Kindle Fire: What the Experts Are Saying
The surprisingly low price of the Amazon tablet seems to overshadow any missing bells and whistles.
On Wednesday, Amazon unveiled not one, but four new Kindle products. It was the Kindle Fire that really had to tech world buzzing.
The tablet was quickly called a rival to Apple’s iPad, but with a much lighter price tag at $199. The product, which will go on sale in mid-November, “brings together all of the things we’ve been working on at Amazon for over 15 years into a single, fully-integrated service for customers," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO, at the unveiling.
Tech experts were quick to compare the Fire’s features with that of the iPad, and while the Fire seems to lack some of the many features of its Apple competitor, the price seemed to win most experts over.
“On paper, the Kindle Fire has half the features of the iPad,” wrote CNET’s Molly Wood. She goes on to write, however that while the Kindle Fire “may be an orange to Apple's iPad apple, but I'd argue that it's an iPad killer all the same.
“The problem is that hardly anyone actually needs an iPad. And as tablet usage starts to shake out, it's more and more apparent that a low-cost option with fewer features will actually suit most people's first-world needs.”
“Our overall impression is that this is what Amazon needs to do, and despite rumors that Amazon had been cutting corners on their design (which may well be the case), the goods on display today look like something Amazon can be proud of,” wrote Wilson Rothman at MSNBC.
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“The Fire has a good chance at being the best Android-based tablet out of the gate,” wrote Erick Schonfeld at TechCrunch. “Not just because of the fine-tuned software, but because of all the media you can get on it.”
“Of course, it makes it really easy to buy all of that media from Amazon. But just as Apple builds superior product by integrating the software, hardware, its Web-based store, so too is Amazon trying to do the same thing. And all at an affordable price,” he wrote.
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Jesus diaz and Sam Biddle of Gizmodo wrote that the Kindle Fire’s shortcomings don’t seem like “major show stoppers with this price tag. Even the most optimistic analysts pegged the price at $250. Keeping the price tag below the $200 psychological mark is going to have a big effect in the mind of consumers.”
“Unlike other tablet competitors, Amazon will use its powerful store to sell this tablet. More importantly, it will be deeply integrated with Amazon's cloud services and all its content. It will offer as many books, songs and movies as Apple does,” wrote Gizmoto.
“The real kicker, however, is the price -- at just $199, it's bound to turn heads, regardless of whether you were interested in a slate before. Naturally, that bargain-bin sticker explains the lack of an embedded camera and microphone,” wrote Darren Murph at Engadget.