The Kindle Fire has set the tech world ablaze. With the Nov. 15 release of the Fire coming soon, the product is now available for pre-order on Amazon's Web site. But some speculate of how it will fare against some of the more serious tablets out there like the iPad2 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
At $200, the Fire gives up quite a bit of functionality compared to the iPad2 ($500 to $830) and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 ($500 to $600). The Fire won't have a microphone or a camera like the iPad2 or the Galaxy. Both have a front and back cameras and are capable of shooting HD video up to 720p. But the Fire isn't meant to be a media-making device as much a mean for media consumption. To that end the Fire boasts plenty of nifty features.
The Fire display 7 touch screen has a 1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi (pixels per inch) and can exhibit 16 million colors. The Galaxy has the biggest screen that is about 10 across barely beating out Apple's 9.7 display. However, the Fire does beat out the Galaxy's and iPad ppi capacity by just a few more pixels.
The Fire's 8GB internal storage is pretty low compared to Galaxy's 16GB and 32GB models, but Apple has the most versatility with a 16GB, 32GB and 64GB version available. Yet Amazon hopes customers will forget about memory as it allows customers to store Amazon bought digital content on the Amazon Cloud for free. Also if users sign up for an Amazon Prime account ($80/year) they will be able to stream movies and TV shows to their Fire as well.
Kindle Fire users will not be able to access the Internet via 3G as the device only supports Wi-Fi, so they will have be by a Wi-Fi hotspot if they want to access that could content. In the 3G field, the iPad2 stands alone.
Though with the new Amazon Silk browser, Kindle developers will try to speed past the competitors. The Kindle splits web process between the device itself and Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud, a massive fleet of servers. The Kindle also will try to learn your own specific browsing patterns and attempt to predict what page the web surfer will click to next and preload that page. Meaning if you like to check your e-mail then see what is happening on your favorite tech site, the Fire will already be loading the latest gadget reviews after that visit to Google mail.
The Galaxy and the Kindle Fire are both running the Android OS, yet Amazon has tweaked the OS for their specific purposes. The Fire even has its own separate Android App store that was recently launched and will be keeping a tight grip on what apps will be available on the device, much like Apple.
Until the Fire comes out, it is hard to say if it will take away much market share from Apple. Apple outpaces the Galaxy in most respects mainly because the 3G support capability makes Apple device much more attractive than its Samsung counterpart.
The Fire, at almost $300 cheaper than its rivals, makes a good case for itself. Though the iPad2 is bigger, the 7 Fire is much more portable and 2/3 lighter than the 1.35 pound iPad. However, Fire users will have to sign up for the Amazon Prime service to get full use out of the device.
If you're just interested in consuming media the Kindle Fire will probably be the way to go for sheer price alone. But if one is looking to do a little more with their tablet, the iPad2 can't be beat.