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Amazon Tablet Announcement (LIVE BLOG): Kindle Fire, Release Date, Price To Come?

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Good morning! We are here live at the Amazon Media Event, where CEO Jeff Bezos is widely expected to announce a new Amazon tablet called the Kindle Fire. For a roundup of rumors preceding today's announcement, head on over to Amazon rumor central here.

Follow all the action below. The press conference is scheduled to start at 10AM ET and is being held in New York City in Midtown West.

live blog

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Well, the images came out gigantic and I have no fast way to get them smaller. Will update with smaller images when I get back to the office. :(

(I would do a frowny face with a tear, but I've forgotten how. Getting old.)

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"Premium products at non-premium prices." That's the mantra.

Jeff Bezos has finished his presentation of the new Amazon Kindle Fire tablet and the new Amazon Kindle Touch models. I'm going to go play with them now, if you don't mind. Good chat.

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"Premium Products at Non-Premium Prices," Bezos says. The Kindle Fire will indeed be 9.

Ships November 15, but (surprise!) Bezos urges everyone to pre-order now to make sure they get one.

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Amazon Silk is a split browser that partially lives in Kindle Fire and partially on Amazon's huge servers. It is apparently a new approach to mobile browsing. It optimizes the power of Amazon's cloud computing center; it splits the work that your device must do between the heavy-duty stuff in the cloud and smaller requests on the device itself. This should make browsing on an Amazon tablet much faster, according to Bezos and Amazon engineers.

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That's Bezos' hand using the Kindle Fire tablet. 7-inch screen,a s said before.

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14.6 ounces, 7 inch multi touch display, Android app store, millions of books and songs, a Newsstand with all those magazines they announced yesterday, Free Amazon Cloud Storage. Syncing will be done wirelessly (Bezos shows the iPod/iPhone USB and says that it's stupid, basically). Whispersync, which syncs your content to your device, works with movies to sync to your wireless enabled TV.

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Picture says it all.

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Bezos pumps Amazon's MP3 store with 17 million songs; movie store with 100,000 movies and TV shows; an Android app store; Amazon Prime, with Free Two-Day Shipping and free movie streaming.

This is certainly the pre-pitch for having a tablet. Here we go.

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No touchscreen, but only costs . Available starting today.

"We're going to sell many millions of these," Bezos proclaims. Um, yes, I would agree with that statement.

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"We have another device we're releasing today," Bezos teases.

No annual contract, no data plan, no monthly fees, free 3G wireless. Sells for 9. Wow.

"This is the top of the line Kindle," Bezos announces. Looks exactly like the Touch but has free 3G connection on it.

Preorder for both starting today, ships November 21.

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"Let the fervor begin!" Bezos says. The tiny Kindle Touch will sell for .

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Kindle Touch is perfect for lefties, Bezos says, because of reworked pages.

Bezos introduces X-Ray feature, which shows common terms on the page, allows you to pull up Wiikipedia articles for proper nouns; doesn't need wireless to work. Kindle precalculates all of the interesting phrases in the book you've bought, so that when you download the book, you also download a side file with all of the additional information one would need to understand the historical and nonfiction context of the book.

Also has information about characters on the book--it's like a mini-SparksNotes within your book. Wish I was still in college.

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Bezos introduces the Kindle Touch, with infrared touch, means there's no extra layer on top of your electronic ink reading. It's smaller and lighter, Bezos says. The thing is TINY, fits in his hand easier, about the size of a 4 by 6 picture frame, I'd say. Shiny chrome finish.

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Jeff Bezos showing off huge quotes predicting the failure of Kindle when it came out four years ago. In your face, tech journalists!

The best: "The Kindle is going to fail. It is not the 'iPod of books.'"

No attribution to the quotes, but I bet someone in the seats is squirming right now.

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The lights went down, and we are currently watchng a movie about how great the Kindle is. And here's Jeff Bezos, as the lights come up.

Introductory statements:

"Four years ago, we set out to improve upon the book, and when you decide you're going to reinvent something that has been around for 5 centuries you are gonna rightly receive some skepticism."

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According to a story on Bloomberg, the Kindle Fire will cost 9. That's lower than previously reported by TechCrunch.

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We are live from the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet (probably) release announcement. There's about 100 or so journalists and television reporters here from all over, waiting in an inflatable tent on the west side of Manhattan. The man sitting behind me is speaking German, and boy, is he excited!

Minor glitch: There were protesters outside handing out fliers decrying Amazon's policy to not collect sales taxes. They represented small businesses who they say Amazon is screwing out of business.

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