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Review: Amazon's Kindle Fire isn't really a tablet

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Hardware

The seven-inch Kindle Fire is less a tablet in the mode of Apple's iPad or Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1, and more a touch-screen portal to Amazon's online storefront, with its massive collections of streaming video, music and e-books. It also plays any music uploaded through Amazon's Cloud Drive.

To be fair, Amazon hasn't positioned the Kindle Fire as anything more or less. "What we really built is a fully integrated media service,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told Wired Nov. 13. "Hardware is a crucial ingredient in the service, but it's only a piece of it."

The Kindle Fire, which retails for $199, began shipping to customers Nov. 14. The Wi-Fi-only device's tight integration with Amazon's services doesn't stop at video, music or e-texts; it also connects with Amazon's branded Appstore for Android, and leverages a purpose-built Amazon Silk browser that leverages the retailer's cloud architecture to speed web page rendering.

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