Ever since the iPad came out, rumours have been speculating about an Amazon-powered Android tablet, leveraging Amazon’s entertainment content network and cloud powered solutions. Well, overnight, Amazon kindled a fire that has finally delivered some competition to Apple’s iPad.

The Kindle Fire is a 7-inch Android powered tablet. But where it stands head and shoulders above other Android tablets in in two ways – firstly, the $US199 price point, which is less than half that of many entry level Android tablets and cheap enough for people to buy almost on impulse. The second strength of the Fire is the fact that it doesn’t look anything like Android – despite being powered by Google’s operating system, Amazon has completely reinvented the user interface to put a real emphasis on the content on the device.

Rather than offering a lot of local storage, Amazon has focussed on the cloud-based nature of its services, offering the ability to stream content. the on board storage works more like a cache than actual storage – given the Fire doesn’t include 3G, it will be interesting to see just how well that solution works.

The downside with the whole scenario is that currently, the Kindle Fire is a US-only product. And until Amazon locks in licensing deals for its music and movie services around the globe, that’s probably unlikely to change in the near future. Fingers crossed though…

Price: $US199
Web: www.amazon.com