How the Kindle Fire Works

The Amazon Kindle Fire is an Android-based tablet.
Courtesy Inc.

Amazon is a company with a history of taking on challenges and coming out on top. It first launched in 1995, when business on the Web was still in its infancy. It weathered the storms of the bursting dot-com bubble and stayed afloat. What began as a company that sold books is now a massive corporation offering everything from computer hardware to socks. But even as the company evolves, it celebrates its literary roots.

In 2007, Amazon introduced the Kindle e-reader. Like other e-readers on the market, the Kindle used electronic ink from a company named eInk to display text and images. Because the device only consumed power when connected to a network or when it had to display a change in pages, its battery could last for more than a week without needing a recharge. Storage space on the device was ample enough to let a user carry thousands of books around. And Amazon's digital book library included an impressive number of titles.

Not content to rest on the success of the Kindle, Amazon introduced a new device in September 2011 called the Kindle Fire. Unlike the original Kindle line of products, the Fire doesn't use eInk. It's a tablet device with an LCD display and the ability to run apps, browse the Web and play video and music. Oh, and you can still use it to read electronic books too.