The tablet market certainly heated up this last week, didn't it? Actually, it's become quite the interesting place over the last month or so. Ever since the Nexus 7 from Google found its way into customer's hands, the talk has changed (for the most part) about how Apple is completely running the market, to how maybe these other competitors now have a chance.
That statement becomes even more poignant with the recent announcement of the Kindle Fire HD from Amazon. The company showed that their endless endeavor to give people the ability to reach their content is still going strong, and now they even care a little bit more about the hardware that people have in their hands.
As a reminder, the larger of the new Kindle Fire HDs features an 8.9-inch laminated display, with a resolution set at 1920x1200. The body measures in at 8.8mm thin, and it features 16GB of built-in storage, along with a TI OMAP 4470 processor. There is also HDMI out, dual stereo speakers, and an "HD" front-facing camera.
If the specifications don't light fireworks in your head, remember that these tablets are built only to get you content. Sure, it'd be awesome to have a device with a ridiculous amount of features to deliver that content to us, but it looks like even Amazon isn't ready to go down that route quite yet.
But hey, the Kindle Fire HD has MIMO WiFi technology, so, that's something.
(I'm not going out of my way to reference the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD's hardware because it's not necessarily essential to the point of this article. But, yes, there's a 7-inch version of the Kindle Fire HD for those who want a smaller tablet.)
In any event, the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD will run you $299, which is a nice little price point between the smaller Nexus 7, and the larger new iPad. It's even cheaper than the iPad 2. So, Amazon made a statement, and it was one that's impossible to ignore.
Unless they hide it behind advertisements.
That's right. The Kindle Fire HD, both models, as well as the new Kindle Fire (a slightly updated version of the original tablet launched by the digital retailer), are basically your garden variety "with special offers" models previously seen in the original Kindle eReaders. If you aren't familiar with these devices, these are the cheaper versions of Amazon's mega-popular eReader devices because you get to look at advertisements on the device's display while you aren't reading. Basically, when the Kindle is asleep, there's an ad on the display.
It isn't in your face, and as soon as you wake up the device and start playing with it, the advertisements go away. You won't see them again until you put the device to sleep, and stop using it.
I own a Kindle 3G with Special Offers, and I can honestly say that it doesn't bother me in the slightest. I don't even notice the ads anymore. It isn't like the Kindle 3G's lock screen is going to blow me away with a range of colors, or animation. It's just there. Having an advertisement for something doesn't seem all that intrusive at all.
There are far less appealing ways to put advertisements on your mobile device.
Right after Amazon announced their new tablet devices, it became known that they'd have advertisements on their lock screen. And then, to everyone's surprise, Amazon confirmed that owners would be unable to "opt out" of the advertisements, so you'd just have to deal with them.
Except that didn't last long. Amazon took back their stance on advertisements on their new tablets, and will now let owners of the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD models pay $15 to get rid of the advertisements.
This may be a bit overkill, folks. And Amazon, you're charging people to opt-out? They're already buying your tablets. Come on now. But I think my primary question here is, to you the consumer: do you really hate advertisements that much? Again, these are just displayed on your lock screen. They aren't intruding into your reading experience, and the moment you start using your device passed the lock screen, you won't see them.
Why are we paying to get rid of a picture and some words removed from our lock screen? Seems strange.
But, as I said earlier I don't mind the advertisements on my Kindle 3G, so I guess if I were to pick up the Kindle Fire HD, or new Kindle Fire, I wouldn't even consider for a moment paying to get it removed.
Where do you stand on advertisements? Are you going to pick up one of the new tablets from Amazon? If so, do you plan on paying an extra $15 to get the ads removed from the lock screen? Or would you rather use that $15 to buy, I don't know, more content? Let me know, Dear Reader.