Tech tipster Evan Blass has tweeted a front-and-back image of the upcoming 10” Fire tablet. GFXbench has a set of specs for the tablet, also, though I’m not sure where they got them. The picture is all over the news; Nate has great coverage at The Digital Reader, and it’s also popping up on places like ZDNet.
The tablets’ specs give both the 8” and 10” tablet 1280×800 resolution, 1GB RAM, and 16GB internal storage.
Now, 1200×800 isn’t great for a 10” screen in my book. My 7” Nexus 7 has 1920×1200, and even my 7” Nook HD has 1440×900. But Amazon’s focus seems to be on keeping things cheap, and higher-resolution screens cost more money.
Perhaps more interesting is the picture of the display. Is this a simulated generic image? It does look like it’s using some kind of Amazon-based launcher, what with the headers at the top of the screen—but the icons at the bottom are identical to Lollipop’s generic Android back, home, and recent apps icons. It doesn’t look at all like the icons you see on prior Fire launcher screens.
Does this suggest Amazon is going to hew back toward plain-vanilla Android on its tablets? Will users be able to install apps from the Google Play store without having to root your Fire and void your warranty or go through a sideloading song-and-dance, the way they could on the Nook tablets?
It doesn’t seem too likely given the Amazon-ecosystem philosophy Amazon’s prior devices have hewn to. And after all, this is a leaked preliminary image. Maybe those icons are just a placeholder for something else. Or maybe they’ve decided to copy them from Lollipop so that people with Android on their phones will see familiar icons on their tablet, without making any other changes. But then again, maybe Jeff Bezos learned something from the Fire Phone’s failure and has decided to back off on the close ties. Who can say?