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Amazon's Kindle Fire looks to rival Apple's iPad at half the price

November 14, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
No company has been able to compete in the tablet market with Apple's iPad until now.

Amazon is out with a new device that it hopes will become a hit this holiday shopping season. It's called the Kindle Fire and the company is optimistic its new tablet will be as successful as the Kindle e-reader.

It has many of the features in the iPad, but costs significantly less. At $199, it's less than half the price of the iPad 2, which starts at $499.

Consumer Reports tested out the new Fire to see how it performs. It downloaded and streamed movies, as well as uploaded music and used apps, and found that all of it worked well.

Testers said the display looks quite good, though it does have more trouble with glare in bright light than some other tablets.

The screen is very responsive. However, it did sometimes mistake a touch for a move, which may take a little getting used to.

"The Kindle Fire doesn't offer quite as much as an iPad, but it looks like a fine performer, and at $200, it costs a lot less than the $500 and up you'll pay for an iPad," said Paul Reynolds of Consumer Reports.

Among the features of the Kindle Fire is a color touch screen, a dual-core processor for faster Web browsing or streaming videos and music. The Kindle store offers more than 1 million books.

You can email documents, including Word and PDD files, directly to your Kindle.

It also has free cloud storage for its digital content.

The Fire also has a built-in email app for accessing Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail and AOL, into a single inbox.

But Consumer Reports says the Fire does have limitations: there's no camera, it has less storage than an iPad and at 7 inches, it's much smaller, though that does make it easier to carry around.


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