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Amazon Refreshes Kindle Line, Unveils Tablet
By Kenneth Corbin
September 29, 2011
Amazon on Wednesday unveiled a major overhaul of its Kindle family of e-reading devices, including the introduction of the Kindle Fire, the online retail giant's long-anticipated entry into the tablet market.
With a retail mark of $199, the Fire is priced to undercut established offerings like Apple's iPad, Samsung's Galaxy Tab and Research In Motion's PlayBook.
And indeed, with a screen size of seven inches, the Kindle Fire is smaller than the iPad and other tablets and carries fewer features. There is no camera or microphone, and Internet connectivity is only available through Wi-Fi, rather than the 3G wireless networks that deliver zippy speeds on other tablets. However, the Kindle Fire is built with a custom-built browser, dubbed Silk, that Amazon developed to sync with its EC2 cloud computing service, tapping into its substantial computing muscle to speed along the Web-browsing experience.