Seattle-based Amazon.com has announced the Kindle Fire, a seven-inch tablet that will sell for just $199 US.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the device at an event in New York on Wednesday, and said it would be available in the U.S. only starting Nov. 15.
However, Amazon is promising perks such as free cloud storage for Amazon content such as ebooks and music.
"That model that you have to back up your own content is a broken model. We want to take responsibility for that," Bezos said at the announcement in an apparent dig at Apple.
Amazon says the device weighs 413 grams and has a battery life of eight hours for continuous reading or 7.5 hours for continuous video play when the wireless connectivity is off.
The company also touted the device's Silk browser, which draws part of its computing power and speed from Amazon's servers instead of relying entirely on the Kindle Fire's dual-core processor, allowing for faster web browsing.
The Kindle Fire is significantly different from all previous Kindle models, which have black-and-white screens and functionality limited mainly to reading books and other documents.
In addition to the colour-screen Kindle Fire, Bezos also announced three new Kindle, black-and-white e-readers:
- The newest version of the regular Kindle, which is 30 per cent lighter and 18 per cent smaller than the previous version. It will sell for $79 US in the U.S. and $139 in Canada.
- The Kindle Touch, a touch-screen version that will sell for $99 US.
- The Kindle Touch 3G, which can make use of 3G cellular networks. The cost of the connection is covered by Amazon, and the device sells for $149 US.
The Kindle Touch, Kindle Touch 3G and Kindle Fire are not available outside the U.S.