The Amazon Kindle Fire has been officially announced at an event in New York after months of speculation.
As you’ll read, it’s not got an incredible feature set, but its price point – see below – sees it pitched above Amazon’s existing newly redesigned Kindle and the new Kindle Touch yet under Android 3.0 tablets and the iPad 2.
There’s also Amazon Silk – a radical new cloud accelerated browser. Read on for everything we know about the new Kindle Fire.
Amazon Kindle Fire price
The Kindle Fire will sell for $199 in the US, but we’ve no confirmation on Kindle Fire UK price.
Amazon Kindle Fire release date
The Kindle Fire release date is 15 November in the US, but we’ve no word on an Amazon UK Kindle Fire release date as yet. You can pre-order today in the US.
Amazon Kindle Fire display
The Kindle Fire will have a 7-inch IPS LCD gorilla glass display with 16 million colours. It was heavily rumoured that the Kindle Fire would be a 10-inch tab, but don’t write this off for a 2012 launch.
It’s 30 times tougher then plastic, while there’s 169 pixels per inch (ppi) – that’s more than the 132ppi iPad 2 display.
Amazon Kindle Fire processor
The processor inside the Kindle Fire appears to be a Texas Instruments ARM-based dual-core OMAP CPU, though this has not been confirmed by Amazon.
Amazon Kindle Fire interface
The new Kindle tablet will run a special Amazon version of Google’s Android OS – but it’s not Honeycomb 3.0 it’s based upon, but an early version of Android 2.x. There’s multitasking as you’d expect from Android.
The UI eschews Android Market in favour of an Amazon-centered experience around Amazon Cloud Player and Cloud Drive.
The top of the display shows your name, while there’s a search bar and buttons for newsstand, music videos books, documents, apps and web browser. Below the nav there’s a “shelf” for your “most read” videos, books and magazines – it’s all in a Cover Flow-style interface.
You’ll be able to browse full colour magazines on the device.
Amazon Kindle Fire apps
The browser is called Amazon Silk – it uses Amazon’s EC2 computer cluster. Presumably this means Amazon will employ huge processing power (compression) to reduce bandwidth demand on the device and put more processing in the cloud. A bit like Opera’s compression tech.
Incredibly, Silk learns your browsing patterns and pre-loads the pages you read the most.
There is a tablet-optimised shopping app on board – this is said to comprise simplified and streamlined pages, so it is easier to buy stuff on than the actual Amazon website.
There will be a number of apps accessible on the device, including Pandora (US), Twitter, Facebook, and Netflix (US).
Amazon Kindle Fire connectivity and storage
The new Kindle Fire will have Wi-Fi, but sadly no 3G. There’s also no camera or microphone. Surely Amazon will launch a bigger, better model with these enhancements after Christmas.
There’s only 8GB of storage on the device. so there will be a limit to how much content you can store.
There are no physical controls on the front of the device – everything is touch-based. Amazon has also ensured the Kindle Fire features “no cable” synchronisation – as Apple is planning for iOS 5.
Amazon Kindle Fire Whispersync
There’s full integration with Amazon’s Whispersync tech. As you read a book on any Kindle device or app, your current place is synchronised across all your devices. The same will happen with movies and TV shows now too.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said at the launch: “Customers love Whispersync — so we thought you know what people would really like? What if Whispersync also worked with movies and TV shows? Well it does.
“When you get home, switch to your big screen TV. Your movie will be right where you left it.
Amazon Kindle Fire weight
The weight of the Kindle Fire is 14.6 oz – 413g. Amazon says that Kindle Fire is “small and light enough to hold in just one hand and carry everywhere you go”.
Amazon Kindle Fire music, video and books
The Kindle Fire can access all the content offered by Amazon (so that includes MP3 and video streaming, though not in the UK unless it’s announced).
Amazon has said the Kindle Fire will have access to 100,000 movies and TV shows, 17 million songs, Kindle books and “hundreds” of magazines and newspapers.
Amazon Prime Members enjoy instant, unlimited, commercial-free streaming of over 11,000 movies and TV shows at no additional cost. Kindle Fire comes with one free month of Amazon Prime.
There will also be free Amazon Cloud Storage. So that means you’ll be able to start a movie on Kindle Fire and transfer it to your TV.
There’s also over 100 exclusive graphic novels, including Watchmen, the bestselling – and considered by many to be the greatest – graphic novel of all time, which has never before been available in digital format, as well as Batman: Arkham City, Superman: Earth OneGreen Lantern: Secret Origin and 96 others from DC Entertainment.
Amazon Kindle Fire apps
There’s also access to the most popular Android apps and games via the Amazon Android Appstore. That includes apps such as Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies, Cut the Rope and more. All apps are Amazon-tested on Kindle Fire.
Amazon Kindle Fire and Amazon Prime
The Kindle Fire will also come complete with a month’s trial of Amazon Prime.
We’ll bring you a Kindle Fire review as soon as we get our hands on one.