Amazon Kindle Fire: The $199 Tablet People Want?

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Amazon announced the Amazon Kindle Fire yesterday. It’s a new 7″ tablet priced at $199.99 USD. What’s impressive about this is the kind of power that’s packed in this low cost tablet; it’s essentially a stripped down Blackberry Playbook running on a highly modified version of Android Gingerbread.

  • Display: 7″ 1024 x 600 IPS
  • Weight: 413g
  • Processor: 1 GHz dual core Cortex A9
  • Memory: 512MB
  • Storage: 8GB (not expandable)
  • Networking: Wi-Fi

Early impressions of the device has been positive with some folks praising the device as a possible Android rival despite the fact that it’s powered by Android.

Who knew an online retailer would be such a huge player in the tablet market?

Well, the reality is that Amazon.com is more than an online retailer in the United States. They have an MP3 service, a cloud storage service, a movie streaming service and even a an web services. And don’t forget the Kindle brand which they’re leveraging to get into the tablet market.

Meanwhile in Canada, Amazon.ca is moving along slowly without the slightest hint of even offering any of the above.

Oh well.

The Amazon Kindle Fire launches November 15 and you can pre-order one at Amazon.com. No details on when Amazon.ca will get it.

Portal 2 (PS3) Arrived On Time

bestbuy-logoThe only time I actually pick up games in a retail store is after a GameStop PowerTrade promotion. Otherwise, I’m waiting patiently at home for my game to arrive via mail or download. Downloading from Steam is dependent on Valve’s servers and my ISP which means I can usually get an game within an hour or so.

By mail, I was waiting anywhere between a couple of days to a whole week before my game would get here. But thanks to FutureShop and BestBuy’s earlier shipping practices, I’ve been receiving games on day one. I received Portal 2 today and I also received Killzone 3 on its launch day.

This has been great.

These two electronic giants are doing right by their consumers with this.

Amazon.ca has been pretty consistent, but instead of getting my game on day one, I get a nice shipping notice saying that it was on its way. Today is Tuesday which means I should be expecting a package by Friday at the latest.

Dell.ca seems to be the most inconsistent. If it’s in stock, I get it the day after release. If it’s not in stock, it can be up to a week. And worse of all, they use Purolator which means I need to find an inconvenient Purolator station.

On a whole, games have been arriving in a timely fashion. I wish every retailer was shipping their merchandise out early, but I can’t complain if I’m not paying for shipping. I’d love to have Amazon Prime option here in Canada, but that’s probably not going to happen any time soon. We don’t even have all the different types of merchandise available in Amazon.com.

Baby steps, I guess.

Checkpoint: It Was Black Friday Canada Edition

black-friday-2010

This past Friday was the first real Canadian Black Friday.

Nearly every major retailer (on or offline) threw up a sale of some sort. I cobbled up as many deals as I could in a post, but I didn’t take advantage of a single one. I either already have the item that was on sale or I didn’t think the deal was good enough (Red Dead Redemption, I’m looking at you, Mr. $49.99.)

I did, however, take advantage of some computer part sales. I picked up the following from Memory Express:

  • OCZ Vertex 2 SATA II 2.5in Solid State Drive, 60GB for $109.99 ($40 off)  (excl. $20 MIR)
  • Antec True Power New 550W for $74.99 ($25 off)
  • Samsung SE-S084C 8x Slim External DVD-Writer, USB 2.0, White for $24.99 ($30 off)

Pretty awesome. I’d actually pick up another Vertex 2 SSD drive, but the MIR is limited to 1 per household. Oh well, I’ll wait for Boxing Day.

I was hoping to run into some Blu-ray movie sales, but no luck.

I was most surprised by GameStop’s showing. They had some real deals. They also had some real iffy “deals” as well, but they were actually throwing out legitimate deals like the Fallout: New Vegas for $40 and Tekken 6 for $10.

The most disappointing retailer, for me, was Amazon.ca. They had solid deals like Borderlands: GOTY for $40 and Mafia II for $30 on PC, but the quantity was lackluster compared to their American counterpart. Hopefully, they’ll make up for it with Boxing Day.

Overall, it was an okay Black Friday. It reminded me of Boxing Day, but without significant deals on computers or home audio.

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