Amazon officially entered the tablet sweepstakes today by unveiling the Kindle Fire, a 7-inch slate that will compete against Apple's iPad in a smaller form factor that costs much less. The online retailer announced during a live press event in New York this morning that the Kindle Fire will cost $199, while other details are still trickling to the Web.
Bloomberg was first to report the price after confirming details with Amazon executives in interviews just ahead of the Kindle Fire's official unveiling. They're describing the tablet as a "souped-up" Kindle eBook reader leveraging Google's Android platform.
The Kindle Fire debuts as a Wi-Fi only device, unlike some versions of the regular Kindle with 3G connectivity. It will come with a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime, a service that normally runs $79/year and includes free upgrades to two-day shipping and access to streaming video.
The press event is still going on and several reporters are on-hand offering real-time updates, including the U.K.'s Guardianand All Things Digital. As this post was set to go live, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos unveiled more Kindle products, including a $99 Kindle Touch with a grayscale touchscreen and free cloud storage, a $149 Kindle Touch 3G, and a new $79 Kindle that lacks touch but weighs just 6 ounces.
Getting back to the Kindle Fire, Engadget is reporting the 7-inch display is an IPS panel. The Kindle Fire also rocks a dual-core processor and weighs 14.6 ounces. Pretty rad for a $199 device.
Image Credit: Amazon via Bloomberg
The Kindle Fire will ship November 15, 2011. Amazon's expecting a huge reception and plans to make millions of Kindle Fire devices, but Jeff Bezos suggets you should pre-order today if you're interested in one. We also have some updated specs via an official product page to share:
1024x600 screen resolution
7.5 x 4.7 x 0.45 inches
8GB internal storage (enough for 80 apps plus either 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books, according to Amazon)
Fully charges in 4 hours
USB 2.0 port (micro-B connector)
3.5mm stereo jack; top-mounted stereo speakers
Amazon also just posted a press release viewable here.