Instead of aluminium, they went with something like I'd hope Apple would go for: a strong, but lighter substance. I think carbon fibre would be great.
Amazon uses: "created a unique magnesium unibody from a single piece of machined magnesium and a blend of glass and nylon—the same material used in high-performance race cars."
Now, if it weren't for the damnable bugginess that Android always gives me, and the fact that the Kindle Fire is severely hobbled as a tablet to serve mainly as a shopping device for Amazon, I'd consider it a very strong competition for the iPad.
But heck, here in the UK I can't even buy videos from Amazon on the KF!* Nobody knows why, but they just refer to LoveFilm, a Netflix-like service which I've used since the millennium, but like Netflix has a very limited range of films available online (as opposed to rented via disk). And many, many apps cannot be installed on the KF. A few which are not in their own store can, but only with clumsy sidesteps.
I think this hobbled condition is a mistake on Amazon's side. Even though the iPad can do it all, I still buy on it as much from Amazon as I ever did.
So what if a few geeks buy it just to get a cheap Android Tablet? They don't lose money on it. And who knows, maybe the geeks may even be charmed into Amazon's service via the device.
*In fairness, I have been unable to buy or even rent videos on any Android device. They just won't play. Their support (Google Play Store) was unable to help me. One of the reasons I'm weary of Android despite really wanting to like it.
OK, my Nexus 7 just totally died on me. But two days ago I went through eleven software updates to my Samsung Galaxy Note (Apple has the kindness to bundle the updates), and it occurred to me that maybe it would play purchased video now. Lo and behold, it does! (Of course this is just a 5.2 screen, great for reading, a bit limited for video. Well, great for video on the road.)