TechCrunch has some breaking news concerning Amazon’s upcoming tablet. And before you say anything – yes it is real, at least according to MG Siegler’s report. He managed to get his hands on a Design Verification Testing version of the tablet, and according to him, it’s going to be a tablet that will be “on many people’s holiday wish-list this year”. A pretty bold statement, but that’s up for you to decide whether it’s true or not.
According to Siegler who played around with the Amazon tablet for about an hour, it’s going to look like the BlackBerry PlayBook in terms of form factor. It will pack a capacitive 7” display and will run a specially customized version of Android. The operating system is said to look nothing like the Android we’re all so used to seeing. It features Amazon and Kindle colors, so expect black, dark blue and orange.
The main screen is said to resemble Cover Flow in iTunes, which shows all your content on the tablet (your books, apps, movies, music etc). There is also a dock at the bottom of the screen for you to pin your favorite items. It will also feature a notification tray that keeps you updated with your Kindle notifications and will have “YOUR NAME’s Kindle” on it. The tablet will have no physical buttons, with the navigation menu brought up by tapping the screen once.
The tablet will also feature no Google apps. There is no Android Market, instead you’ll have the Amazon Appstore. For reading books, there’s the Kindle app (which looks like the current iOS/Android Kindle app), Amazon Cloud Player for music and Amazon’s Instant Video Player for movies. Even the web browser has been replaced by Amazon’s own offering that looks like the default browser, but has features such as tabbed browsing.
Few details were given for the tablet’s hardware, but it’s said to be running on a single-core processor, though the rumored 10” tablet will have a dual-core processor on board. The tablet should have a battery life of around 10 hours, and it’s said to have only 6GB of internal storage. While there are references to an SD card slot, Siegler couldn’t find it anywhere on the tablet. The Amazon tablet won’t have a camera either.
When it goes on sale later this year, the tablet will be WiFi-only, though Amazon is rumored to be negotiating deals with carriers to turn it into a 3G device. It will co-exist with Amazon’s current Kindle eReaders, and is priced to compete with Barnes & Noble’s NOOK color Android tablet at $250. Folks who pick up the tablet will also be treated to a free subscription of Amazon Prime. Siegler speculates that there will be more Kindle-related perks arriving with the tablet as well.
Sounds like Amazon has a worthy contender in the low-end Android tablet market, but we’ll have to see how it does when it is finally released. The tablet is also rumored for an October release, so an official announcement shouldn’t be too far away. Now that you’ve read an extensive preview of the Amazon tablet, what do you think?