By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Amazon raised the stakes in the high tech wars today when it introduced a new tablet computer—giving Apple some serious competition. It’s called the Kindle Fire, and 3 On Your Side’s Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan shared more info on the device and reactions from the tech world.

Amazon certainly took a page from Apple’s book for this announcement. It kept the details secret, and let the hype build. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos introduced the Kindle Fire as a hot new contender in the tablet wars.

“It’s light, easy to hold in one hand, 14.6 ounces,” Bezos said.

The tablet comes with a 7-inch color display, has a touch screen and operates on Google’s Android software. It gives users direct access to Amazon’s huge collection of books, videos and music, as well as to games and apps.

But the biggest draw may be the price. At $190, that’s less than half the cost of Apple’s iPad, which starts at $499.

“This is an extremely aggressive price, and it’s going to be difficult for other manufacturers to compete with it,” says Paul Reynolds of Consumer Reports.

The big question now is whether the Kindle Fire will be the first real challenge to the iPad. Other contenders from Hewlett Packard to Research in Motion have fallen short, and Apple sold over 9-million iPads in the last quarter alone.

Bridget Carey, Senior Editor at CNET says, “They’re really going to be a strong competitor to the iPad because of how much media Amazon has in eco-system.”

The Kindle Fire goes on sale just in time for the holiday rush. Amazon is taking pre-orders now, but won’t start shipping until November 15th.

Recently, Amazon also announced upgraded versions of its popular e-reader. A touch screen Kindle starts at $99 dollars, while the basic version drops to $79.

For more information on the Kindle Fire, click here.

Reported by Jim Donovan, CBS3

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