It's been a long time coming, but this week finally sees the release of the Amazon Kindle Fire in the UK and selected markets across Europe. With prices starting at just £129 for the cheapest version, there is huge potential for Amazon to capture the casual tablet buyer market. 7-inch tablets are great for consuming media, no doubts. The Google Nexus 7 could be seen as a direct competitor, but there are differences, and there are areas where Amazon has a slight leg up on Google. And, it's all to do with content.
In the US, Nexus 7 owners can watch movies and TV shows, read magazines and books, and buy music. In the UK, we're limited to just the movies and books offerings, which to this day still disappoints. Yes, there's nasty licensing issues to deal with, but Amazon has done just that. We've had the MP3 store for a few years now, along with the Kindle offerings. In recent weeks though, Amazon has opened up the Appstore, Cloud Drive and Cloud Player, and has revealed how their LOVEFiLM rental service will be baked into the Kindle Fire to provide the video content.
So, is this the content consumers tablet of dreams? Maybe, it's had success in the United States, and Amazon is a well known, well trusted brand on these shores. But, just how good is the content that Amazon is offering up to UK customers? Lots of things look good on paper and then fail to stack up in reality.
The good news for you guys out there is that we've got one. A UK Kindle Fire landed on our doorstep, so we've opened it up and taken a very quick first look. We've got the standard Kindle Fire, the 8GB, £129 version, and first impressions are pretty positive. The hardware is nice -- if a little chunky -- and while frustrating at times, the Amazon software is nice to look at and easy to navigate.
But, that's enough talk. Click on past the break for a quick video walkthrough. Be sure to stick around in the coming days too, as we get to know this little guy some more.