Here’s the start of a news release from Amazon—announcing an eight-inch $150 tablet and a 10.1 incher for $230, both shipping September 30:
“Amazon today introduced all-new Fire HD tablets, designed from the ground up for entertainment with a stunning 8" or 10.1" widescreen HD display, an incredibly thin and light design, quad-core processor, stereo speakers with Dolby Audio, front- and rear-facing cameras, and microSD card support providing up to 128GB of expandable storage. Fire HD also introduces Fire OS 5 ‘Bellini,’ which brings the best entertainment experience on any tablet, with an updated user interface, deep integration of Amazon-exclusive services, and hundreds of new and upgraded features and platform updates.”
With those specs at those prices—and with the eco-system and brand name factored—I suspect that Amazon will be able to boost its less than impressive share of the tablet market. As generics, the tablets would not be such deals.
Detracting from the Fires’ value, most likely, will be the proprietary OS. Easy user interfaces are possible even under plain vanilla Android.
The real value Amazon adds for e-bookers is in breadth of low-cost offerings, as well as customer service.
- Thin and light industrial design—at 7.7mm, Amazon’s thinnest tablets ever.
- Crisp and vivid HD display with over 1 million pixels; with a 16:10 widescreen aspect ratio, Fire HD 8 offers 15% more HD video viewing area and Fire HD 10 offers 22% more HD video viewing area than similarly-sized tablets with a 4:3 aspect ratio.
- Powerful quad-core processor running at up to 1.5 GHz for fast app switching and fluidity.
- As measured in tumble tests, Fire HD is almost 2x more durable than the latest generation iPad Air.
- Up to 128GB of expandable storage via microSD—enjoy even more videos, music, games, and photos while offline.
- Stereo speakers with Dolby Audio, which are custom-tuned for immersive, high-quality sound.
- Powered by the latest version of Fire OS—Fire OS 5 “Bellini”—with an updated user interface that is inspired by the beautiful layouts of high-quality magazines, making it fun to browse for your next movie, song, or book, or easy to pick up where you left off. Plus, Fire OS 5 includes hundreds of new and upgraded features, platform updates, and Amazon-exclusive services….
- The best reading experience on a tablet gets even better with Word Runner, a new feature designed to help you read faster—one word at a time—by bringing each word to the center of the screen to where your eyes are already focused. Word Runner gradually builds to your preferred reading speed, then algorithmically and automatically slows down for difficult words, punctuation, and paragraph breaks…
Imagine—SD cards back in Amazon devices!
OK, bring on the $50 model! It’s out and I’ll write it up separately.