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Definition: Fire tablet

An Android tablet from Amazon.com that includes a built-in portal to Amazon's vast collection of music, videos, e-books and merchandise. Debuting as the Kindle Fire tablet in 2011 with a 7" screen, its $199 price was considerably less costly than other tablets at the time. The Fire uses Amazon's Fire OS and Silk Web browser, the latter sharing processing with the server for faster page retrieval. See Android and AOSP.

Fire users download their apps from the Amazon Appstore, and software publishers distribute their apps to Amazon separate and apart from Google Play, Google's online store. However, there are instructions on the Web that Fire users can follow to install the Google Play app on late model Fire tablets, which opens up a larger selection of Android software.

Fire HD and HDX
In 2012, the wider, lighter and thinner Fire HD increased screen resolution from 1024x600 to 1280x800 pixels. The Fire HD is faster and has dual speakers rather than one. In 2013, the Fire HDX increased battery life and resolution to 1920x1200 pixels, boosting the pixel density from 216 to 323 ppi.

Fire Tablet vs. Kindle E-Book Reader
Like all tablets, the Fire's battery life is measured in hours, whereas battery life on the Kindle e-book readers is measured in days and weeks due to its monochrome E Ink screen. In addition, the Kindle reader can be viewed in direct sunlight. However, the Fire's color images make it an excellent e-reader for young children, and as long as battery and glare are not issues, the Fire is an all-in-one tablet, e-reader and Amazon shopping portal. See Kindle and Fire TV.

The Fire Tablet
The Fire is a unique Android tablet, because it offers the user a quick way to choose from the vast array of media and products from Amazon.com. (Image courtesy of Amazon.com.)