Sep 28 AT 8:49 AM Anthony Domanico 66 Comments

Amazon Kindle Fire, the 7-inch sub-$200 Android tablet (Update)


Amazon is all set to unveil their 7-inch Android tablet to the market, with a press conference scheduled for 10 a.m. EST.  It seems Bloomberg has let the cat out of the bag a bit early this morning, and has revealed the official pricing for the upcoming tablet.

The 7-inch Amazon Fire will be unleashed for an incredibly affordable $199.

The Kindle Fire will feature:

  • Dual Core Processor
  • Multi-Touch 7″ IPS display
  • Kindle-ized OS based on Android 2.3 (UPDATE: It runs Gingerbread! 2.3)
  • Amazon Silk Browser
  • Unlimited cloud storage for apps, books, movies, and music
  • 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime
  • Whispersync for books, movies, and TV shows

The Kindle Fire will not have a camera of any kind, and will also not feature a microphone. Though this will certainly be a disappointment for some, as many of us use our voice to control our Android devices, the price tag certainly affords Amazon a couple trade-offs.

The Kindle Fire will be officially released on November 15th, but you can pre-order the Kindle Fire over on Amazon for $199 starting today.

Anyone out there plan to pick up a Kindle Fire, or are you putting your money into a more fully-featured Android tablet?

Update: Hands-on video via This is my Next.

Via: Bloomberg

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • TWiT Commander

    No camera? No problems.

    No microphone? Bummer. Deal-breaker!

    • uzunoff

      No mic is not a dealbraker if there is blutooth

      • WickedToby741

        No Bluetooth.

    • iPad 3

      what a trash tablet!

    • Amazon Firefragmentation

      Android 2.1

      This crap is obsolete.

      • WickedToby741

        Its 2.3, not 2.1. Still no Honeycomb, but for $200, who cares?

    • Disappointing

      2.1 Eclair? Are you kidding me Amazon? Whats the point?

      • Anthony Domanico

        Still, hands on with the tablet reports that the thing is fast. Most consumers won’t care what version of Android it has. Shit they won’t even know it runs Android most likely.

        For the hardcore, we expect this thing to be modded and running CM7/8.

      • WickedToby741

        Its 2.3 first off, and second, it doesn’t much matter because its barely Android anyways. Sure, it runs Android apps, but it has none of the Google apps and looks nothing like Android. Most consumers will not recognize it as such, especially with a separate app store.

  • rahlquist

    Sounds like Epic fail recipe to me.
    Build tablet device, missing key features now appearing in second generation iPad.
    Fork open source OS to make it your own using sources over 1 year old.
    Lock OS down to not use base OS market.

    Yeah that’s nothing but fail to me.

    • Ronnie

      Not a fail at all. As soon as someone roots it all the fan boys will want one to drop Honeycomb on hahahaha

  • Justin Shapcott

    The real question is will people be willing to have only the Amazon Appstore? And with 2.1 being nearly 2 years old, and with with most devices being 2.2+, many developers have moved on.

    • 343

      Yeah they a have a huge problem with the android fragmentation!

    • WickedToby741

      Its 2.3, and for $200, I think the answer to your question is yes. For everything this tablet offers and with most customers probably failing to realize this is even Android, I think consumers will be OK with it. Also, developers will flock to whats popular. If this tablet sells like crazy and is still rocking Gingerbread when other devices are running ICS, developers will still develop for this because its popular. They’ll go where ever the customers are.

  • rantmo

    I was looking forward to this tablet right up until the details started to leak. The price and size are exactly what I want, the OS is not. I want an Android tablet, not an Android-esque one. The lack of cameras or microphone doesn’t really come into play one way or the other for me, but being locked into the Amazon ecosystem is simply a non-starter.

  • sleepin

    The specs mean it is a fail. My rooted nook color can do everything this tablet does….and probably better. No reason to upgrade yet.

  • RockinEvo

    2.1 equals not FOR ME

  • Mike

    What an Epic FAIL

  • Drew

    The thing concerning me is Android 2.1. Today, even 2.2 would be unaccepted. Hopefully its easy to root.

    • heeros

      I agree. I’m sure we’ll have CM or something else on it soon. But I wonder if it will retain the ability to use all that cloud storage or if they use a proprietary framework for all that stuff.

      But no microphone is seriously a deal breaker. Even if it has bluetooth, as of yet, skype still doesn’t support Bluetooth, nor does google talk, I’ve tried it on my phone. The only hope is that the 3.5mm jack supports not only headphones, but also headsets.

  • Nick Gray

    It’s surprising how shallow people get over time. When the Nook Color was announced, the Android crowd praised it as a great device. The Amazon Kindle Fire is a much better device, will offer a lot more content, has a full App Store and even gives you access to Amazon Prime content.

    This isn’t going to replace a Honeycomb tablet, but it’s probably one of the best products in the eReader category.

    • Justin Shapcott

      Exactly. It’s an e-reader. And, if people realize and embrace this simple fact, it will do very well. The problem is that the Internet has hyped this thing up to be an iPad killer tablet (which it is not). It may kill certain aspects of the iPad, but they serve very different purposes.

    • uzunoff

      The nook was praised due to the fact that it was easily rootable and easy to restore. It still offered a good hardware on a great price for the time that was released. Fire is still at a good price, but if you are locked with amazon and their outdated code base. I will definitely pass



    • WickedToby741

      To you it may be a failure, but you’re likely not the average consumer. The average consumer is going to see this as a go to media device for music, books, movies, TV shows, shopping, browsing, email, and apps for an incredible price of $200. On top of that, its from a company a lot of people trust. I think this device is going to sell like mad.

  • Sean Riley

    Time to start a pool on how many hours this thing will be available before it gets rooted.

    • keridel

      my bets is 2 days. tops. lol

  • 666

    Ya’ geeks may think this is a fail but this will sell like CRAZY. A successful 2.1 = deep fried Android fragmentation.

  • Helm8

    Android is so 1990…..

  • carpediem

    It will sell a lot (hence, the “iPad competition” talk), but by those who view it as a robust e-reader, not as a half-assed Android tablet.

  • Slith

    My Mom will buy just because she wants a color Kindle.

  • Dragonithe

    will it have GPS?

  • Nick Gray

    eReader… check
    amazing web browser….. check
    Streaming movies and music…. check
    App store with thousands of apps…. check

    I know everyone is complaining about Android 2.1 but can someone name some of the advantages and new features of Android that the Kindle Fire will not have?

    • Anthony Domanico

      Ice Cream Sandwich. ;)

      • Justin Shapcott

        Here’s one of the biggest things that they lose out on by going with an Android 2.1 base:

        2x-5x performance speedup for CPU-heavy code over Android 2.1 with Dalvik JIT.

        From 2.2, which is a year and a half old by now.


    it is what it is.. for the price it gives you more than what you need in a reader. if you expected premium features for 200 then you did not have an open mind. although i will agree they could have done better than 2.1

  • Slith

    Other sites are reporting it is Android 2.3.

    • Anthony Domanico

      Yeah, we waited to change until we were absolutely sure, and someone at the event confirmed it for us. IT will have 2.3.

      • Slith

        Fact checker extraordinaire!

        • Anthony Domanico

          There were just so many reports that it was coming with 2.1, that we wanted to wait until SOMEONE looked in settings or whatever and found out for sure.

  • george


    Good lord quit being innovative amazon. we re not living in the stoneage anymore. who wants to read on a computer screen?

    i was hoping for epaper.

  • keridel

    unfortunatly due to amazon only releasing this in the US (a great big F#ck you to the rest of their worldwide customers) i wont know if it is any good.

    i have a feeling that it will be… ok just another random tablet. but it will sell like hot cakes.

    my big question is this. my kindle e-reader has a battery life of about a month. how long a battery life does this have?

    • keridel

      the fact thts it’s running 2.3 has jumped it upa couple of notches.

    • Interpol91

      I guess this is how we get even for Samsung releasing the GSII in other parts of the world before reaching the US.

      • keridel

        not really as your sgs2 is revamped for america. we just arent getting this.

        at all.

  • triangle

    I would love to buy this tablet, but am restraining myself from doing so. I am a big user of Amazon digital media and think this would be nice as a complement to other tablets, not a direct replacement. It would be even better if all of their services were available on other tablets, not just the kindle fire.

    I completely understand that this is not going to be for anyone who wants to do more with their tablet and is looking for more flexibility in its uses, which is probably the vast majority of people who visit this site every day. But for the average Joe who didn’t want to fork out $500 for a tablet and doesn’t need to do as much with it, I think this is going to be a great device.

  • 666

    I love Android phones but I pretty much told myself that I wouldn’t get a tablet until Windows 8 came out. With 2.3 semi confirmed, that’s now only half true. I’m still looking forward to getting a W8 tablet but $200 for a train companion is a impulse buy for me.

    • Interpol91

      As much as I like Android a W8 tablet does sound enticiing. My brother will probably be into that but I really can’t see myself loving it more than an Android tablet. Who knows though

      • Dags

        Windows compatibility is big negative for me. All I need are HTML5 apps and a few native apps on a tablet. I know some people run a virus scanner on their Android phones but I don’t and with a W8 tablet you will have no choice but to run a virus/malware scanner full time. No thanks.

        • 666

          No CS5 or advance IDE = no good for me and a lot of digital professionals.

  • denny

    You guys are silly. The only other great buy in the tablet race that I can think of is the asus transformer.

    look at the fire..
    its a dual core im guessing not nvidia tho. I mean just for the hardware; that price tag is awesome.

    If you loved your rooted nook, well I would think this would be for you!

    But I think a lot of people will have to wait and see what the custom rom devs come up with.. It looks like there is no hardware buttons like in the nook color.. I wonder what kind of softkeys fire is using..

  • Interpol91

    When I read this post this morning I was like WTF since it supposedly was running Eclair. Glad to see that update but it isn’t something I would buy. It would be a nice present though for my parents since they aren’t that tech savvy abd it would serve their needs rather well.

  • Fireland

    iPad 3 will MAUL this outdated $hitablet

    • LEKO

      You don’t get the point! It’s a 199$ tablet, not a 599$ one!

      HP TouchPad sold a lot when they dropped their price (even with the “dead” WebOS) on it. At 199$, Amazon will surely sell a ton fo them!

      People who bought a Kindle for reading are not the same who bought an iPad (or other high-end tablets).

  • samsamsammy

    Samsung should make similar affordable tablet like this as they also produced Galaxy Player.

    galaxy Tablayer or something with higher resolution; when it comes to reading the screen resolution matters alot. 1024×600 isn’t too bad, but it’s gotta by 720p at least.

  • Ben

    Everyone is reporting that this Runs 2.3. But besides that i think this looks like a pretty decent entry level tablet.

  • Stella

    Kindle Fire will be a good tablet for someone not looking for all the bells and whistles. I’m actually thinking of ordering it for my Mom. She doesn’t need anything fancy and she won’t miss having a mic or camera.

    Overall, I think it’s a decent entry level tablet and you can’t beat the price.

  • LEKO

    At 199$ it is a VERY interesting tablet. If CyanogenMOD (or other roms) get into it. It will be a very good reader/multimedia device. I may get one (or two) for my daughters. And for me, it will be the Asus Eee Pad 2. :D

    • Paul

      If it’s very popular there will be aftermarket support for it. I think this tablet would be good just due to it’s popularity. Being popular means lots of accessories, add-ons, and custom ROM’s and work from the hacking community. A great tablet for $200-$250 (like the IdeaPad A1) could fail against a not so great tablet for the same price if the not-so-great tablet had more popularity.

  • Rashad

    Looks pretty cool, but I’m tired of these “half-way” tablets that I have been seeing. They are just crowding the market if you ask me.

    But If you are only interested in consuming media, this looks amazing.

  • Paul

    I can’t understand why the Fire is such a big deal. Yes the price point is nice, but there have been other phones around this pricepoint, like the Nook Color. I like that it’s $200 and dual core and if it’s extremely popular it’ll be rooted and custom ROM’s should appear quickly. But without bluetooth, microsd, camera’s or GPS it just seems besides the CPU why should I get it? The IdeaPad A1 for $200-$250 coming out in the next few weeks seems a better buy, it has GPS, Bluetooth, MicroSD, front and rear camera, etc. but nobody’s making a big deal about that one.

  • Aakash Gupta

    this is awesome tablet can’t wait to see in my hands ;)