All the speculation surrounding Amazon’s Kindle tablet, of whether it actually exists or not can be put to rest. TechCrunch (TC) have managed to get an inside scoop on the gadget and even had a chance to play around with the tablet, which means it’s very real and will be shipping by the end of 2011. To start off with, it will simply be called the ‘Amazon Kindle’, but unlike their current offerings, this one sports a 7-inch capacitive, full colour display and will run Android. TC weren’t allowed to snap any pictures of the device, but they’ve done a good enough job in describing how it looks.
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It seems to have a very similar form-factor to BlackBerry’s PlayBook and the touchscreen will support two-finger, multi-touch gestures only, not ten. Hardware wise, the 7-inch tablet (which they pre-viewed) was powered by a single-core processor, but the 10-incher, which is slated to arrive sometime in early 2012 could have a dual-core. The screen is not an e-ink/colour hybrid like we hoped, instead it’s only back-lit. Unlike most Android tablets, the Kindle uses a completely customized skin with no trace of standard Android apps anywhere and this is because there is no Android Marketplace. Amazon will be using their own version of the App store for the Kindle. Their services are well integrated into the device, as well, so the book reader is the Kindle app, the music player is their Cloud Player and the movie player is Amazon’s Instant Video Player.
Despite the device being only a DVT (Design Verification Testing) unit, the interface is very smooth and slick. There aren’t any buttons on the tablet other than a power button at the back. Amazon will be launching a Wi-Fi only version at first with 3G versions to follow later. The 7-inch version should cost about $250, which makes it a direct competitor to the Nook Colour from Barnes and Noble.