Engadget has video of a demo and a short hands-on with the Silk browser, which is worth a look if you’re interested in the Fire.
One of the interesting points about the Fire is that Prime members ($79/year) have access to a huge library of streaming video on the device. I have to believe that will cut into Netflix streaming video sales — why have both? Amazon also lets you rent video, so if you want to watch a popular new release like Bridesmaids, for example, you can do it for $3.99. Netflix won’t have Bridesmaids for a month, and instead of watching it instantly, you have to wait for a DVD to arrive in the mail. Since the Fire remembers your place in a video, you can watch on the tablet for a while, then switch to an Amazon-enabled TV (using a Roku or a Tivo) and pick up where you left off.
As for the Silk browser, that technology isn’t new, but it is effective. Opera Mobile, which was designed to run on crappy mobile phones, has been compressing web pages on a central server and sending them down the pipe for years. In addition to compensating for a slow processor in the Fire, Silk technology should make web pages run faster on slow Internet connections.
I assume the Fire, which has an OK but not great processor, and less RAM than cutting-edge Android phones, will have trouble running some apps from the Android store, and will get bogged down and laggy if a lot of apps are running in the background. The other issue with Android devices is battery life, which seems to have been getting worse on phones, not better. If the Fire can run an app or two, and if the battery lasts for more than a couple of hours, it will be a very compelling device.