Sep 02 AT 5:21 PM Jess Blanchard 25 Comments

TechCrunch goes hands-on with the Android-powered Amazon Kindle

Amazon tablets

The tablets keep on coming. Amazon’s plan for an Android tablet has been the worst kept secret in the mobile world. So, it should come as no surprise that the rumors have now been confirmed; TechCrunch was lucky enough to get some hands-on time with the new Android-powered Kindle.

Reportedly, this tablet features a 7-inch, full-color capacitive touchscreen and is similar in style to the Blackberry PlayBook. Amazon has also opted for a back-lit device, forsaking the e-ink used in previous iterations of the Kindle.

It has been confirmed that the Kindle will be multi-touch–most likely utilizing 2-finger functionality, as opposed to the iPad’s 10-finger multi-touch. And while this device is an Android device, it’s unlike any Android experience yet seen.

The Kindle stays true to the Amazon branding. The UI is reportedly mostly orange with accents of dark blue and black. Content is displayed on the main page in a manner similar to iTunes Cover Flow, with a favorites dock below. The device has no physical buttons; navigation is conducted via on-screen buttons that appear when the user taps the device.

What’s more: If this 7-inch tablet proves a success, Amazon does have plans to release a more expensive 10-incher in Q1 2012.

Unfortunately, TechCrunch was unable to supply any actual photographs of the device (not even a shot courtesy of Mr. BlurryCam). They did, however, give us an estimated launch date of late November, which theoretically gives the Nook 2 ample time to be first-to-market.

How much would you expect to pay for this device? How’s $250 sound? Sounds familiar. That’s because it’s the same price as the Nook 2.

So there we have it, folks. Our e-readers are all grown up into full-fledged tablets. I guess some tough choices will be made this Fall. Where do you guys stand? Leaning toward the Nook 2 or the Kindle? Or is neither one doing it for you?

Source: TechCrunch

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  • TFJ4

    Amazon has the resources and ecosystem to actually pull this off, which is kinda amazing when you think about it.

  • Alex

    I’m really excited for this as it seems like such a cool device. However, I don’t live in the US and so won’t be able to take advantage of most of the Amazon services on offer.

    I’d say that being an early adopter is pointless for me and many other Kindle/Amazon fans/users.

    I wonder if they have plans to extend their cloud services beyond North America.

    • M3rc Nate

      There’s a world beyond North America? i don’t believe it, next you’ll tell me you don’t like us invading your country to “help you”.

      • M3rc Nate

        lol its called sarcasm people. My point was that stuff should be available to more than N-America, and that countries DONT like when we invade to “help”.

        • kazahani

          I find your opinions faschinating. Please please please keep posting.

  • Interpol91

    Sounds interesting but if I do go for it it’ll be for the 10in version. However, without pics I really can’t get too excited about it.

  • http://nickedynick.blogspot.com Nickedynick

    I really hope Amazon doesn’t mix the actual Kindle and this tablet too much. The great thing about the Kindle is that it does one thing very well, and not a lot else.

    Also, this move will bring us some real fragmentation of Android now. Forking great…

  • Nathan

    I don’t know need more information on both tablets

  • heeros

    I have to admit that I’m a little excited to see a new UI and maybe try it out, but I don’t like the idea that it’s pre 2.2. I’m sure they will update it, but when?

    I also don’t like how they try to cut you off from all other services by integrating all their own, and not adding the android market, which I know is the point, but I like having options.

    • Transient

      I got the impression that the Amazon additions will be updated but that the Android foundation wont be. That would be stupid and ruin compatibility with future Android apps. If this tablet is successful, this will be Android’s toughest battle with fragmentation byfar.

      • heeros

        the original article said that if there are any updates of the actual android version, they would probably end up being back end updates, not the UI.

        They’ll have to probably at least partially update it to fully support the 10″ version since it’s rumored to be dual core, if it comes at all. (correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought android 3.0 was the first with full multithreading capabilities)

  • rantmo

    An affordable Android tablet is something I really, intensely would like to have. After reading the TechCrunch article though, this is not what I want. I like Android and I’m at best lukewarm towards Amazon. A 7″ tablet without a camera sounds great to me but not one that runs a forked OS, I like *Android* and this is not the experience I’m in the market for. I guess I’ll wait until the Lenovo A1 gets Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich and look there. It’s a bummer, I was really getting excited about this.

  • M3rc Nate

    There isnt anything to hate on, but its definitely not the tablet i am waiting for. I am not going to get a 7″ no matter how great, i want a tablet for multimedia (netflix instant, videos, gaming etc) so i need the 10-11incher.
    Basically everything about it is just not there for me, however they never leaked or teased that it would be. Its a $250 tablet by Amazon, i guess i shouldnt have hoped for my perfect tablet.

    I would say “I hope they come out with a 10″ version!” but most likely that wont matter. I want vanilla android, and it sounds like the Amazon tablets have a big UI paint job. I need at least honeycomb with the promise of many future updates (at least to Ice Cream Sandwhich).

    What sucks is i really want to support Amazon, i love that Amazon has a ecosystem second only to Android itself in terms of apps. Amazon Music (cloud based), Amazon Kindle, Amazon MP3 etc. I love buying from them, so it blows they wont come out with what i want.

    Is it really that hard for a company to understand what the perfect specs are that would grab everyones attention/wallet?
    Honeycomb minimum w/ future updates promised, 10 inches, dual core (quad if possible), great GPU, good-to-amazing Res, all the ports (USB, HDMI out, SD card expansion), dockable, and overall appearance: sleek and simple (like the Samsung 10.1, and the pic on this article).

    Is it really so hard? I respect Amazon’s price point, and you can only give so much tech when you have such a low price point, im more ticked with all the tablet makers. If they really want a ultimate iPad contender, and ultimate android tablet, those are the specs…everyone knows it, yet they keep making 3/4′s tablets. 3/4′s of the way there but not close enough for me to shell out 400+ dollars.

    • M3rc Nate

      forgot front face camera 3+MP, back facing camera 7+mp with flash. Btw if they really want to be cool, make it dual flash and dual microphones for background noise cancelling. But those would just be icing, not required for me to buy. It would be WICKED if all the specs listed were a Nexus tablet, but who knows if that will ever happen.

      • Raptor

        exactly my words

  • Transient

    If Google took the 7 inch Galaxy Tab and made it into a $300-$400 Nexus Tab, pushed it hard via advertising, they’d have a chance. At least with me.

  • uknowme

    Sounds like a big letdown to me. I knew it was gonna be bad in one way or 7.

  • http://www.zwilnik.com Kevin O’Brien

    The determining factor for me will be if I can install other apps as needed. I currently have the Kindle app, the Nook app, the Google Book app, and Aldiko on my Droid. If Amazon let’s me install what I want, OK. If not, I understand the Nook can easily be rooted…

  • Raptor

    The only i’d add I alway wanted book reader of same size as most journals are. And they are all page A4 format and some even larger. And i always loved large journals. That translates into 13-14″ device size cathegory.

    And 300 PPI or so called retina display is a must if you are Amazon or BN. Pixelation and ugly small fonts are unacceptable here. Do the math what that means on 14 incher. Means Quad Full HD. That’s a lot but Amazon is not for a regular moron who never reads.

  • DonChinga

    Don’t developers have a problem with Amazons App Store? If that’s true, I’m not sure how big of a hit this thing can be if devs are not happy with the policies set by Amazon.

  • Usman

    No Google apps or Market.. No thanks.

  • _______(.)

    Cap’n Crunch is better than TechCrunch

  • SliestDragon

    Hmm. Not sure I’d get this. It’s cool that the Kindle is now running android, but if it’s really hidden that much, there is no point…

  • http://makewaffleswithoutwaffleiron.blogspot.com/ Make waffles without waffle iron

    It not going to be what expected.

  • thechad

    good article thanks

  1. TFJ4Guest 4 years ago

    Amazon has the resources and ecosystem to actually pull this off, which is kinda amazing when you think about it.

  2. AlexGuest 4 years ago

    I’m really excited for this as it seems like such a cool device. However, I don’t live in the US and so won’t be able to take advantage of most of the Amazon services on offer.

    I’d say that being an early adopter is pointless for me and many other Kindle/Amazon fans/users.

    I wonder if they have plans to extend their cloud services beyond North America.

    • There’s a world beyond North America? i don’t believe it, next you’ll tell me you don’t like us invading your country to “help you”.

      • lol its called sarcasm people. My point was that stuff should be available to more than N-America, and that countries DONT like when we invade to “help”.

  3. Sounds interesting but if I do go for it it’ll be for the 10in version. However, without pics I really can’t get too excited about it.

  4. I really hope Amazon doesn’t mix the actual Kindle and this tablet too much. The great thing about the Kindle is that it does one thing very well, and not a lot else.

    Also, this move will bring us some real fragmentation of Android now. Forking great…

  5. I don’t know need more information on both tablets

  6. I have to admit that I’m a little excited to see a new UI and maybe try it out, but I don’t like the idea that it’s pre 2.2. I’m sure they will update it, but when?

    I also don’t like how they try to cut you off from all other services by integrating all their own, and not adding the android market, which I know is the point, but I like having options.

    • TransientGuest 4 years ago

      I got the impression that the Amazon additions will be updated but that the Android foundation wont be. That would be stupid and ruin compatibility with future Android apps. If this tablet is successful, this will be Android’s toughest battle with fragmentation byfar.

      • the original article said that if there are any updates of the actual android version, they would probably end up being back end updates, not the UI.

        They’ll have to probably at least partially update it to fully support the 10″ version since it’s rumored to be dual core, if it comes at all. (correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought android 3.0 was the first with full multithreading capabilities)

  7. An affordable Android tablet is something I really, intensely would like to have. After reading the TechCrunch article though, this is not what I want. I like Android and I’m at best lukewarm towards Amazon. A 7″ tablet without a camera sounds great to me but not one that runs a forked OS, I like *Android* and this is not the experience I’m in the market for. I guess I’ll wait until the Lenovo A1 gets Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich and look there. It’s a bummer, I was really getting excited about this.

  8. There isnt anything to hate on, but its definitely not the tablet i am waiting for. I am not going to get a 7″ no matter how great, i want a tablet for multimedia (netflix instant, videos, gaming etc) so i need the 10-11incher.
    Basically everything about it is just not there for me, however they never leaked or teased that it would be. Its a $250 tablet by Amazon, i guess i shouldnt have hoped for my perfect tablet.

    I would say “I hope they come out with a 10″ version!” but most likely that wont matter. I want vanilla android, and it sounds like the Amazon tablets have a big UI paint job. I need at least honeycomb with the promise of many future updates (at least to Ice Cream Sandwhich).

    What sucks is i really want to support Amazon, i love that Amazon has a ecosystem second only to Android itself in terms of apps. Amazon Music (cloud based), Amazon Kindle, Amazon MP3 etc. I love buying from them, so it blows they wont come out with what i want.

    Is it really that hard for a company to understand what the perfect specs are that would grab everyones attention/wallet?
    Honeycomb minimum w/ future updates promised, 10 inches, dual core (quad if possible), great GPU, good-to-amazing Res, all the ports (USB, HDMI out, SD card expansion), dockable, and overall appearance: sleek and simple (like the Samsung 10.1, and the pic on this article).

    Is it really so hard? I respect Amazon’s price point, and you can only give so much tech when you have such a low price point, im more ticked with all the tablet makers. If they really want a ultimate iPad contender, and ultimate android tablet, those are the specs…everyone knows it, yet they keep making 3/4′s tablets. 3/4′s of the way there but not close enough for me to shell out 400+ dollars.

    • forgot front face camera 3+MP, back facing camera 7+mp with flash. Btw if they really want to be cool, make it dual flash and dual microphones for background noise cancelling. But those would just be icing, not required for me to buy. It would be WICKED if all the specs listed were a Nexus tablet, but who knows if that will ever happen.

  9. TransientGuest 4 years ago

    If Google took the 7 inch Galaxy Tab and made it into a $300-$400 Nexus Tab, pushed it hard via advertising, they’d have a chance. At least with me.

  10. Sounds like a big letdown to me. I knew it was gonna be bad in one way or 7.

  11. Kevin O'BrienGuest 4 years ago

    The determining factor for me will be if I can install other apps as needed. I currently have the Kindle app, the Nook app, the Google Book app, and Aldiko on my Droid. If Amazon let’s me install what I want, OK. If not, I understand the Nook can easily be rooted…

  12. RaptorGuest 4 years ago

    The only i’d add I alway wanted book reader of same size as most journals are. And they are all page A4 format and some even larger. And i always loved large journals. That translates into 13-14″ device size cathegory.

    And 300 PPI or so called retina display is a must if you are Amazon or BN. Pixelation and ugly small fonts are unacceptable here. Do the math what that means on 14 incher. Means Quad Full HD. That’s a lot but Amazon is not for a regular moron who never reads.

  13. Don’t developers have a problem with Amazons App Store? If that’s true, I’m not sure how big of a hit this thing can be if devs are not happy with the policies set by Amazon.

  14. UsmanGuest 4 years ago

    No Google apps or Market.. No thanks.

  15. _______(.)Guest 4 years ago

    Cap’n Crunch is better than TechCrunch

  16. Hmm. Not sure I’d get this. It’s cool that the Kindle is now running android, but if it’s really hidden that much, there is no point…

  17. Make waffles without waffle ironGuest 4 years ago

    It not going to be what expected.

  18. good article thanks