Amazon plans tablet

Online book seller Amazon is thinking of building a conventional tablet, sparking fears it might abandon its e-ink Kindle for something that’s harder to read.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon plans to release two updated versions of its Kindle electronic reader in the third quarter of the year.

The Journal said the tablet from Amazon will have a roughly nine-inch screen and will be powered by Android.

While it will not have a camera, it will allow users to watch videos, read electronic books and listen to digital music they purchase or rent from Amazon. It will be made in Asia and Amazon will not be involved in the design.

One of the updated Kindles will be a touchscreen device while the other will not have a touchscreen. It is not clear if the tablet will use any e-ink functions, like the current Kindle.

There have been rumours that Amazon would release it own tablet, but those suggested it would be a really cool hybrid machine that used e-ink for books and a normal screen for multimedia and internet use. E-ink is much more useful if you want to read books because it appears like paper and uses a lot less energy.

The lack of a camera means that Amazon has decided that it is not getting into the conferencing game. About the only valid use of a tablet for a camera is as a communications tool. Amazon appears to have decided to focus on its entertainment capability.