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Amazon's New Kindle Fire: Exactly What Some Tablets Need to Be

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By Corey A. Washington –

Consumers intrigued by the emerging tablet market have something to rejoice about. It’s been tough for buyers to overcome their hesitation to purchase a tablet when considering the price point and overall usability of tablets. But finally, someone gets it. Amazon has single-handedly injected excitement into consumers with the announcement of its Kindle Fire – and they didn’t need to add an “i” in front of their latest device to do it!

Slated for release November 15, off the bat the Amazon Kindle Fire get’s something right – a price tag you can deal with. For $199, Amazon’s new 7-inch tablet darling packs just enough features and hardware backed by a reputable name. Does it have a front-facing camera? No. Does it have a rear-facing camera? No. And for these reasons already some tech reviewers are downplaying the splash the Kindle Fire could make. Still, the Kindle Fire has a wide array of positive attributes consumers won’t overlook in a $199 tablet.

The Ups:

Hardware – The Kindle Fire is powered by a 1 GHz dual-core processor, includes 8GB of internal storage and has 512MB of RAM on board.

Features – Users will be able to directly purchase digital books, magazines and Amazon movies and receive free access to Amazon Cloud Storage. Amazon is also reportedly throwing in a 30-day trial subscription to Amazon Prime, it’s own online movie streaming service.

Form Factor – In the battle for thin tablets, the Kindle Fire comes in with 0.45 inches and weighs just about 14 ounces. The tablet also has a Gorilla Glass screen and an overall attractive design that stands apart from other tablets.

Though the Kindle Fire makes a solid argument for its price, it isn’t without a few head-scratching flaws.

The Downs:

Apps – The Kindle Fire relies on the Android OS, but provides no direct access to Google’s Android Market. Users will still have access to the Android Appstore and a load of Amazon’s content, but this will drastically limit the Android experience.

Storage – Amazon is likely banking on its free Amazon Cloud Storage, hence the mediocre 8GB of internal storage – and no external microSD slot. While there’s a clear back up for content, this already feels like a sore spot.

There’s still much to learn about Amazon’s Kindle Fire, including how it handles and which previously-noted missing features are really missed. The Kindle Fire will certainly test the tech waters when it ships … and for that meager $199, we will see just what features consumers can probably live without in this age of giving us way more than what we really want or need and making us pay twice the price.

Corey A. Washington is a contributing writer covering technology for Black Voice News. He can be reached at corey@blackvoicenews.com.

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-1 # Guest 2011-10-13 20:29
Comparing Kindle Fire with other more expensive and advanced ebook readers is rather pointless because, as it's predecessors, it fills it's primary role admirably in that it is simply an ebook reader and it is cheap. It is exactly what I and many other novel readers want. Good luck to those who wish for the latest most expensive gadget to flash around, to me it would be a waste of my money and my reading time.

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