Amazon officially made its entry in to the tablet market on Wednesday by announcing its Kindle Fire Tablet at $199.
At $199, the 7-inch Android based tablet is priced 60 percent below tablet competitors, as well as e-reader challenger Nook. The market was expecting a price range of $250 to $300 for the tablet, which runs on the Amazon's customized version of Android.
In addition, Amazon developed its own browser - Amazon Silk - for the device that would leverage Amazon's cloud computing infrastructure to provide faster Web browsing. As Amazon seeks to capture more of the video market, it has enabled Whispersync.
Meanwhile, one of the most interesting and potentially impactful announcements was Kindle Fire customers receive a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime, which is the free 2-day shipping membership program for customers, but also includes free access to streaming of Amazon's multimedia library of movies and TV shows.
Just like Kindle e-readers, Kindle Fire uses Amazon's popular Whispersync technology to automatically synchronize your Kindle library, last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights across the widest range of devices and platforms. With the introduction of Kindle Fire, Amazon is expanding this technology to include video.
On the downside, the Kindle Fire tablet doesn't have a camera.
Kindle Fire, which will be available from Nov. 15, offers free storage for all your Amazon digital content in the Amazon Cloud. The tablet is available for pre-order.
Following are the technical specifications of Kindle Fire:
Display: 7 multi-touch display with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and anti-reflective treatment, 1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi, 16 million colors.
Size: 190 mm x 120 mm x 11.4 mm
Weight: 0.91 pounds
Processor: TI OMAP 4 dual-core processor
OS: Amazon's modified version of Google's Android OS
Storage: 8GB Internal Memory. Said to be enough for 80 apps, plus either 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books. No external storage.
Content Formats Supported: Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8.
Connectivity: Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11b/g/n, or 802.1X standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication; does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks.
Port: USB 2.0 (micro-B connector); 3.5 mm stereo audio jack, top-mounted stereo speakers
Battery Life: Up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, with wireless off. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as web browsing and downloading content.
Toshiba Thrive 7-inch Tablet
Meanwhile, Toshiba unveiled its 7-inch Thrive tablet on Sept.27 following a 10-inch tablet in July. The 7-inch Thrive tablet features a brilliant hi-resolution diagonal touch display and offers a complete tablet experience with entertainment-optimized features in an incredibly portable design that weighs under a pound.
This is a seven-inch tablet done right, said Carl Pinto, vice president of product development, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division. The Thrive 7 Tablet is the first seven-inch tablet in the U.S. market to offer a true HD display that when combined with the selection of ports, premium audio, and a better, more robust Android experience make it a great choice for on-the-go consumers looking for a no-compromise tablet.
Weighing at 0.88 pounds, Thrive 7 Tablet's LED backlit AutoBrite multi-touch display features a stunning 1280x800 resolution, putting bright and crisp images from movies, photos, books and games right in your hand.
Text looked extremely crisp and viewing angles were quite wide, which should make this device a solid e-reader supplement, This is my next wrote in its initial review.
The tablet also incorporates Toshiba's exclusive Adaptive Display and Resolution+ video enhancement technologies.
The tablet runs on Android 3.2 and powered by dual-core Nvidia's Tegra2 chip, plus Nvidia GeForce graphics for console quality gaming. A built-in Gyroscope offers hands-on motion control for the latest Android games.
The tablet has a 5MP rear camera with LED flash and a 2MP camera on the front for video calling. Toshiba will offer the tablet, which will be available in December, in two configurations, 16GB or 32GB.
Following are the technical specifications of Toshiba Thrive 7
Display: LED-backlit LCD display offering resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels with 216 ppi pixel density
Size: 189 mm x 128.1 mm x 11.9 mm
Weight: 0.88 pounds
OS: Android 3.2 (Honeycomb)
Processor: Dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor, ULP GeForce GPU, Tegra 2 T20 chipset
Camera: 5MP Rear Camera with LED flash, 2MP front camera; Video 720p
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth
Sensor: Accelerometer, Multi-touch capacitive touchscreen, Gyro sensor
Storage: 16GB/32GB; Expandable memory up to 32GB; 1GB RAM