Amazon Kindle Fire Review
As any other gadget out, even the tablet from Amazon called Kindle Fire has its share of pros and cons, and there a lot of good things that are worth mentioning when it comes to this handheld. The 7-inch Android-powered tablet is capable of seamlessly linking to Amazon’s impressive collection of digital files like video, books services, music, video games and just about everything you can imagine. The Kindle Fire includes most of the must-have applications such as Pandora, Hulu, Netflix and others and boasts an amazing web browser.
The Amazon Kindle Fire has a price tag that makes it very affordable and the quality of the screen is the best you can get at this price. But the biggest problem with this slate is its low storage, its lack of Bluetooth support, and the lack of parental control. The app selection does not match Android’s or iOS’ numbers and it will never do, while the screen brightness could also be a little bit better. At this price tag you do not benefit from premium features meaning that cameras, GPS, 3G and location services are absent so you need an Amazon Prime subscription to take advantage of some of the useful add-ons.
The Kindle Fire is far from being expensive, starting at $199 and although it lacks the tech specs found on way more expensive Android powered tablets or Apple tablets, the slate is an outstanding piece of technology that puts easiness of use over technical overload. If you are looking for a great but in the same time cheap tablet, then this device is your tablet of choice, as there are very few cheap and great products like this one.
If you do not want to throw five hundred dollars for an iPad 2 and in the same time you do not want to buy a piece of crap, then the Kindle Fire should first on your wish list for the winter holidays. It is very well-known that when someone is buying a tablet he actually expects to be entertained, as these days there is a huge gap between what they are able to perform and what people use them for, so in our opinion Amazon has struck gold with the Kindle Fire for providing something that no other manufacturer has been able to deliver.
As we already told you, Amazon sells the tablet at $199, so we believe that many will take this offer. This tablet has a similar look and feel as Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 7 and RIM’S BlackBerry Playbook.
You can save around $300 if you buy Amazon’s tablet in favor of Apple’s iPad 2 but you lose at other aspects like the display. iPad’s larger screen is great for reading magazines, or watching videos, web browsing but if you prefer to have $300 in your pockets and a tablet in your hands, then you know what to do. Sadly, you can have both! With the popular Kindle Software you can read e-books or download games and applications through Amazon’s Appstore, even buy music through the MP3 store. Also you will be able to watch videos using Amazon’s video download system. The great thing with Amazon is that the Kindle Fire digital service is able to load the stores and services right out of the box so the included 8GB of internal memory should be enough for you.
The tablet comes with a wall adapter that charges the tablet using the Micro-USB port which is found on the device’s bottom along with the headphone jack. I bet that you would really like to know what you can do with this tablet before you buy it, so rest-assured that many basic features are covered as well. Browse the web, e-mail your friends, read common document file formats such as PowerPoint files, PDF, Excel and many others. Also you can use many apps to create different document files, listen to locally stored MP3s, view and check photos without any difficulties whatsoever. If you want to transfer any documents or media files to your computer or Mac you can do that using the Micro-USB port.
As you will see, in landscape mode you will have a hard time in covering up the speakers with your hands, so flip it over and you will find two nice speakers, but be advised that we didn’t say that it’s impossible.
In terms of services and software, users are kinda limited to Amazon’s way of doing things, but you can download third-party applications from the application store. Google may be the basis of the software but unfortunately key Android apps and features like Gmail, Maps, Android Market, Calendar or Navigation are missing. Now let’s see what is the real deal with this inexpensive Amazon tablet, in exchange for this cheap gadget you agree procure your favorite applications, games, books , music, video files from their services.
The problem is that Amazon is not going to be the sole company that has adopted this way of doing business, as Apple runs its tablets in a similar manner. Also Amazon appears to be open to the idea of offering competing services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora and many others. If you want to check and see what is available go to Amazon’s online app store and take a peek. The Kindle tab has been placed on the map by several excellently crafted features like the Amazon’s music store which is effectively on par with iTunes in terms of selection, not to mention that their prices are cheaper in most cases, while the e-book store is without a doubt the most popular in the industry. Apple’s advantage is the newly launched Newsstand which offers more than four hundred magazines and newspapers so you can begin your day greatly in front of your cup of coffee.
Now, if you are interested in knowing which are the strongest points of Amazon’s tablet, we will begin with the video part – the Kindle Fire combination of 7-inch IPS screen and the one click library of TV shows and movies turns this into an unmatched tablet, and if we are to mention the Flash-based web content than the Fire tablet is worth all the money. But wait! Adobe has announced that it will no longer support Flash on mobile devices. Anyway this is an important advantage over the iPad so you should take this feature into consideration when buying a tablet.
If you are willing to sacrifice beauty over faster page loading, then you can opt to force web pages to either a desktop view or mobile view, which is handy if you detest mobile-optimized sites. If you are too afraid of the idea of Amazon’s computers predicting your browsing habits you will find a setting for disabling accelerated page-loading technology. Anyway they said that the collected data is not linked to your account, but you can never be too sure as you’ve seen what happened this year with the hackers attacking multiple gaming-related companies. Unfortunately, the Kindle Fire does not support private browsing mode like the one found on iPad 2 and Android Honeycomb browser.
We were unable to find any parental controls available on Kindle Fire, simply because they’re not there. That came as a surprise since kinds can use the tablet to download potentially inappropriate media content from the web. Still, Apple has implemented a parental control feature on its iOS products so why couldn’t Amazon do the same thing? Everybody knows that Amazon offers an impressive selection of movie rentals, downloads and TV shows, and lots of them aren’t appropriate for a child.
You will be pretty amazed to hear that Amazon includes a one month free of all you can stream through Instant Videos as well as great TV series such as 24, Lost and popular movies such as Last of the Mohicans and others. There are TV shows which are priced at $1.99 per episode, movies can be purchased for around $14.99 or rented between $2.99 and $3.99. If you want to venture beyond Amazon’s offerings of free applications for Hulu Plus and Netflix are available. Amazon will back-up any digital content you bought such as apps, music files, e-books just like Apple and offers it back when you need it. Amazon cloud service is capable of adding a key component to the Kindle Fire experience. With this you are able to make up somewhat of the limited storage on the gadget and in the same time being able to have instant access to your archived media content. Besides archiving and purchasing content, Amazon is including the Cloud Drive service which offers additional 5GB of storage any additional content you want to access like pictures, documents and music.
The Kindle Fire includes a unique Web Browser called Silk which is capable of splitting the work of loading web pages between the device and the Compute Cloud system so the Amazon’s huge server farms are good for more than just storage. Not even Apple or any other tablet available on the market has a feature like this one, this leading to shorter page loading times including predictive loading of content and web pages you frequently access. But here is a drawback: since no matter how fast a page loads, navigating the web on a 7-inch tablet is damn disappointing. This screen size is simply “not so web oriented” as you are stuck with scrolling and zooming pages indefinitely. The problem is that most websites are designed for screens that are 10-inch or above.
We hope that users around the world realize that making a $199 tablets means cutting plenty of corners, but Amazon again proved smart as they used scalpel instead of a hatchet, and the disfigured Android OS is barely noticeable anyway. The visual makeover is so complete allowing you not to even notice what is behind the curtain. Some of the omissions are obvious as the tablet lacks many hardware specs like a GPS, maps, audio, or keyboard support, Bluetooth, camera, microphone, or GPU. It also lacks compass, card slot for extra memory, as I said you lose something in order to you win something else. Amazon enters the race to release a good tablet at an unbelievable price and the Kindle Fire tablet marks an important milestone in the tablet market history which has been dominated by Apple.
This is possible millstone for Amazon endeavour into high-tech, but the company’s triumph is not just about making cheap hardware as this tablet proudly stands behind years of hard work building out digital media offerings, e-book and the Cloud and advanced processing technologies. The Kindle Fire has been specially designed for simple use and has the potential to be a major iPad competitor. But for the moment their goals have been reached as for this price you can do as much as you can do with Apple’s iPad.
We are welcoming this tablet from Amazon especially for the fact that $199 are money well spent on a product not over rated and we applaud them for making the best value tablet on the market.