Amazon today unveiled its first Tablet, the Kindle Fire.
Here are 5 things worth knowing about this forthcoming mobile gadget:
1. What's the hardware like?
The Kindle Fire has a 7-inch multi-touch screen with a 1025x600 pixel resolution. Its processor is dual-core and 1 Ghz. It has wifi connectivity but no 3G compatibility. It measures 7.5 inches long and half an inch thick and weighs less than one pound. Its battery lasts up to 8 hours (reading with wifi off).
2. What's the software like?
The Kindle Fire will use Google's Android operating system, specifically "Honeycomb" AKA version 3.1. This means that it will run Android apps like any other Android smartphone or tablet. However, Amazon has heavily modified Android in this case, so it will look and feel fairly different than most other Google-powered devices. Its default web browser is the all-new, tablet-specific Amazon Silk.
The device will double as an e-reader like other Kindles. Under Amazon's $79-per-year Prime subscription, users can also stream 100,000 movies and television shows. As well, users will be able to buy music from Amazon's 17-million-strong catalog and of course its books from its famous bookstore.
3. How much does it cost?
This model of the Kindle Fire has a price tag of $199.
4. Will it kill the iPad?
No. The iPad and the Kindle Fire serve two different consumer demographics and can co-exist.
5. Is it available in Canada?
No, which effectively renders the above content useless—temporarily. The Fire launches in America in mid-November (pre-orders open now), and while there is no release date slated for Canada, it likely won't be long after. Expect to be able to buy one in time for Christmas unless Amazon can't keep up with U.S. demand.