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Amazon's Android Tablet Expected This Fall 109

Posted by timothy
from the all-the-cool-bookstores-have-their-own dept.
According to the New York Post — among many others — Amazon is expected to launch its long-anticipated color tablet in late September or October, and the device is slated to sell for 'hundreds less' than the iPad, which implies a price of $300 or less. MSNBC says much the same, but adds some (their words) "generic looking mockups" to illustrate. I expect millions of Kindle owners will happily skip the added weight and shorter battery life of a full-fledged tablet, but it's good to have options.
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Amazon's Android Tablet Expected This Fall

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  • I have a kindle (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Saturday August 27, 2011 @11:50AM (#37227808)
    I have a kindle, and it's a fantastic device. I'm certainly not an "Amazon hipster" (I didn't even know there was such a thing) I don't buy anything from the amazon store, my kindle is rooted and I do with it as I please. It's best features are not found anywhere else: The screen is amazing and I charge it once a MONTH at most. I read every day and the kindle lets me blaze through books. I have it filled with automotive service manuals, emergency guides, maps, all of which combine make it perfect for emergencies in which the power could go out rendering all other devices useless.

    I'm sure there are people out there that buy them just so they can sit in starbucks and look cool, but that's not the magic of the device. If they can improve the screen by adding color and improved refresh rates, add more tablet features like improved web browsing, some more basic applications like a calendar, calculator, maybe even GPS, while keeping the battery life significantly longer than other devices, I think they'll destroy the tablet market. All this superfluous stuff people are doing with tablets right now, like games, videos, etc, are just driving the market in the wrong direction. High power use, low battery life... Phones already do all that, we don't need a big cellphone. We need a computerize book/map/encyclopedia/notebook. THAT is where tablets will win big in the long run and the only company doing that right now is Amazon.
  • Re:Kindle != Tablet (Score:4, Interesting)

    by itsdapead (734413) on Saturday August 27, 2011 @12:27PM (#37228050)

    The issue is that studies have shown that a tablet actually doesn't give you eye strain

    ...but the comparison isn't tablet vs. laptop, it is reflective e-ink vs. illuminated LCD.

    I have both a tablet and a Kindle: the tablet is better for reference books, because it has a larger screen, color, and the navigation/zooming/panning/following links is far better with a touchscreen and a rapidly updateable display.

    However, for sitting down and reading a novel, the kindle is far more restful: apart from any "eyestrain" issues, it has better visibility in sunlight (tablets aren't brilliant outdoors) is smaller, lighter and the battery lasts far longer than a tablet. You could add a touchscreen - but because e-ink is so slow to update you couldn't make it as tactile as iOS/Android.

    Tablets and readers aren't going to converge until there is a display that combines the clarity and power consumption of e-ink with the speed and colour reproduction of LCD (e.g. the electrowetting system that is in development). I haven't tried an OLPD-style hybrid display - if Amazon go for that they might have something.

  • Re:I have a kindle (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MacTO (1161105) on Saturday August 27, 2011 @12:46PM (#37228184)

    There are plenty of Kindle-like devices on the market. Sometimes the Kindle will offer things they don't (keyboard, 3G, etc.). Sometimes the competition will offer things Amazon doesn't (touch screen, SD slot, etc.).

    Here's the thing: I think Amazon wants to have a tablet to avoid becoming irrelevant in the ereader space because it is literally fighting a two front war: you have the special purpose, typically e-ink based, readers on one side; and you have the general purpose, large format, colour tablets on the other.

    Is it going to work for Amazon? I'm not a businessman so I don't know. But I do think that Amazon is going to be crushed in the tablet market and that they should be working on perfecting what they have (e.g. ePub support, functional PDF support, colour reflective displays, higher refresh rates on displays, etc.) to combat their ereader competition.

  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday August 27, 2011 @02:02PM (#37228614) Homepage

    The sub-$200 Linux netbook market seems to have completely disappeared, killed by Microsoft [zdnet.com]. There's some MeeGo crap, but that's tethered to an "app store", so it's like buying a subsidized phone. ("Creates a direct connection between your wallet and our bank account.")

    I do enough input that I want a keyboard. Tablets are for passive consumers; you know, TV watchers.

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