Amazon Officially Announces Kindle Fire Tablet for $199 [Updated]

Amazon confirmed the news that Bloomberg prematurely announced Wednesday morning by announcing the new Kindle Fire ebook reader and multimedia tablet device. The Kindle Fire includes a 7-inch color touch-based display and weighs only 14.6 ounces.

Amazon Kindle Fire

Amazon Kindle Fire
(Click the image for a larger version) 

True to earlier rumors, the Fire runs on Google’s Android OS, although Amazon has gone to great lengths to hide that fact with its customized interface. The tablet includes dual core processor, 8GB of storage, and supports Android apps through the Amazon Appstore.

The Fire’s 1024x600 pixel display offers a 169ppi resolution with 16 million colors, according to Amazon’s Kindle vice president Dave Limp who spoke with The Mac Observer. He added that the tablet offers eight hours of battery life, or seven hours when watching movies.

The tablet includes support for electronic magazines, WhisperSync wireless syncing support for movies and TV shows that are available through Amazon, including free cloud storage for user’s Amazon content, and comes pre-registered for the user’s own Amazon account.

The Kindle Fire looks to be a media consumption device first, and a tablet computer second, unlike Apple’s iPad. For casual users, however, that want a tablet entertainment device, the Fire may be an enticing option.

As far as system requirements go, Amazon said “None, because it’s wireless and doesn’t require a computer.”

Amazon’s Kindle Fire is priced at US$199. It is available for pre-order now and will ship on November 15.

[Updated with additional product details.]