Amazon’s Seven-Inch Tablet Called “Fire” Will Cost $199

Amazon is unveiling today a tablet, called the Fire, that may not have all the same features as an iPad but will start at a much lower price.

It will cost $199, compared to the iPad, which starts at $499.

Initially, it appears the Kindle Fire will be more of a color version of the Kindle e-reader than a true competitor to the iPad.

The device will have a seven-inch display (three inches shy of the iPad), and will run Google’s Android software, but it won’t have an embedded camera or microphone. Additionally, it will come with Wi-Fi, but not 3G. It will start shipping on Nov. 15.

All Things D’s Peter Kafka is in New York covering the proceedings via liveblog.

As rumored previously, the device will come with a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime, the Seattle company’s $79 annual membership, which includes free two-day shipping, but also some content, like streaming video.

One other major difference between the Kindle lineup and the iPad is Amazon’s Whispersync, which means all of the user’s data is stored in the cloud, allowing them to read books or watch videos on multiple devices without plugging in a cable and syncing.

Along with the new Kindle Fire, Amazon rolled out a whole new lineup of black-and-white e-readers at bargain basement prices.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus