Amazon has announced four new Kindle devices today, the most buzzworthy being the Kindle Fire. Amazon’s Kindle Fire features an Android backbone giving it the ability to run Amazon apps including games like Angry Birds, Plants Vs. Zombies, Cut the Rope, and more. In addition, it will be the first Kindle to feature a multi-touch user interface and an ability to play movies and TV shows in addition to previously available books, magazines, newspapers, and music.
The Kindle Fire weighs in at 14.6 ounces and measures 7.5″ x 4.7″ x 0.45″. According to Amazon, it is designed to be carried in one hand and can be used without ever having to sync to a desktop computer. The 7″ multi-touch display features in-plane switching technology and anti-reflective treatment, which should reduce the glare associated with using it in the sun. A 1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi and 16 million colors is standard for a smaller tablet, falling just short of the 1280 x 720 needed to run most HD content. Still, it should be more than capable of running most Web-based video including the movies and TV shows available on the Amazon store without a significant drop in quality.
The expected battery life for the Amazon Kindle Fire is eight hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback. These numbers are based on a Kindle Fire running with wireless turned off and minimal (if any) Web browsing. A complete charge cycle takes roughly four hours using the included US power adapter. USB charging is supported.
The Kindle Fire supports Wi-Fi networks using 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, and 802.1X wireless standards including secured networks running everything from WEP to WPA and WPA 2 security. It does not support peer-to-peer Wi-Fi networks.
The Kindle Fire also includes an exclusive browser referred to as Amazon Silk. This browser splits page loading tasks between the local device and a cloud-accelerated service hosted through Amazon AWS. This means that a poorly optimized page doesn’t have to lean on the underpowered tablet processor to propagate. Rather, it can assign the heavy lifting to a machine hosted at Amazon, which crunches down the information and sends a much slimmer stream of data to the Kindle Fire.
The Amazon Whispersync service now includes movies and TV show content purchased using the Kindle Fire. In addition, syncing your place in these programs allows you to watch part of something on the road with the Kindle, and pick it up where you left off on your larger screen when you get home.
If you’re asking yourself what the Kindle Fire has under the hood, Amazon has announced that it does include a dual-core processor supporting multi-tasking simultaneous apps. Each Kindle Fire purchase also includes a month of Amazon Prime, which grants users access to the growing Amazon collection of video content including movies and TV shows.
The Kindle Fire is available for pre-order on Amazon and is expected to ship on November 15, 2011. At US$199, will you consider pre-ordering one for yourself?