Amazon Kindle Tablet More Nook Color than Honeycomb Heavyweight


Amazon’s Kindle tablet has been a hot item on the rumor circuits ever since rumors first popped up last spring, and the first real hands-on evidence is now showing up. TechCrunch had the opportunity to go hands-on with the new Amazon Kindle (and yes, it’s simply being called the Kindle) and their report, while offering no visual proof, should leave those awaiting the new device with mixed feelings. First of all, this isn’t the Honeycomb heavy-hitter everyone was expecting. No, it is a device with a completely overhauled user interface built up from a pre-Android 2.2 build. It borrows heavily from Amazon’s design  language with a color scheme featuring black, blue, and orange highlights.

The Amazon Kindle tablet is design more as a competitor to the Nook Color and features a 7-inch traditional multi-touch display. No eInk, and no 10-inch option either. The 10-inch device has been set aside for a possible release next year pending the success of the the 7-inch model. For now, Amazon is fully focused on the development of the smaller device, which should launch later this fall for a very competitive $250.

The specs aren’t nearly as impressive as the dual-core beast we have heard rumors of. Within the device said to look somewhat like a BlackBerry PlayBook is found a single core chip is in place (and if a 10-inch version were to launch it would run a dual-core, not quad-core, CPU), it houses 6GB of internal storage, and will be WiFi-only. Possible 3G versions are in the works for release on US mobile providers, but nothing is final. It lacks hardware buttons (controls are relegated to on-screen, has no cameras, and might be limited to two-point multitouch.

While the Kindle tablet might not be the iPad killer everyone hoped for, it still looks to make a pretty big splash. It is fully integrated with Amazon’s various services and will rely heavily on the cloud. A big advertising campaign combined with the popularity of the Kindle brand should amount to huge sales. Does it have the potential to oust the Nook Color (or its rumored sequel) from the top of its class? Certainly. Is it the Android tablet savior most hoped it would be. Very far from it. Read the full report at the source link below to gain a bit of extra insight.

[via TechCrunch]

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  1. Already got a Nook. Why would I want this?

  2. As long as its not sluggish, this will be a winner. Seems targeted correctly.

  3. Can we please stop making froyo/gingerbread tablets?

    1. If it’s “a pre-Android 2.2 build” then that means it might even be Eclair. Yeesh.

      1. Big deal…developers will have Honeycomb or Ice Cream on it within a month or so anyways.

        1. Why would developers bother when the Nook Color already exist, and there are far better tablets coming out to tweak and play with?

          This is pretty disappointing…

  4. It makes perfect sense that it would be similar to the Nook Color. Really it doesn’t need to be a fully functional tablet… it’s really intended (most likely) to be a device to read/view new digital newspapers and magazines with images and videos etc. Color storybooks for kids that sort of thing. That’s going to be a big thing in the near future I think. It’s more than a book, more than a web page… it’s a way for magazines and newspapers to stay alive without paper. This thing will still be heavily focused on reading stuff. And it should be. You don’t need a beast of a machine to do that. In fact it’s best if they keep it cheap as possible to get it into as many hands as possible.

  5. From the article it sounds pretty lame for the geeks to be able to do anything crazy with it. Keep looking for the Asus or some other new manufacturer to take the lead on Quad Core Nvidia or OMAP or Sanpdragon chip…

  6. My favorite thing about the Kindle is the fact I can be out camping, not worrying about my 30 days worth of single battery charge, and then sitting in direct sunlight while relaxing and reading a nice book.

    I guess Amazon’s decided that reading and relaxing outdoors in broad daylight is for suckas.

    1. More like they rightly judged that there is a huge demand for for a small tablet that can do media things the e-Ink Kindle can’t and that this is a complementary or added device in the Kindle line, this one being the media tablet (for a media-focused company) while the e-reader will keep its focus that you and I prize.

  7. Meh if this is what I waited for then I’m gonna pass. Better off investing in the Samsung Galaxy Tab II 7″ model. I knew they were gonna skin the hell out of it, but the fact they forked it (and forked it deep at that) prior to 2.2 Froyo is disturbing. No camera? Only 2 finger multi-touch? No Google apps at all? Only 6g? Wi-Fi only? Cloud driven? No SD slot?! Oh and did I mention it’s thick and clunky like the Blackberry Playbook? NO THANKS AMAZON!

  8. This is a big disappointment.

    I have a rooted Nook Color, love it, and convinced me that a 7 in tablet works for me. I have been assuming, based on all the rumors, that Amazon was producing a “real” tablet that would be a significant hardware upgrade to the nook. Since this is a hands on report rather than just rumors, I guess I will have to wait for a better option.

    Ipad killer? Hell, this isn’t even a wounder.

  9. Hype killed this one.

  10. Even though it runs Android, if I’m honest I don’t think it stands to beat, or even come close to the iPad. The iPad just has something no other tablet has. The lower price point might appeal to some people, but to be honest it’s still not cheap. I’d have to see it properly though, and in a few months time I might have to completely eat my words!

  11. Not a big fan of Amazon products even though their E-Reader is the #1 seller. I’ll just get a Galaxy Tab

  12. Nook Color Android-based tablet/eReader from Barnes & Noble has been on the market for over a year and sold millions of units at $250. Gives Flash, apps, videos, color magazines and ebooks with video inserts, and the best anti-glare coated screen on the market. Technology “giant” Amazon is finally catching up with the book store company by copying their device.

  13. Honestly I was very excited for this heavy-hitting android tablet. Now that I read that it is nothing more than an overpriced ebook reader with an ancient version of Android so buried under crappy UIs it is impossible to find. The original Kindle is overpriced and this Kindle tablet sounds like absolute crap. Yeah let’s spend $200 on a freaking EBOOK READER. I can get a fully functional, powerful Android phone that can read books and a ton more for the same price. What a joke, this is a major disappointment…

  14. I had a Kindle 2 for a few years, then finally bought a Color Nook. I love the Nook. There are differences in the “Content” you can get between Amazon and Barnes and Noble. B and N has VERY few foreign newspapers and no blog subscriptions (as a short example). However, I prefer the Nook. And, it is very cool that you can go to a B and N and read any book for free, albeit for only 1 hour. And if you need to check email and surf the web, there is currently no comparison. Nook wins hands down.
    I’ll take the Nook any day over the Kindle. But I still have my Kindle and subscribe to a few foreign newspapers that I just can’t get on the Nook – yet. I think that eventually content and functionality between the two devices will “homogenize” over time. My final verdict after using both Kindle and Nook Color over time is that I’d take the Nook in a heartbeat over the Kindle. We’ll see how I feel about the new Kindle Color.

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