The new Kindle Fire Tablet is now available. Read on for more information regarding the newest tablet in town.
A completely new addition to the Kindle range, this is the entry level tablet people have been waiting for.
Okay, so most of us would find it pretty difficult to be unaware of Amazon’s new tablet, but what is it like, and how does it compare to the rest of the range? In short; should you buy the Kindle Fire?
Kindle Fire Spec
As usual at the Kindle Reader site I won’t be going into al the technical nuts and bolts of this new gadget. If you are going to want to take one apart you’ll know far more about such things than I! What I do want to impart is the information that is relevant to “ordinary” consumers like myself, so here goes:
- This is a 7″ tablet. That makes it far smaller than an iPad which is good in some respects (more portable, lighter at only 7.5″ x 4.7″ x 0.45″ and lighter at only 14.6 ounces) but if you want a bigger screen for movies and games you might want to wait until the rumored 10″ version is released around the New Year.
- Of course this is a touch-screen display so you can spin through all your content easily and find what you’re after with a simple touch of the finger tips.
- Full color display (1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi, 16 million colors). Okay this is pretty obvious but since so many people have been hoping for a color Kindle I thought it was worth mentioning! This makes it far better for viewing magazine subscriptions or reference material than the e-ink based models. In order to give us full color though, this is a back-lit screen which means you won’t be reading comfortably in bright sunlight like you do with e-ink based Kindle Readers.
- Display has a wide viewing angle thanks to something called “in-plane switching technology”. This means it is easy to show others what you’re viewing and is very much like the system Apple use.
- Fast internet browsing is provided by a newly developed web browser called Silk. This harnesses Amazon’s Cloud to do some of the processing for you, meaning the tablet itself doesn’t have to work so hard. Silk makes browsing quicker. There has been some minor controversy because of course this means your browsing habits are potentially stored in the Cloud too. Amazon have said this information will only be held on a temporary basis. But if you prefer to keep things very private you can choose to use only the tablet’s power for web browsing, though it would be far slower.
- The Dual Core Processor means you can multi-task and the thing should keep up with you. It’s probably better than we would expect from such a low priced tablet.
- The Kindle Fire is a wi-fi only tablet currently. We expect if and when the 10″ version is released we will start seeing 3G options. But for now it’s just wi-fi for free.
- Like their readers, Amazon’s tablet uses Whispersync to keep things up to date across devices. This means you can read part of a book on your tablet, and continue from the same point on your e-ink reader, or watch half a movie on the tablet and then the remainder on your TV.
- Although the tablet is based on the Android operating system, it has been personalised very much. This means other Android app stores will be of no use to you. But since Amazon’s own Android App store offers just about everything you might want, this is unlikely to be a concern (unless you already have other Android apps for other devices since you won’t be able to share them with this one).
- As you might expect all the built in apps are Amazon based. So you will use the Kindle Reading App for viewing ebooks, and will be most at home downloading content from Amazon too. With over 100,000 movies and TV shows, over 1 million books, and over 17 million songs ready to download you shouldn’t run out of potential content to download to the tablet.
- The memory is 8GB, which is not huge (enough for around 80 apps, plus 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books). However there is unlimited storage supplied via Amazon’s Cloud service, so you can always access previously purchased content immediately even if you have deleted from the device itself.
- The battery life is around 8 hours of reading, or 7.5 hours of video playback (with the wi-fi switched off). It takes around 4 hours to charge using the mains adaptor, but you can also charge via the USB port on a computer which is useful when travelling.
- The audio is provided by a 3.5mm stereo jack and stereo speakers mounted at the top of the tablet.
- The display itself has been strengthened chemically to make it nearly impossible to break. The result is something “20 times stiffer, and 30 times harder” than plastic.
- The biggest hit with customers is the extremely low price tag though!