We’ve been hearing about Amazon’s upcoming tablets since months – possible quad-core, iPad contender, killing price point, and more. Techcrunch’s MG Seigler got a chance to play with a test model of Amazon Kindle tablet and the results are … competitively priced at $250, a great device alright but no quad-core and definitely not an iPad competitor. In fact, Apple’s tablet isn’t even a target for Amazon, its B&N’s NOOK Color.
Seigler couldn’t click pictures but he says the new Amazon Kindle looks similar to the BlackBerry PlayBook. The 7inch screen is a full color backlit display that’s two finger multi-touch capable. No E Ink on this Kindle. There are no physical buttons except for power. There’s Android inside but so heavily overlaid with Amazon’s UI that you wouldn’t guess it. Plus, since Amazon isn’t short of content and allows Android app purchases, Android Market is out of the picture. This also means Android upgrades won’t really matter unless Amazon packages them to enhance the Kindle experience.
Though the model given to Seigler is not the final product, the hardware is. Software tweaks will be made before the slate releases in late November. A 10inch version will come out in Q1 2012, after Amazon sees the reception its 7incher gets.
Amazon Kindle is truly all about Amazon and Kindle. Android is the embedded OS and that’s it. The interface is all blue, black, and orange. The home screen is similar to iTunes’ Cover Flow that shows all you have on the device – apps, games, movies, books, etc. You can pin your favorite items to a dock for one touch access. Above the dock you have a status cum notification bar. The device only comes with WiFi connectivity, not 3G as of now.
For the apps you have Kindle Reader (obviously), Amazon’s Cloud Player, Amazon’s Instant Movie Player, Amazon’s Android Appstore, browser (similar to Android’s WebKit browser) with tabs, and Kindle search tool. Games such as Angry Birds may also find their way in along with web reading apps such as Pulse.
Seigler believes Amazon Kindle has a single core processor but he’s not sure. There’s 6GB of internal storage. Amazon is weighing heavily on cloud services for this device. The back of the slate is rubbery and makes a good hold. There’s microUSB for charging and data transfer. No cameras. No microSD. Battery life should be about 10 hours though it wasn’t tested.
Amazon is apparently working on a multi-touch screen/E Ink hybrid tablet device but the release frame is way ahead. For Amazon Kindle, the online retailer will be relying on brand equity, loads of promotions, Kindle offers that are sure to come, and a free subscription to Amazon Prime customers. The otherwise $79 plan gives users access to free unlimited two-day shipping, no minimum purchases for free shipping and access to Amazon’s Instant Video service.
Amazon will be right on time to make the most of the holiday season. Santa will have lots of Kindles in his bag this year.