kindle fire

Apple's iPad mini

Apple’s introduction of an iPad mini and the second update this year of the original iPad positions it perfectly to take on all-comers in the tablet wars for this holiday season.

Having handled the new mini at Apple’s launch event on Tuesday, I think it could be onto another winner, the only doubts being over whether consumers will think it too expensive for a 7in-category tablet or so cheap and adequate enough that they need not buy the pricier 9.7in iPad.

Apple must feel it has dealt with the cannibalisation issue by introducing a new version of the “new iPad” it unveiled in March, so that the larger model feels fresh and still appealing to consumers.

Improvements include an even faster chip – the A6X – said to deliver twice the performance of its predecessor, an improved FaceTime HD camera, the new Lightning connector, dual-band Wi-Fi and support for additional LTE carriers worldwide. Read more

Kindle Fire HD

4 stars
tablet, pfeatures

You know you are experiencing a different kind of tablet when, on turning it on, you are presented with a full-page advertisement for the latest DVD release. Swipe to the left on the Shop Now button to be taken straight to a purchase page, or swipe to the right to unlock the touchscreen and have a normal tablet experience – the choice is yours.

This is the tablet business model being pushed by Amazon on the new Kindle Fire HD – its tablets are subsidised by advertising and by driving sales on Consumers get a device at a bargain price, but are channelled into an experience based on consumption of Amazon content.

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Tech news from around the web:

Amazon is to release an over-the-air software update to its latest tablet computer, the Kindle Fire, The New York Times reports. News of the uprgade comes as complaints about the tablet’s features and usability are on the rise. Among the complaints, the NYT reports, are:

  • There is no external volume control.
  • The off switch is easy to hit by accident.
  • Web pages take a long time to load.
  • There is no privacy on the device.
  • The touch screen is frequently hesitant.

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Tech news from around the web:

Microsoft’s Xbox games console has taken a step towards coming a set-top box with its latest software upgrade, according to TechCrunch. The update makes it easier for the user to find pieces of content – from Microsoft’s own store or directly from the internet through YouTube – and control the Xbox remotely from a Windows mobile phone. Read more

No tablet maker has made much of a dent in the iPad’s share of the market, so why should we expect more from a couple of eReader makers looking to expand beyond books?

Price is the key reason. The Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet are more than 50 per cent cheaper than the cheapest iPad and could win a new audience looking for value and pure content consumption, if only in the US. I have had a limited time using both in their launch week and initial thoughts are after the jump. Read more

Barnes & Noble has unveiled its response to Amazon’s Kindle Fire in the shape of a lighter 7in tablet with more memory, longer battery life and what it claims is a superior display.

The Nook Tablet will be on shelves from next week in the US at $249, at the same time the $199 Fire launches. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Apple has said in a statement that it has found a few bugs that are affecting the battery life of its latest iPhone devices running iOS 5, AllThingsD reports. Apple has said it will issue a software update in a few weeks.

Amazon is launching a book lending service for Kindle and Kindle Fire owners who are also subscribers of Amazon Prime, ReadWriteWeb reports.  Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Research by Barclays has found that the Amazon’s Kindle E-readers will outsell the full-colour Kindle Fire in 2012, PaidContent reports. Barclays estimates that Amazon will sell 15.3m Kindle Fire tablets and 23.5m Kindle e-readers next year. Read more

amazon kindle fireAmazon entered the tablet battle this week, unveiling the Kindle Fire, a $199 tablet that will run on Google’s Android operating system.

While news of Amazon’s tablet was long-rumoured, the unexpected price point caused quite a stir with some commentators. Others saw the Fire as a game changing device for media consumption. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Amazon is to unveil its new tablet computer, to be called the Kindle Fire, on Wednesday morning in New York, according to TechCrunch. The computer, which will be sold along side the existing range of e-ink Kindles, will not be ready to ship until the second week of November, TechCrunch claims. Read more