Amazon has officially unveiled their entry into the tablet market with the seven-inch Kindle Fire. Well, it’s “kind of” an entry to the pop-tablet market. Because while this tablet runs on Android, it’s not something you’d hold up against the Galaxy Tabs and iPads of the world. In place of your normal Android interface, the Kindle Fire sports a customized version of Android 2.1 that puts Amazon’s services – namely, Amazon Prime, Amazon MP3, Cloud Player and an updated Kindle bookstore – on the forefront.
While it’s not your typical Android tablet (it won’t ship with the typical set of Google’s apps), it still offers all the multimedia basics such as video and music playback, web browsing, and ebook reading, as well as games and aps from the Amazon Appstore (yes, they have Angry Birds there too). For the web, the Kindle Fire uses a new browser called Silk that can do searches within the tablet’s storage or on the web.
The Kindle Fire sports a 7-inch, 1024 x 600 IPS-based display that offers bright colors and wide viewing angles, and runs on a dual-core 1GHz TI OMAP processor that should be better than the single-core chip running things on the Nook Color. The tablet comes with 8GB of built-in storage, and only uses Wi-fi for connectivity. To help keep the prices down, the Kindle Fire also comes without any camera.
Thanks to the spec-trimming, Amazon has managed to come up with a solid compact tablet that won’t break the bank. It’s set to start shipping in November for only $199, but it’s already available for pre-orders now if you want to secure one before the holiday rush.