Thursday, 6 September 2012

AMAZON REKINDLES THE FIRE























AMAZON GRACE
SEPT 6: AMAZON REKINDLES THE FIRE
Wow! It’s one tech release after the other! Yesterday we had Motorola introducing the Droid Family! Nokia showed off their Lumia Windows 8 phones… Now it’s Nook’s and Amazon’s turn!

 Amazon showed off their new Android (behind the scenes) tablets and a new eBook reader, ‘Paper White’!

Let’s take a quick look at the Paper White, 25% more contrast from last year's Kindle Touch, with a 212 PPI display and 62% more pixels. It's 9.1mm thin and 7.5 ounces, with 8-weeks of battery life with the light. I'll have to take a look at the light technology a bit closer to see how much of a difference it makes, especially compared to the Nook Glow.

And when's it available? Now! It costs $119; a pretty decent price for the Wi-Fi version. The 3G model is $179, and starts shipping come October 1. And the standard Kindle (that is, no touch), is slightly upgraded as well. And it's now called the $69 Kindle, and ships on the 14th. It does not use the Paper White technology.

The 7" 16GB model, the base version (which is HD) is still $200, just like last year's model, and ships on September 14th. The 8.9" model is $300 for the same 16 GB and ships November 20th. The Kindle Fire HD with LTE will ship for $500, utilizing all ten bands on two separate antennas for the 32 GB unit. It looks like that's stuck on AT&T LTE, based solely on the logo. That's $50 / year for 250 MB / month, 20 GB of cloud storage, plus a huge $10 credit on the Amazon App Store. That ships on November 20, for order today.

Considering other data models, that is remarkably good. It competes directly with the iPad in terms of size, shape, and price, with way more options.

Interesting stuff!




















THE COMPETITION
The tablets have been aimed squarely at the Google Nexus 7 and could pose a serious threat to their continuing success. However, another Nexus 7 tablet is expected with 3G and I am predicting a little boost in the hardware i.e. an SD card slot and HDMI socket!

I would imagine also that Amazon is aiming at the iPad and the much talked about, iPad Mini! In the wings there are more tablets to come…

HTC is said to be finalizing their Flyer II and I would imagine there will be many cheap tablets coming from China to enter the marketplace!

Oddly, Motorola are sitting quiet… I am sure there’s a Xoom III in the works!

It’ll be interesting to see where the Galaxy Note 10.1 fits into the scheme! The way I see it the Galaxy Note 10.1 looks like it is carving out a niche for itself in that it is posing at a business / educational and design tool as opposed to the all encompassing tablet that is the iPad. The Galaxy Note 10.1 UK ads steers quite clear of entertainment consumption and could very well be the tablet to buy if one doesn’t want to buy into Apple.

Asus have done a lot by the way of Android tablets. I think their problem, as it is with all high-end Android tablet manufacturers, is the availability of decent apps (this is starting to change now), the Android operating system – Honeycomb didn’t quite set the tablet world alight! Ice Cream Sandwich was a step in the right direction and now Jelly Bean looks be just right to deliver a solid tablet performance! Google have been working hard! The other thing is the hardware! The iPad has excellent hardware which is hard to beat while keeping the costs down! Android is still the new kid on the block and therefore stand a chance of being superseded by a range of Windows 8 tablets coming up…

Samsung has unveiled their ATIV Windows 8 tablets and they really look the business! Consumers stand to gain from using familiar Windows software applications. Lenovo has released their Think Pad 2 tablet and Dell has their XPS 10 tablet.

As you well know, Microsoft has entered the fray with their Surface tablet! It would be an understatement to say that this has been the year of tablets!

However, it’s still early days and it’s still anyone’s game. I do think that Apple are going to shoot themselves in the foot with the iPad Mini; I predict that the iPad Mini (if it is going to be released and it’s not a
rumour) will cause even the dedicated Apple followers to pick up the cheaper Mini thus leaving the 10” iPad out in the cold! In fact the Mini could kill off the 10” iPad on a large scale!


TO RECAP:
I think the tablet strength lie in the intended use.

7” Android tablets are great for consuming media; social networking and web surfing. You can get some work functionality via Microsoft compatible apps.

High-end Android tablets boast good hardware but cost-wise aren’t as lucrative! Needs more outstanding applications! Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is pioneering productivity with their own set of apps!

iPad are great for all-round productivity and entertainment, but it comes at a hefty price and it may prove to be too much to keep up with! It’s not quite a disposable razor!

Windows tablets could prove to usurp Apple if consumers can seamlessly switch between their desktop and tablet.

What tablet are you going to go for?

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