Content giant Amazon this morning revealed their entry into the tablet market with the 7” Amazon Fire. Priced aggressively at $199, the Fire has received some very positive reactions only. The release date for the device is not until November 15th for the US, but is sadly US only. Existing Kindle models do sell in Australia, so let’s hope it does make the journey here.
The Amazon Fire features a 1GHz dual-core processor, and 7” multi-touch display, showing off 1024 x 600 pixels. Battery life is said to be around 7hrs or 3 short feature films while tipping the scales at just 400 grams. It’s WiFi only and there’s no camera on offer, but the aggressive price point is making people overlook any short comings.
Naturally Amazon are playing to their strengths with content being the focus. Interestingly, its not just books. Built on top of Android the Kindle Fire will feature applications in an Amazon Store. It doesn’t yet, but may receive the official stamp of approval, the Google Market if they implement the required DRM.
SlashGear has a great hands-on video of the Amazon Fire. The interface looks fast, responsive and visually inviting for book readers and/or kids. Amazon can afford to be aggressive with the hardware pricing and make profit on the content, however other tablet manufacturers aren’t so lucky.
Another 7” tablet was announced today, this time from Toshiba. Yep, they sure picked a great day for it. Drowned in the Amazon-dominated news cycle, the less sexier name Toshiba AT1S0. In stark contrast, the Toshiba tablet will be available in Australia at the end of October for an RRP of A$499.
It does have a couple of nice features. 8GB storage, LED backlit multi-touch display (1280×800 resolution), NVIDIA Tegra 2 and 2 HD cameras. A 5 megapixel camera with an LED flash on the back, plus a two megapixel camera on the front for video chatting. It’s refreshing to see a front facing camera higher than VGA quality for a change.
Powered by Android 3.2, the Toshiba does have the official Google approval shipping with the Android Market. Any new Android tablet released now should be upgradable to Ice Cream Sandwich, but until Google or Toshiba confirms, don’t count on it.
Unfortunately this tablet got buried by bad timing, I suppose it could have been worse, Apple could have announced the iPhone 5.