So, Amazon let the cat out of the bag this morning and announced its low-cost and full-color seven inch tablet, Kindle Fire (and a less relevant-to-our-interests new touch-centric Kindle). Fire is an Android-powered device, though you wouldn't recognize that fact from its UI alone. It’ll hook into Amazon's cloud, be able to stream Amazon movies from its download service and, just like the Kindle, connect with Amazon’s rich e-books store, but the one thing that really caught our attention was, of course, the promise of games.

At the press event held today, Amazon’s demo Kindle Fire had a pre-loaded icon for Angry Birds, heavily suggesting that Rovio Mobile’s property will debut with yet another tablet computer this year. After the event, Amazon opened up its Kindle Fire advertisement page, displaying Angry Birds Rio, Plants vs. Zombies, Cut the Rope, Doodle Jump, and even Peggle on the device. That page states that every app that touches the device will be “Amazon tested on Kindle Fire for the best experience possible.” The Fire has a 16-million color display, a resolution of 169 pixels per inch, and it runs on a dual-core CPU. No camera or 3G, though.

Fire will hit this November 15 at $199 -- a price that, if the device turns out to be good, gives potential owners a legitimate low-cost option to play Android games. This is an opportunity we haven’t really seen yet from an actual company with chops in the tablet space (excluding the HP Touchpad ridiculousness), so we’ll definitely keep our eyes on Fire as it grows and hopefully becomes the iOS-y platform that Amazon wants it to be. Also, it plays Angry Birds, guys! Whoo!

[Via Gizmodo, Engadget]

  • Anonymous

    For now, I remain unimpressed. I suppose it will come down to app support going forward, maybe this tablet will be the one that brings the developers onboard? I just haven't seen any android tablet apps worth having.

    • Anonymous

      I think it will help a lot that they already have an Android app store. At least they can do a better job than Google at highlighting apps and games that work well on a 7” screen. As an original iPad owner I probably won’t get one, but if it is responsive and the browser works well, this will own the existing ‘low cost’ tablet market.

  • Freefall Ninetails

    No android games for this, because this is not an Android product, just based on the linux os that powers Android. So no access to Google's apps, os updates etc right?

    • http://RolePlayFTW.com Huy Ngo

      Alls I know is that it's android based which can mean anything.  What it does seem like is a locked down version of android customized to look and do only amazon purchases including android apps.  

      So any android fanboys not wanting a "walled garden" might want to avoid this as they have avoided iOS.  

  • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

    Here's why this will succeed. Almost any happy Kindle owner will look at this, look at the price, and one-click it onto their doorstep.

    The stuff that iOS device people care about completely washes away in the wave of that price. Does it matter if it has a bunch of games and apps right off the bat? Not so much. Especially if you already have a library of books, or subscribe to some of Amazon's other media services.

    I have invested a ton in the iPhone/iPad and this definitely peaks my interest.

    • FYI

      Piques your interest.

      • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

        Oops. Thanks. I almost wrote peeks. :) Peaks at least makes some sense.

      • Brewerpaul

        Either works in this instance.

  • Jared

    I would never put my keys next to my tablet. 

    • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

      I'm a little shocked that they use that picture. Is the durability REALLY that good? If it is, then props to Amazon. If not, Amazon is asking for it.

      • http://twitter.com/mguniverse Danny Perski

        The iPhone 4 seems to handle durability pretty well, with the aluminosilicate glass and stainless steel rim. 

      • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

        The only small scratches I have on my iPhone 4 are from it accidentally sharing a pocket with my keys.

    • http://RolePlayFTW.com Huy Ngo

      I thought the same thing.  Can you imagine the keys scraping across up and down as you walk?  I can...  like a fork on a plate, nails on a chalkboard, pins under my nails, etc...  brb I have to vomit.

  • Anonymous

    The price and connection to Kindle will make this sell very well, I think. I have an iPad, but if the apps start pouring in due to good sakes, I could see picking one up at some point, especially for my kids to use.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Will-Buckingham/518019273 Will Buckingham

    There are so many issues with this thing that people are going to start noticing after the haze from the advertising blitz and pricing are all over.  For one, it's a content device that's advertising Amazon Prime streaming and cloud storage, but is crippled to WiFi only usage.  Now, for a 10 inch device, this doesn't really matter because it's large enough that it's a reasonable alternative even sitting on your couch.  But this is only 7 inches, which means you're now watching videos on a considerably smaller screen, mostly at home, because at least where I live, WiFi is not widely available in public areas.  The few places it is, the speed is horrible and they usually require a web-based login to activate the access.  The same goes for web surfing.  What's the point of making a fancy backend to preload and compress websites if you're stuck at home on the WiFi anyway?

    As for e-Books, it will be strictly worse than their Kindle based offerings in terms of reading contrast and visibility in light heavy environments for anything but children's picture books and comics.  Which leaves music and apps, with only 8GB of storage space and no mention thus far if SD expansion is available.  I'm sure it'll play Angry Birds real well, and maybe that's enough for some people, but really, $200 to play music and Angry Birds on the road?  You can do the same with an iPod Touch, and that will actually fit in the average person's pocket.

    Now, I'm sure they're going to sell a boatload.  There are a lot of people who jump on products for Christmas based entirely on price and advertising, but there has been nothing so far that makes me think this tablet is worth buying as it stands.  Their Kindle Touch looks far more promising as a leap forward in their product line.  Removing the keyboard for a touch interface, making it lighter, making the battery last longer, AND dropping the price to $99 is a genius move, and I'm seriously considering the upgrade from my Kindle 3.

    • LarryFine

      You're really making too much of several of your points. Wifi in public areas isn't that hard to find (McDonalds? Starbucks?) and there isn't a need to be constantly connected all of the time. 8 GB isn't enough to hold your entire media collection but it's more than enough for a pile of ebooks, several movies and hours of music to get. The "cloud" is basically a hard drive for stuff to switch out that you can access anywhere, but don't need to access all of the time. I can see why these things might be huge drawbacks to *you*, but they're not going to be considerations to most consumers, especially at this price point. Hell, it's cheaper than an ipod touch.
      I think this will do extremely well for *casual* tablet users, like commuters or those who travel occasionally.Additionally at this price this is definitely something parents would be much more likely to give to their children instead of a $500 ipad. 

    • Anonymous

      Crippled by not having 3G? I've had an iPad and sold it for an iPad 2; both with Wi-Fi only; never ran into a moment where the lack of 3G was an issue.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Will-Buckingham/518019273 Will Buckingham

        It's crippled by being sold as a small device, so not as a home use item (and I am excluding children from this, I realize they would be happy with just about anything electronic), that is supposedly powered by multiple web based content networks.  Except that if you're not at McDonalds or Starbucks, your chances of finding WiFi on the go are still extremely slim in my state, which completely negates the video streaming feature, as well as Amazon's cloud music player.  At which point the small amount of storage DOES become an issue.  I'm not saying the general public won't find a way to make it work for them.  I'm saying it's lackluster from the get go, and so you might as well drop a few more inches and just go with the phone that is constantly connected and wait for the inevitable 10 inch version that isn't their beta test of the market.

      • Azreal

        It has USB and likely will connect to your computer for drag-and-drop, meaning Wifi wouldn't even be necessary. So strike three there, Will.

        Your opinion is your opinion, but your forecast of doom doesn't jibe with reality. Your reality perhaps, living in an area where for whatever reason you don't have easy access to wifi, but not the reality of the people this is aimed at- who clearly aren't you. You seem to think phones are the alternative- which are phones, not dedicated media devices! They have smaller screens, cost more and aren't something you'd give as a gift especially to kids!

        It'll sell fine, as it's a sturdy product that does exactly what it needs to do and is sold at the perfect price point. People will give this as a gift to kids and grandparents, companies will give it to employees- that's what happens when it's $200 instead of $600. Frankly this price point probably  isn't even making Amazon a profit, as the whole idea is to get this in as many hands as possible to make sales through their version of iTunes.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Will-Buckingham/518019273 Will Buckingham

        I fail to see how USB has anything to do with it having a pitiful amount of storage space once you start loading video files on it, which you have to do as soon as you move away from the WiFi.  You mention kids and grandparents.  Well kids like to watch videos in the car, and my grandparents don't have high speed internet and a wireless router in their house now that their kids have all long moved out.  Maybe my grandparents aren't typical, but unless Mom is buying a ton of digital downloads and/or dumping video on the device (and that's assuming she knows how to rip DVDs and encode to Amazon's supported MP4 or VP8 video specs), they're not going to be able to watch all the kids shows on Amazon Prime with no WiFi in the car.  You're treating my argument as though I'm preaching doom and gloom, but the reality is I wouldn't get this for my kids as a gift because as a device to keep them busy outside the house it sucks compared to say a Nintendo DS.  It's also got a glass front to it, which would shatter the first time they dropped it on the floor of the McDonalds before you try and argue WiFi access from that point.  "Gorilla glass" will not save that thing from a direct corner impact on hard tile, just like it didn't save any of the iPhone 4s that people broke just days after release.  I'm not saying there won't be some people who do go this route and work their way around the issues.  Maybe major metropolitan areas like New York or L.A. have WiFi oozing out of every building for the whole world to use.  I don't know, I'm just saying it's a device with a lot of usability holes you don't want to admit are there.

  • poutini

    If the game selection is the same as other android platforms, I might have to pick this up, the price is really intriguing.

  • Aer2

    was interested, but only 8gb is a joke to me.  you can yap about the cloud all you want, but i'm not interesting in streaming in/out videos/games everytime i want to play something outside the limited amount that you can put in there.

    i would never buy a 16gb ipad, or xoom or whatever, and most definitely not an 8gb anything.

    an SD card would have been most welcome.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, what's with all the hate. It's cheap and functional, who cares if it doesn't do everything. At this price point it seems perfect, if you want something more powerful, with more storage or with a bigger screen just buy one of the more expensive alternatives. I think this device has an audience and why should Amazon try to compete with the established iPad when they can do their own thing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DavidLeNguyen David Nguyen

    Seriously, what's the point of this article? It's NOT iOS related and all it's gonna do is cause immature arguments which is bad enough when you try to read news articles about videogames or smartphones. It's not an iPad killer like news outlets are sayng, nor is it meant to be. It's a low cost entertainment tablet that gives you access to amazon's portal to games, reading, and videos and that's it.

    • Crish

      Well, then it actually is an iPad-Killer. Especially with the dual-core-cpu doing the work in the background. And what else is a iPad good for than entertainment? It´s not like Apple meant it to be for productivity. And at that pricing and with the Amazon-infrastructure in the background it will sell well. Probably as good as the iPad does.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        lol.

      • http://about.me/davidlnguyen David Nguyen

        actually yeah, Apple did say you that could use the iPad for productivity purposes. Look at all the productivity apps, companies and schools utilizing the iPad, and even Steve once told Mossberg to write up his iPad review in pages. Apple marketed all their iOS devices as something that could do a little of everything and then they realized that people loved to game with these things so they made the push with marketing them more towards a gaming/entertainment device. I remember reading a rumor on an Apple news site saying that they looked down upon advertising them as gaming devices but they went with it anyways.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DavidLeNguyen David Nguyen

    Seriously, what's the point of this article? It's NOT iOS related and all it's gonna do is cause immature arguments which is bad enough when you try to read news articles about videogames or smartphones. It's not an iPad killer like news outlets are sayng, nor is it meant to be. It's a low cost entertainment tablet that gives you access to amazon's portal to games, reading, and videos and that's it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DavidLeNguyen David Nguyen

    Seriously, what's the point of this article? It's NOT iOS related and all it's gonna do is cause immature arguments which is bad enough when you try to read news articles about videogames or smartphones. It's not an iPad killer like news outlets are sayng, nor is it meant to be. It's a low cost entertainment tablet that gives you access to amazon's portal to games, reading, and videos and that's it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DavidLeNguyen David Nguyen

    Seriously, what's the point of this article? It's NOT iOS related and all it's gonna do is cause immature arguments which is bad enough when you try to read news articles about videogames or smartphones. It's not an iPad killer like news outlets are sayng, nor is it meant to be. It's a low cost entertainment tablet that gives you access to amazon's portal to games, reading, and videos and that's it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DavidLeNguyen David Nguyen

    Seriously, what's the point of this article? It's NOT iOS related and all it's gonna do is cause immature arguments which is bad enough when you try to read news articles about videogames or smartphones. It's not an iPad killer like news outlets are sayng, nor is it meant to be. It's a low cost entertainment tablet that gives you access to amazon's portal to games, reading, and videos and that's it.

  • Ron

    It's very interesting and very relevant. What people need to realize is that this makes tablet gaming (well, tablet anything) way more accessible to a much larger market of people. Your average toucharcade reader (or journalist) will not care so much, but lots of casual folks who always see iPads around and are "gee-whizzed" by the tech but "oh crapped" by the price now have a very viable alternative, from a brand they know and trust. I've heard rumblings that a larger, fancier (and more expensive) model will be on order as well (perhaps after rollout?) so that those who want more memory/screen real estate will be catered to as well (of course, at that point just buy an iPad or other tablet!)

    I think this will do very well; Amazon has the know-how of "how to sell anything" and their large audience will eagerly gobble this up. As an app developer (who has made decent money publishing my work on the Nook) I am very eager to put software on this device as well.

  • Ron

    It's very interesting and very relevant. What people need to realize is that this makes tablet gaming (well, tablet anything) way more accessible to a much larger market of people. Your average toucharcade reader (or journalist) will not care so much, but lots of casual folks who always see iPads around and are "gee-whizzed" by the tech but "oh crapped" by the price now have a very viable alternative, from a brand they know and trust. I've heard rumblings that a larger, fancier (and more expensive) model will be on order as well (perhaps after rollout?) so that those who want more memory/screen real estate will be catered to as well (of course, at that point just buy an iPad or other tablet!)

    I think this will do very well; Amazon has the know-how of "how to sell anything" and their large audience will eagerly gobble this up. As an app developer (who has made decent money publishing my work on the Nook) I am very eager to put software on this device as well.

  • theRPGNOOB

    I really, really didn't ask for this.

  • Michał Kubiak

    Actually it does run on modified android (custom UI) and uses amazon android store. For 199$ this tablet might become leader in the entire market tbh. Powerfull gear (atleast so it seems so far from specs but noone knows what hides under dual-core proc).

    We (iphone users and apple-fanboys :P) are specific group of customers and we will not jump on board of any opther mobile platform then IOS any soon. :) 

    But well there are plenty of ppls that cant afford ipad and heres the awnser to their demand. 

  • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

    Angry Birds is not a game. Come on. It's a media player.

  • blackHorse

    I think I've played Angry Birds before. Like what, two years ago?

  • AngryBirdSpot com

    Angry Birds is taking over the world now! 100% support from AngryBirdSpot com

  • spidey

    apart from being cheap, this has absolutely nothing going for it.

    Accessibility to Amazon ebook store is not an issue on iPad or other tablets. So there is no exclusivity as such. On reading front, every tablet is as good (Honestly, I feel ebooks are far too expensive to buy a device exclusively for reading.)

    In essence this is just another tablet. If it were not from Amazon, people wouldn't have even talked about it.

  • http://angrybirdsaddiction.com/ Bob

    Kindle Fire is a good alternative for the overly priced iPad
    2. Another good thing is that this tablet can provide us our daily dose of our
    Angry Birds game. And since it will be run by Android OS, I hope the game can
    be played for free. Not bad for a device worth $199!

  • http://www.angrybirdsonlinenews.com Sue-Ellen

    I'm sure it won't be such a bad device, and I'm also sure that amazon doesn't wish to compete head-to-head w/ the ipad 2; however, many will consider this instead of an ipad, because of the price. Just my opinion..

  • http://twitter.com/MapleMeringue No-no

    I like Amazon, love the Kindle, but it's just a service receptacle from them, not a tablet. It has painfully minimal app support and mostly revolves around streaming. Getting the new Nook Tablet and rooting it seems like the best choice if you want an Android tablet in this price range.