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Amazon: Yes, We Know You'll Root Our Tablet

By - Source: PC Magazine | B 22 comments

Amazon expects users to root the Kindle Fire tablet, and has no plans to stop them either.

Amazon's no dummy: it knows that many consumers plan to get rid of the custom interface installed on the upcoming Kindle Fire tablet. In fact, the company isn't going to do anything special in regards to preventing customers from rooting the tablet and installing Google's full-blown Android or another OS. Amazon won't exactly endorse the process, but it won't attempt to prevent users from doing so either.

"It's going to get rooted, and what you do after you root it is up to you," said Jon Jenkins, director of Amazon's Silk browser project. Jenkins indicated that he wasn't sure if the bootloader was locked or not, but given that the tablet sports a USB port and a mass storage mode, anyone can side-load Android APK program files without having to root it.

Amazon likely believes that it's a losing battle fighting "rooters" given that Barnes & Noble's NOOK Color and HP's webOS-based TouchPad have been rooted and reinvigorated with Google's preferred Android OS. Despite the OS modifications, the Kindle Fire's underlying platform is Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" which isn't exactly tablet oriented. The actual hardware specs indicate that it may have enough juice to power Android 3.x "Honeycomb" -- specs that includes a 1 GHz TI OMAP dual-core SoC, 512 MB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage.

By comparison, the NOOK Color's underlying OS is Android 2.2 "Froyo," yet it turned out to be a decent rooted tablet for the money much like Amazon's Kindle Fire will. That said, here's a brief comparison between the Amazon and Barnes & Noble tablets:

Screen size
NOOK Color - 7-inch IPS panel, VividView Color Touchscreen (1024 x 600)
Kindle Fire - 7-inch IPS panel, Gorilla Glass coating (1024 x 600)

Processor
NOOK Color - 800 Mhz TI OMAP 3621 single-core SoC
Kindle Fire - 1 GHz TI OMAP dual-core SoC

GPU
NOOK Color - POWERVR SGX530
Kindle Fire - unknown

RAM
NOOK Color - 512 MB
Kindle Fire - 512 MB

Storage
NOOK Color - 8 GB
Kindle Fire - 8 GB

Weight
NOOK Color - 15.8 ounces
Kindle Fire - 14.6 ounces

OS
NOOK Color - Android 2.2 "Froyo"
Kindle Fire - Android 2.3 "Gingerbread"

USB Port
NOOK Color - Yes
Kindle Fire - Yes

SD Card Slot
NOOK Color - Yes
Kindle Fire - No

Battery time:
NOOK Color - Up to 8 hours
Kindle Fire - Up to 8 hours

Wi-Fi connectivity:
NOOK Color - 802.11b/g/n with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security
Kindle Fire - 802.11b/g/n, or 802.1X standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security

Yep. looks like Amazon is launching a NOOK Color clone, only it's using the BlackBerry PlayBook skeleton.

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Top Comments
  • 29 Hide
    aftcomet , September 30, 2011 3:04 AM
    This is excellent. I wish more companies were like this, where it isn't encouraged, but they turn their head when it does happen.
  • 14 Hide
    therabiddeer , September 30, 2011 4:25 AM
    Why are all of these mobile devices sticking with 512MB RAM? With how cheap it is, why have they not increased this? More memory should have come before dual core or more, how do you expect to multitask if you are constantly low/out of memory?
  • 11 Hide
    Anonymous , September 30, 2011 9:06 AM
    @FatAlbert
    "About 2gb will be taken by the Android operating system"

    That line alone says you have no idea what you're talking about.
Other Comments
    Display all 22 comments.
  • 29 Hide
    aftcomet , September 30, 2011 3:04 AM
    This is excellent. I wish more companies were like this, where it isn't encouraged, but they turn their head when it does happen.
  • -3 Hide
    antilycus , September 30, 2011 3:55 AM
    Where does my NC have a usb port? Just to charge if that's what you mean (or hook it to O.S. as a filesystem)
  • 10 Hide
    eklipz330 , September 30, 2011 4:22 AM
    aftcometThis is excellent. I wish more companies were like this, where it isn't encouraged, but they turn their head when it does happen.

    *stares at sony*

    seriously, if my hp touchpad doesn't come in, i think ill throw in my cash for some amazon love. subscribe and save baby!
  • 14 Hide
    therabiddeer , September 30, 2011 4:25 AM
    Why are all of these mobile devices sticking with 512MB RAM? With how cheap it is, why have they not increased this? More memory should have come before dual core or more, how do you expect to multitask if you are constantly low/out of memory?
  • -3 Hide
    doorspawn , September 30, 2011 4:47 AM
    Congratulations for being miles better than the rest WRT 3rd party OSes (3POs).

    But why not go that insy little bit further and actually be perfect (WRT 3POs) - be like a PC, laptop, etc: Claim that 3POs are totally acceptable and advertise this as a feature, perhaps even offer support (although obviously not for the chosen 3PO unless you want to).
  • 0 Hide
    AidanJC , September 30, 2011 8:48 AM
    Root means something a little different where i come from =\
  • 11 Hide
    Anonymous , September 30, 2011 9:06 AM
    @FatAlbert
    "About 2gb will be taken by the Android operating system"

    That line alone says you have no idea what you're talking about.
  • 2 Hide
    whooleo , September 30, 2011 10:28 AM
    It's GPU is a PowerVR SGX540
  • 7 Hide
    eddieroolz , September 30, 2011 10:57 AM
    That's a refreshing change for once. Only if more companies would adopt this kind of an attitude.
  • 0 Hide
    law shay , September 30, 2011 11:31 AM
    My Galaxy SPICA has only 200MB Storage. If, according to @FatAlbert, Android needs 2GB, what OS is it running ?

    In fact, Android needs only a couple MBs. If I am not wrong, it is only around 50MB.
  • 0 Hide
    jecastej , September 30, 2011 1:50 PM
    This is not Amazon main business but an opportunity for both sides and why they provide you with such a benefit. But is not realistic to think many companies will begin to give you hardware almost at production cost and let you do anything with it.

    All in all this is how it is and I think Amazon is very smart doing such an aggressive move. I also find the K-Fire very appealing and I think this is going to produce a turning point in the entire tablet market where other players will need to redefine their business in the same size and price segment.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 30, 2011 3:35 PM
    Are they serious with this title? I'm from Australia and I'm absolutely horrified at the thought of rooting a tablet.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 30, 2011 4:17 PM
    My rooted (honeycomb) Nook Color is OK.... but dual-core does sound much better..
  • 2 Hide
    misry , September 30, 2011 5:03 PM
    eklipz330*stares at sony*seriously, if my hp touchpad doesn't come in, i think ill throw in my cash for some amazon love. subscribe and save baby!


    Connect the cable you use to charge to a pc. It should recognize it as a storage device. If you need more Google is your friend.
  • 0 Hide
    aritai , September 30, 2011 7:28 PM

    re: a rooted fire.

    Does this mean we'll all have access to the certificates required to get free use of at&t wifi hotspots RSN?

  • 0 Hide
    aaron88_7 , September 30, 2011 8:43 PM
    For $200 that's a great deal, even better that Amazon isn't going to do anything stupid to keep people from rooting it. I'd still prefer a larger screen though and I think I'll hold out for the Asus Transformer 2, but these are priced well so I'm sure they'll be very popular.
  • -4 Hide
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  • 0 Hide
    timeraner , October 3, 2011 7:25 PM
    DZ621Are they serious with this title? I'm from Australia and I'm absolutely horrified at the thought of rooting a tablet.

    AidanJCRoot means something a little different where i come from =\


    "Root" does not mean intercourse :p 
  • 0 Hide
    Anomalyx , December 12, 2011 9:17 PM
    I see no reason why manufacturers should discourage rooting. When you buy a Windows PC from HP, do they try to lock it down so you can't install Linux? No. You buy the hardware, and can put whatever software you want on it. Why should tablets be any different?
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