Amazon is Firing with all barrels today. The online giant is going after the low end of the tablet market with the new Fire, a 7" device with a mere $50 sticker price. That puts it dangerously close to "impulse buy" territory.
The cheap'n'cheerful tablet's IPS screen is a 7" 1024x600 panel with an effective resolution of 171 ppi. A quad-core CPU clocked at 1.3 GHz powers the device, along with 1GB of RAM. Although the Fire is only available with 8GB of storage, users can add their own microSD cards to expand available space by up to 128GB. As with the company's other devices, this one runs Fire OS.
A two-megapixel camera graces the tablet's back, while a VGA snapper sits at the front—potentially bad enough to make profile photos actually look like the real thing. The Fire weighs in at 11 oz (313 g) and is 11 mm thick. That's not exactly Kate Moss territory, but you can't really ask for a lot given the money in question. Amazon says the Fire's battery is good for seven hours of mixed usage.
The Fire will arrive on September 30. Much like the Model T, it's available in any color as long as it's black. The tablet comes with "sponsored screensavers" by default, which can be disabled for $15. Amazon will also sell the Fire as a six-pack for $250, bringing the per-tablet price to $42.