It's widely expected that tomorrow in New York, Amazon will unveil its much-anticipated tablet, the device many headline writers promise will at least maim the iPad, if not commit a full-blown 187 on its ass. So why does it feel like the year the Sega Genesis came out and I got a clearance-shelf Sega Master system for Christmas?
Probably because the tablet that we'll reportedly see Jeff Bezos introduce this week--the Kindle Fire, a 7-inch, backlit tablet modeled after RIM's PlayBook with Wi-Fi only and no camera--is not the coolest tablet Amazon has been working on.
Since the spring, we've heard rumors, tips from anonymous sources, and analysts all describing Amazon's work on two tablets--a 7-incher and a 10-inch version that could feature all sorts of goodies, including free 3G, free Amazon Prime, and a dual-mode option that makes it possible to flip between a backlight and e-ink.
But for the past month, it seems that Amazon has decided to turn its attention to getting out only the smaller tablet for the holiday shopping season. Unfortunately, the tablet/e-reader/whatever that will be introduced tomorrow will likely be the one we've known all summer by its code name, "Coyote"--a scavenging canine that feeds on nature's scraps in its most harsh environments--and not the larger one with all the sweet goodies code-named "Hollywood"--the center of all that is decadent and glamorous in our universe.… Read more