Amazon Kindle Fire: Meet The New iPad Alternative

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Amazon today announced the new Kindle Fire which promises to go head to head with the market-dominating tablet, Apple's iPad.

The Amazon Kindle Fire weighs 14.6 ounces (413 grams), has a 7 inch multi-touch display and comes with an Android app store, millions of books and songs, a newsstand full of magazines and free Amazon cloud storage. The Kindle Fire is $199, will ship on November 15 and is available to pre-order now.

The Amazon Kindle Fire will sync wirelessly, as opposed to via USB. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos demonstrated the the iPod and iPhone's USB and said that connection was stupid. The sync system is called Whispersync and works with movies to sync to your wireless enabled TV.

The new Kindle Fire will operate the Amazon Silk split browser OS, which partially lives in Kindle Fire and partially on Amazon's cloud servers. This functionality promises to alleviate the load on the device and make browsing faster. Heavy-duty requests are handled by the cloud while smaller requests are handled by the device itself. See the video below for more information on how this works.

Amazon also announced three other Kindles today - the Kindle, Kindle Touch and Kindle 3G.

The basic model Kindle will have no touchscreen, but only costs $79. It is available starting today.

The new top-of-the-range Kindle 3G will have no annual contract, no data plan, no monthly fees, free 3G wireless and will sell for $149.

The smaller, lighter Kindle Touch will cost $99 and will have infrared touch. The latter two can be pre-ordered starting today, for November 21 shipping.

The Apple iPad retails from £399 to £659. Apple is expected to make an announcement of a new iPhone, but not a new iPad, on October 4.

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Filed by Melanie Hick