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Amazon tablet coming next week?

Amazon is holding a press event next week. Could this be the Amazon tablet announcement we've been waiting for?

Well looky what we have here. Amazon has sent out invites to US press for an event next week. Could this be its long-awaited Amazon tablet?

"Please join us," the invite reads, "for an Amazon.com press conference." The date given is next Wednesday 28 September, at 10am EDT (3pm our time). So keep it locked to CNET UK next Wednesday for full coverage.

There are no other details, bar general admin of how to RSVP, so Amazon isn't giving out any info on what'll be announced. But you'd have to have had your head in the digital sand for the last few months to not expect Amazon's tablet to make an appearance.

Asked back in May whether the company was working on a tablet, Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos told Consumer Reports, "stay tuned". But it doesn't seem like it'll be killing off the Kindle anytime soon. "We will always be very mindful that we will want a dedicated reading device," Bezos said. "In terms of any other product introductions, I shouldn't answer."

Indeed, he said he didn't like the idea of one product replacing another. "I hate the term 'killer', as in one device killing another in the marketplace," he said.

A couple of weeks ago, TechCrunch said it'd had a hands-on with the tablet. It said it's called simply the Amazon Tablet, and is a 7-inch tablet headed for our shelves towards the end of November. It apparently looks like the BlackBerry PlayBook, with a rubbery texture on the back, no camera, no 3G and no buttons on the front, just a full-colour touchscreen.

It'll be an Android device (no surprise there, seeing as Amazon launched its own Android Appstore a while ago), and it'll be cheap -- around the same price as the Kindle 3G, if TechCrunch is correct.

Other reports say Amazon will launch two tablets, one budget model and one high end. 

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