Amazon Kindle Fire: Official with $199 price tag

Amazon has done what we all knew it would do: officially unveiling its first foray into the tablet world with the 7-inch Amazon Kindle Fire.

And for once, the rumour mill seems to have got it spot on with regards to the cheap price tag. But just how cheap has shocked many - the tab will land for just $199 in the States.

For that, you'll be getting a 7-inch, 1024x600, IPS Gorilla Glass display and a 1GHz TI OMAP dual-core processor - all in a teeny chassis measuring just 190 x 120 x 11.4mm and weighing 413g. There's 8GB of storage for your digital content on board.

And it's content that will be king on the Fire. There's access to 100,000 movies and TV shows, 17 million songs, the Amazon Android App store and, of course, Kindle books - all with Whispersync built in.

And, just as we reported on Monday, the Amazon Kindle Fire has Amazon Cloud Drive on board. This means free storage in the cloud and the ability to delete and reinstate content as you see fit.

The UI on board looks nothing like Android, as was also predicted, and the tablet sees the introduction of Amazon Silk - a "Dynamic Split Browser" that means that your hardware isn't doing all of the work, with much of it done in the cloud.

"Amazon Silk is different in a radical new way," states the retail giant. "When you use Silk, without thinking about it or doing anything explicit, you’re calling on the computing speed and power of the Amazon Web Services cloud (AWS).

"We've refactored and rebuilt the browser software stack to push pieces of the computation into the AWS cloud. This lets Silk do more work, more quickly, and all at once.

"Silk browser software resides both on Kindle Fire and on the massive server fleet that comprises the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). With each page request, Silk dynamically determines a division of labor between the mobile hardware and Amazon EC2 (i.e. which browser sub-components run where) that takes into consideration factors like network conditions, page complexity and the location of any cached content."

Battery life is up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, with wireless switched off. A full charge will take 4 hours. Wireless means Wi-Fi, of course, with 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n and 802.1X all supported.

No word on a UK release as of yet, we'll keep you posted. And yes - it does look a lot like the BlackBerry PlayBook.