content sales just add to profits. More likely is a model where they begin selling old models at discounted rates as component costs come down, while selling a newer model at the original price. This may drive iPod Touch prices down though, since 7" makes a much more compelling media experience than 3.5".
    Thanks for the comments, keep'em coming!
  • jecs - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Great point for the iPod Touch Vs Kindle price/use.

    I already have an iPod Touch 2G and I have no plans/need to update unless it dies. I am using it mostly for music. But now the Kindle with an 7' IPS screen is the right size for me at a lower price than the iPod Touch. It is not a direct replace for the Touch for me but is a better device for internet browsing and movies.

    I don't know how great gaming will be on the Kindle as Amazon doesn't promote the graphic processor(?) but either I don't think they expect this to be a real gaming tablet.
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    If it is the OMAP 4430 then it'll be as well performing at gaming as any other tablet out there, bar the iPad. Reply
  • slashbinslashbash - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    So instead of web browsing using up only the user's bandwidth, it also uses up Amazon's bandwidth.... twice (once inbound, once outbound, although they will probably implement caching to reduce some of the inbound). As mentioned in the article, download speed does not really seem to be the bottleneck when it comes to Web browsing on tablets (although CPU+GPU time will be less eaten up by smaller graphics that don't need resizing to display). The biggest problem is that this system will require a long-term dedication of resources on Amazon's part. Same with the free lifetime 3G service on some Kindles.... Amazon sells you the Kindle once but is required to maintain services for it indefinitely. This is not a good business model from Amazon (and of course, at $200 they can hardly be making anything from the hardware, if they're not actually losing money on it). Amazon has awesome sales numbers but barely eeks out a profit from its operations. It is amazingly well-run, but retailing is always a race to the bottom on pricing. This tablet doesn't seem like it will help much; most everybody who wants an e-reader already has a normal Kindle, so the Kindle Fire won't add many incremental e-book sales. Android apps could turn into a profit center, but they have a long way to go before their sales catch up with Apple.

    All that said, as a long-term Apple fan, user and shareholder, this tablet does concern me to a certain degree. 7" is half the screen area of 10", and there are other apparent flaws, but selling at a 60% discount to the cheapest iPad can make up for a whole lot of flaws. I think that Apple will have to drop pricing to compete, maybe by keeping the iPad 2 in the lineup at a reduced price when they introduce the iPad 3. Other Android tablets have failed because of price and marketing reach. The Nook Color has been limited mostly by B&N's flawed marketing (if they sold it as a full-fledged Android tablet instead of a colorful e-reader, I think it would do better). Amazon has both problems fixed, and also has the value-add of their own curated App Store. I think that the Kindle Fire will easily take the 2nd place position in tablet sales.

    This creates an interesting dynamic between Amazon and Google. Amazon is basically forking Android with this tablet. Google can't be happy if Amazon takes over the #1 Android Tablet position with a non-official Android tablet. I would personally be pleased if Amazon purchased WebOS from HP and put it into the Kindle Fire.... with whatever tweaks Amazon sees fit to add. I don't want to see WebOS die, and nobody has yet seen the Amazon version of Android, so it's unclear what we're going to be getting. I guess that will be the biggest question mark heading into November.... Amazon has no experience with non-web-based UI design. I'm sure they've got a ton of smart OS hackers making their cloud work, but that doesn't always translate into being able to create a nice UI. The "bookshelf" UI looks very attractive, but it might get clunky when you try to scale it. I'm not such a big fan of Apple's "Rows of Icons" UI, but it always runs smoothly and it's fairly easy to keep things organized and find what you want. I'm looking forward to AnandTech's review of the Kindle Fire.
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Remember that when Amazon caches a tablet optimized version of, say, Anandtech, it only updates the deltas throughout the day and can now offer that single cached copy to anyone that asks for it. So when millions of readers visit the site the cached copy is the perfect size to minimize bandwidth usage. And while you're right that this is a big commitment, Amazon has positions themselves to be a powerhouse in cloud services for some time. Their rates on storage and bandwidth alone are enough to draw clients as varied as Apple and Lilly.
    I will be curious if Silk shows up on other devices, phones for instance could take fuller advantage of the potential, especially when you consider that a decade after mobile versions of sites started to appear, most are anemic versions of their desktop counterparts.
    Thanks for the comment!
  • slashbinslashbash - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Your example of Anandtech actually makes it worse for Amazon. I am logged in to AT and I am shown a personalized view of every page ("Welcome slashbinslashbash!"). There are a lot of sites that work like this, and for any of them the caching option just won't work -- Amazon will have no choice but to pull down a full version of each page the user loads. They can still cache graphics (which presumably don't change from user to user) but they are still going to require tons of storage and bandwidth to handle this. I know they're Amazon and their cloud is the biggest, but still, if they're going to ever make a profit off the Kindle Fire then they may want to reconsider whether Silk is a good solution. It is a small plus at best for the end-user, and a loss for Amazon. Reply
  • batmanuel - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    That personalization is only a small element of the page. The graphics and article text are all going to be the same for various users, so those parts can be reused. Reply
  • slashbinslashbash - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    The graphics are the same and won't be re-downloaded by Amazon, but the article text is part of the same HTML file that the personalized element is part of. Amazon can't send a request for just the top part of the HTML file from Anandtech's web servers, and Anandtech's servers can't send it; it's all or nothing (barring, of course, any AJAX components).

    In any case, it's still using bandwidth from Amazon to the end-user, which Amazon wouldn't have to pay for if they used a traditional browser on the Kindle. I know Amazon has bandwidth to spare, but it still costs them money in the end.
  • batmanuel - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    HTML is often the smallest part of most web pages. The HTML for this particular webpage is 123 kb. It's all of the other elements of the page: Flash elements, graphics, advertisements, stylesheets, etc. that can be reused, and those can be reused easily since they are always the same. Tiny HTML files are nothing for a company like Amazon that gives away online storage and music streaming. Reply
  • batmanuel - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    That should read: ."..stylesheets, etc. that use up all the bandwidth." Reply
  • empedocles - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Actually, Silk is how Amazon will make money, a huge pile of money over time. Because of the way Silk works, Amazon will be able to capture complete web usage data for all the Kindle Fire users. They will then be able to correlate this with each person's content buying habits, content usage patterns, Amazon purchase info, Fire app usage info, etc. And Amazon will sell this highly personal data, similar to how Facebook sells highly detailed personal information on each user. Silk provides a high value revenue stream for Amazon and helps make it possible to offer the Kindle Fire at $199. Hence one can see that Silk is a critical component of the Fire's business model and that Fire might have been priced significantly higher if Amazon hadn't included Silk. Like it or not, selling user data seems to be par for the course for most tech companies. Silk is the technology that enables the capture of highly profitable web usage information for Amazon. To present it as anything else is at least in part disingenuous. Reply
  • slashbinslashbash - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Hmm, that has a depressing ring of truth to it. I wonder if it will be possible to disable that part of Silk. I for one am already tired enough of our Google overlords; I don't think I want to welcome Amazon as a secondary one. I wonder if they are going to make Silk available on other platforms too? You're right, that could end up being a significant revenue stream. Reply
  • synaesthetic - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    root it and use a different browser. :) Reply
  • MetroBodyWork - Sunday, October 02, 2011 - link

    I have it on very good authority that Amazon has a VERY strict policy about NEVER sharing ANY of the data they collect from users with any other company. But, believe what you will. :) Reply
  • spigzone - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    Who would Amazon sell the information to?

    Selling the information could only help a competitor as Amazon competes with EVERYONE in the retail and entertainment delivery space.

    They are going to use the data strictly in house to continue to expand and fine tune their hegemony.

    With the Kindle Fire mainly by providing an immediate and instant Amazon buying opportunity for anything sellable the user shows in interest in.
  • MetroBodyWork - Sunday, October 02, 2011 - link

    Exactly :) There is no benefit to them to every sell that data. It would ruin their business like no other. Reply
  • NCM - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    slashbinslashbash writes:
    "All that said, as a long-term Apple fan, user and shareholder, this tablet does concern me to a certain degree. 7" is half the screen area of 10", and there are other apparent flaws, but selling at a 60% discount to the cheapest iPad can make up for a whole lot of flaws. I think that Apple will have to drop pricing to compete, maybe by keeping the iPad 2 in the lineup at a reduced price when they introduce the iPad 3."

    I don't think so. Apple has 29 million unit sales, and counting, to say that the iPad is well priced. Although still very interesting, the Fire is a much lower spec (storage, screen size, connectivity) device than the iPad 2,. These aren't "flaws"—they're differences. The Fire doesn't so much compete with the iPad as extend the tablet market. I suspect that the Fire may offer enough to create a viable 7" mobile device market, one that has so far has suffered from being too big for the pocket and too small compared to the iPad.

    Oh sure, there will certainly be some buyers who might have stretched for a $500 iPad but will now happily choose a $200 Fire instead, but I doubt that the demand overlap is very consequential.

    On the other hand, if I were B&N, I'd be really worried about where the Nook fits in.
  • taltamir - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    "Web browsing on mobile devices is still largely CPU bound"
    Talking as someone who travels a lot for business, this is absolutely not the case. Most hotels and motels provide a very poor internet connection with ridiculously low speeds. Even airport wifi is often very very slow.
    Performance gains/slowdowns based on CPU speed that look impressive in my home with 25/25mbps fios become totally irrelevant when it takes minutes to load a page due to ISP being slow. And if whispersync compressess that 3MB jpg image to 50kb and looks indistinguishable on the kindle fire then it would be a wonderful thing for people on the move.
  • Guspaz - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Services like Silk are more about eliminating round trips than saving bandwidth, and it also saves CPU time by pre-processing and rendering this stuff.

    Silk sounds much like Opera's acceleration service, offloading chunks of the work to the cloud to ensure expensive processing and round-trips happen on a fast server, except much more sophisticated.
  • name99 - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    taltamir is correct, and the statement in the article is foolish.

    This sort of things already exists today. People have mentioned Opera, but other ways of doing the same thing are to route URLs through either Google Reader or Instapaper. Both of these rewrite the page, remove all the extraneous crap, render JS on their proxy, etc, and give both a substantial speed boost to a page AND make it look better on a small screen. For example most blogs provide a column of content, along with one or two side columns of filler that are best stripped for small screens.
    The difference is really obvious for 3G, but it is noticeable even on home wifi because the CPU load has been transferred to a much powerful server --- all the mobile is doing is rendering a simple HTML page.

    Part of the issue is that "web page" is a vague concept. For some of us, our primary web pages are blogs and news sites, which tend to have a particular data and CPU profile, while for others of us, our primary web pages are things like Google Docs, or Facebook, which have very different profiles. Tools that work well for some people are useless for others --- but that doesn't mean the tool as a whole is useless, just that it is useless for that particular web page.

    Amazon has not mentioned this in their PR so far, presumably because they don't want to raise even more antagonism. But I would not be at all surprised to learn that, in time, they offer the same sort of functionality with Silk (likely on an opt-in basis) --- the ability to provide rewritten, reflowed pages, like Instapaper or Safari Reader, which can be delivered a lot faster to the device, AND, for many pages, provide a more usable experience.
  • Rick83 - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Hardwarewise this sounds similar to the new Archos tablets, only with more lock-in and less Video playback capabilities and external ports.

    Why is there no mention of the Archos launch on Anandtech anyway?
    The device as usual is launching with some issues, but spec-wise it looks quite solid, and the HD-video playback is going to be unrivaled - and only the Kindle Fire will compete on cost.
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Not sure which Archos you're referring to, their most impressive tablets, the G9, have been covered in Pipeline and we hope to get our hands on the 1.5 GHz variants when they're released next month. Is there another Archos tablet we haven't heard about that merits coverage? Reply
  • Rick83 - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    Nope, that's the one.

    Little note: The 1.5 GHz OMAP 4460 won't arrive until next year, due to TI not being able to get the chips out earlier.
    The launch 'turbo' versions will be OMAP 4430 clocked at 1.2 GHz.
  • JasonInofuentes - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    Can you get me a source on that? Reply
  • Rick83 - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    A quick googling leads me here, which references the Archos Facebook page:

    Possibly Samsung will get 4460s ahead of Archos (due to being a more interesting customer), so there may be 4460s appearing before the end of the year in some smart phones.
  • shin0bi272 - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    I thought that the whole reason the kindle was supposed to be cool was the E-ink stuff. So it didnt use batteries once the page had been displayed etc. Not that color isnt a great upgrade but cant you do colored e-ink? This seems like it will just get lost in the shuffle to me. Its another ipad knock off. Reply
  • Gazziza - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    Perhaps you missed it but there's also the new Kindle Touch and updated Kindle that will be released as well... Reply
  • shin0bi272 - Friday, September 30, 2011 - link

    I did miss that ... mainly because I don't keep up with tablets too much since I don't really need one. Can't help but get SOME news about specific tablets (i.e. ipad, and now this fire) but I dont go looking for it. I just tend to hear some stuff and remember it then see the same company releasing something completely different and wonder why they changed to look like everyone else. I do hope the new kindle will have color e-ink because I think that's the coolest idea in a long time. Reply
  • danjw - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    If you could also connect it to a TV, I think it would be a good deal. As is, I am not so sure. Reply
  • tviceman - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    I hope they don't skimp on the hardware with the eventual full sized Kindle. It would be nice to see it with more storage and a better processor (Tegra3). Reply
  • synaesthetic - Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - link

    ... but not useful until we get root and custom ROMs stripped of all Amazonian data-mining tools.

    Cyanogenmod plz.
  • secretmanofagent - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    Is anyone else concerned that the Silk browser will route traffic through Amazon? If you do a search for hair dyes for example, would Amazon now recommend it to you on their site? I just wonder how invasive the traffic being directed through them will be, not to mention being reliant on them for routing in the event of a failure on their end. Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    If there's a failure on their end then the browser defaults to normal operation and will likely behave just like the regular Android browser.

    As far as whether Amazon will data mine your browsing information, they stated that this data will be anonymized and will be discarded after a certain amount of time. It's unclear just how true the anonymity part of that statement is, it would only make sense that they would consider your browsing history in the targeted advertisements they display when you're on one of their sites or in their e-mails and recommendations. However, the impression I get is that they recognize that browsing is a private matter. Where they want to get more information is in your purchases, so by providing a streamlined environment in which to consume digital media (the Fire) they can do a better job of targeting your interests. More sales of their media leads to better data for their ads.
  • medi01 - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    Why compare it to 8.9" Samsung tablet, when there is 7"? Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Until recently the 7" was a Froyo driven device with an anemic processor. The Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus that was recently announced would make a much more suitable comparison, and we'll know more once we get them in house. Reply
  • Octavean - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    Nice turn of a phrase there at the end. Very nice indeed.

    Personally, I would like a larger 9" to 10" color screen version with free 3G for life at about ~$250 to ~$300 USD. I'd be all over that especially if it had a camera. The current lineup is nice though.

  • JasonInofuentes - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link


    I think free 3G for life on a media tablet is out of the question. The reason that they get away with it on their readers is that simple text is no big risk, but movies and music would definitely pose a threat.
  • name99 - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    "while providing specifications that match devices more than twice it's price. "

    Hmm. If by "match" you mean
    - no GPS
    - no bluetooth
    - no camera
    - (apparently) no mic, or video out, or printing, or external keyboard, or any of the other sensors (orientation, compass, etc) in an iPad
    - low-end GPU
    - no obvious plan to upgrade the OS
    etc etc

    Look, it's a nice device for what it does. And if it does everything a person wants, great.
    But don't pretend it's something it's not.
  • JasonInofuentes - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Tablets are a device market that is currently mostly falling between three stools. They can be considered communications devices, media consumption devices and productivity devices, with some overlap amongst the categories (e-mail is great to consume on a tablet, but not necessarily great to produce/communicate). Now, no one is arguing that the iPad hasn't done the best job of hitting on all three categories. So, no need to jump to its defense.
    The Fire isn't trying to land firmly on just one stool, media consumption. They are applying the 80/20 rule, or in this case the 80/33 rule. I think it's safe to say that 80% of what consumers do with their tablets (iPads, inclusive) falls in the media consumption realm. By not trying to compete for the other two stools they can provide a better experience for what people are actually doing with their tablets.
    Having reframe the question, lets look at your complaints.
    -The lack of Bluetooth and GPS are lamentable but minor. BT is particularly so since it limits users to wired headphones only. GPS on the other hand is forgettable, navigation by tablet was a practice ended before Magellan.
    -Tablet cameras are almost entirely awful experiences (iPad, inclusive), and is not missed by anyone that has watched someone attempt to take a picture with one.
    -The lack of mic makes sense given this is not intended as a communications device, video out is nice but a laughable use for a tablet (See Tablet cameras, above), printing from a tablet seems anachronistic at best, external keyboard use would be de rigueur on a productivity device, which this is not, an orientation sensor would seem a questionable deletion, but a compass falls along the same lines as the GPS (see Magellan above).
    -The PowerVR SGX540 is hardly low-end, especially in the OMAP 4430 as it is clocked above prior variants. It is among the better GPUs appearing in tablets today and a cursory reading of our phone reviews would demonstrate this,.
    -The OS issue is one of concern to anyone looking for a tablet that does at least a little of a lot of things. Certainly no one likes buying a tablet only to have a feature show up on a lesser specced phone,

    The iPad might be the best selling tablet on the market, it may even be the best tablet on the market, but it is not the market. Our readers know there are countless numbers of tablets out now and coming. They read our site to explore what is available in the whole market, not just one Store. As such they know that there are several tablets priced at $400 and up whose processors, displays, features and industrial design are comparable to the Fire.

    We welcome all comments. We just hope everyone will keep an open mind. Closed-mindedness helps no one.
  • nofumble62 - Thursday, September 29, 2011 - link

    I have never pre-ordered anything new, but for $200, I didn't hesitate a second. I am looking forward to get rid of all the paper magazine, and now be able to read in bed. My kids has the Kindle, and I couldn't borrow from them. So I know this is a good deal the moment I saw it. I also a fan of Amazon since I bought at least 10 items a year from them. So this is a really sweat deal.

  • ol1bit - Friday, September 30, 2011 - link

    Mine is pre-ordered. Man I Love Amazon. I make fun of Apple Fan's, but I guess Amazon is turning me into an Amazon loyalist!

    I've had prime for 2 years, and love it, order everything though them. Now a kick ars tablet for what I want, cheap and fast. I wish it had an external sd slot though.

    But $199, and free 2 day shipping. :-) I can live with that. I already have my MP3s on the Amazon cloud.

    With this maybe I can just dump my Verizion Droid smart phone. and go back to my Free work phone!
  • BeowulfX - Friday, September 30, 2011 - link

    Still no support for SDHC or microSD?

    At 8GB of internal today's standards, that aint much...and without an option to use microSD or SDHC...HD movies are going to gobble up this 8GB in no time...

    Too bad...oh well, may be next time?
  • Kindleuser - Monday, October 31, 2011 - link

    I purchased the Amazon Kindle when it first came out, and I honestly couldn't be happier with it. However, this new kindle may need some of my attention and I may just end up trading in the old for the new! Anyone wanna buy a kindle? :) Reply

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