Amazon announces Kindle Fire tablet, new Kindle Touch, cheaper Kindle

We all suspected – knew, even – that Amazon would be announcing a new Kindle today at their event, but boy did they have a few surprises up their sleeves, namely the Kindle Fire.

The Kindle Fire is a tablet that is more or less the answer to Apple’s iPad. It’s a little smaller than its competition, boasting a 7-inch display, a lightweight body, and, according to a report by Bloomberg, the Kindle Fire runs off of Google’s Android OS.

It’s described as being essentially a “souped-up” version of the Kindle, but that’s probably not what will catch people’s eyes – what will be catching people’s collective eyes is the relatively cheap $199 price tag, which is considerably cheaper than the $499 asking price for the iPad 2.

For Amazon’s next product reveal, they announced an updated version of the Kindle Touch, which will retail for an equally absurd $99. If you insist on having 3G functionality with your Kindle Touch, you’ll have to fork over $149.

Perhaps the most surprising announcement to come out of the event is the new Kindle. It’s more or less the upgrade you’d expect, being lighter and sleeker and having an overall improved design, but that’s not even the exciting part; Amazon announced that the new Kindle will retail for just $79, making it by and far the most affordable Kindle so far.

The Kindle Fire will start shipping out on November 15, followed by a November 21 date for both Kindle Touch models. The new barebones, affordable Kindle, on the other hand, starts shipping today.

via Bloomberg