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The New Amazon Kindle Fire

Posted : 28th Sep 2011

The Kindle Fire is Amazon's new seven-inch colour tablet with a dual-core processor and customised Android operating system. It weighs just over 400g. Read on for our in-depth preview of what is likely to be the most wished for item on many Christmas Lists this year.

The Kindle Fire has been added by 31 of our members to their gift lists.

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For those who aren’t familiar, Amazon’s Kindle Fire is the latest incarnation of its popular e-book reader. Amazon offers a fantastic range of e-books via its online store as well as providing facilities for listening to MP3s, playing Android games, viewing online video streams, surfing the web and keeping in contact via email. All of which are accessible by the Kindle Fire.

The Kindle Fire's big draw is it can now display everything in colour. It offers a 7 inch screen similar to Samsungs Galaxy Tab (Apples iPad, in comparison sports a more expensive 9.7” screen) and uses an IPS (in-plane switching) version similar to Apples’s device to give you extra wide viewing angles. So you should have no problems showing off your new reader to friends and family. That screen has also been strengthened to make it exceptionally tough so no worries if it receives the odd clatter on a busy train.

The Kindle Fire features Amazon's own web browser - Amazon Silk. What's so special? Well, it's designed to use Amazon's cloud technology so that some of the processing is taken away from the Kindle and handled on Amazon's own servers. This should make the browsing experience smoother.

Users will get free cloud storage, which means - just like on the Kindle - all of your content can be deleted and re-downloaded at anytime.

Another feature from the Kindle being continued on the Fire is Amazon's Whispersync technology, a feature that remembers your last read page, bookmarks, notes and highlights across various devices and platforms. This has now been expanded to included video - start streaming a movie on your Kindle Fire and when you get home, carry watching it on your TV.

Out of the box, Kindle Fire users will get a free month of Amazon Prime. In the States this means commercial-free streaming of over 11,000 movies and TV shows at no additional cost. Here's hoping for something similar in the UK soon.

So, to summarise, it offers the same-style great viewing panel as the Ipad, it’s simple to use, includes Amazon’s custom browser for surfing the web and offers connection to the Amazon Cloud. Considering it’s much lower price than competing Pads, this Kindle is sure to attract a lot of attention.

It's now available for pre-order in the US for $199, and is expected to go on sale on 15 November.

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For those of you who want something extra to go with your Kindle, we've put together our top list of accessories we think no Kindle owner should be without.

Clip-on Reading Light

One of the great things about the Kindle is that the display imitates a traditional book extremely well meaning you can still read the text on a beach or in very bright conditions. However, because of this and because it isn't back-lit you're going to need an additional light source for reading in the dark. Be aware - the new Kindle Fire is backlit, this item mainly applies to the 'traditional' Kindles.

Find out more

UK Link
USA Link
Eco-Vue Kindle Cover

To keep your Kindle safe from scratches and any other unexpected accidents, how about a nice case?

Find out more

UK Link
USA Link
Custom Kindle Covers

If you want to tell your Kindle apart from the rest or just fancy a change from the standard cover, you can now purchase a large selection of Kindle skins. These are available for all ranges of Kindle so make sure you get the right one!

Find out more

USA Link

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Popular eBooks

If you're in need of a little light reading for your new Kindle, here are a selection of the latest, most-popular eBooks:

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Display 7" multi-touch display with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and anti-reflective treatment, 1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi, 16 million colors.
Size (in inches) 7.5" x 4.7" x 0.45" (190 mm x 120 mm x 11.4 mm).
Weight 14.6 ounces (413 grams).
System Requirements None, because it's wireless and doesn't require a computer.
On-device Storage 8GB internal. That's enough for 80 apps, plus either 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books.
Cloud Storage Free cloud storage for all Amazon content
Battery Life Up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, with wireless off. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as web browsing and downloading content.
Charge Time Fully charges in approximately 4 hours via included U.S. power adapter. Also supports charging from your computer via USB.
Wi-Fi Connectivity Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, or 802.1X standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication; does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks.
USB Port USB 2.0 (micro-B connector)
Audio 3.5 mm stereo audio jack, top-mounted stereo speakers.
Content Formats Supported Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8.
Documentation Quick Start Guide(included in box); Kindle User's Guide (pre-installed on device)
Included in the Box Kindle Fire device, U.S. power adapter (supports 100-240V), and Quick Start Guide.

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G 7 Oct 2011

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More Kindles

The Kindle Fire wasn't the only announcement - the Kindle Touch wi-fi and 3G versions were also shown off, Amazon's first touchscreen e-readers. Having ditched the QWERTY keyboard, and all physical buttons for that matter, the device is 11% smaller and 8% lighter than the previous Kindle, with a silver finish in place of the black.

Kindle Touch

The screen offers multi-touch functionality and due to the devices not having any physical buttons, everything is controlled on screen. As such, it implements an 'easy reach system'. Tap the middle of the screen while reading to bring up the menu, or touch on the left or right of the screen to turn a page backwards or forwards.

New, Slimmed-Down Kindle

The new Kindle is the smallest, lightest Kindle ever - weighing in at 170 grams. That's 30% lighter than the previous model. It's also 18% smaller, despite keeping its predecessor's six-inch screen.

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UK Availability

Unfortunately, the Kindle Fire and Kindle Touch are not going to be available immediately in the UK and we do not have any set timescale for their availability. Rest assured though, as soon as we hear more we will pass on any information to our members.

The New, Slimmed-Down Kindle is available immediately.

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Alternative Products

The new Kindle Fire isn't the only tablet out there and it doesn't have exclusive rights on those aimed at books.

"Shop an amazing array of popular apps including Epicurious, Lonely Planet and Angry Birds, plus enjoy pre-loaded Pandora® internet radio, Crossword puzzles, Chess and Sudoku. The award-winning Reader's Tablet now has so much more at an incredible value.

NOOK Color brings you even more of the web with an enhanced mobile experience. Watch videos on many of your favorite websites like YouTube® and enjoy some of the most interactive and animated content the Internet has to offer now with Adobe® Flash® Player."

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