The much-anticipated Kindle tablet announcement has come and gone, leaving us with all the pertinent details for the product's launch.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the company's new product at a media event in New York City today. As previously leaked, it is called the Kindle Fire and will be available by the end of the year.
The Kindle Fire sports a 7-inch touchscreen color display. This puts it in line with the Blackberry Playbook, the smaller version of Samsung's Galaxy Tab, the newly announced version of Toshiba's Thrive, and a growing segment of the tablet market that seems to be shying away from the iPad's less-portable-friendly 10-inch model.
The Kindle Fire will be powered by Android but will have some unique interface features. A 'carousel' interface shows your most recent apps and content at the top of the display for easy access.
As for Amazon-specific features, users will have direct integration with Amazon Cloud Drive, making it easy to store and retrieve files from anywhere in the world, regardless of where you initially saved them.
In addition, there will be instant access to Kindle books as well as full-color magazines.
Amazon revolutionized the market with the Kindle and many are looking to the new tablet as the potential iPad killer that so many other companies have been trying to create. As with the Kindle, the potentially biggest advantage Amazon has with the Fire is that it happens to be the biggest e-tailer in the world. Thus, it can pimp out the Amazon.com home page with Kindle Fire ads and draw in millions of customers.
So promotion of the device is not an issue. What remains to be seen is how it holds up functionally against the iPad, and if the interest it draws is enough for developers to start creating worthwhile Android tablet apps.
The Kindle Fire will retail for $199 and is set for shipping beginning November 15.