So what exactly did Amazon’s Jeff Bezos announce today?
Four new hardware products and a browser.
— A new tablet, the Kindle Fire: Priced at $199, it’s a 7-inch, full-color, Android-powered tablet with access to movies, songs, e-mail and other apps.
— Three new e-readers, the Kindle Touch (two versions) and a non-touch Kindle: All of them have the cool, black-and-white e-ink screens made famous by the previous Kindles. There are two versions of the Kindle Touch, which uses infrared senors to accept touch input. It’s similar in size to the older Kindles but there’s no keyboard. The WiFi-only version is priced at $99 while the 3G version will be $149.
— A new browser, Amazon Silk: The new browser helps tablets load pages lightning-fast. It’s partially run on the cloud and partially on your own device, which accelerates browsing through caching and compressing.
Aren’t there a lot of other tablets on the market? Why is one this such a big deal?
The price of the Apple iPad 2 tablet starts at $499, the Motorola Xoom $499, the Sony Tablet S $499. Do we need to repeat again that the Kindle Fire is $199?
What’s the difference between the Fire and the iPad?
The Fire is much smaller, making it handy to stash in a purse or pocket although that will probably also make it less fun to view movies on. The display 7 inches versus 9.7 inches for the iPad 2. And there’s no camera or microphone, while the iPad 2 has both front and rear cameras.
So how can I order this stuff?
The Kindle Fire is available for pre-order today and will ship Nov. 15. The Kindle Touch versions can be pre-ordered now and will ship Nov. 21. The non-touch Kindle ships today.