Print 25 comment(s) - last by gregpet.. on Dec 14 at 2:05 PM

Users' laundry list of complaints about the new tablet has Amazon working on software improvements

Amazon's first dip into the tablet arena, the Kindle Fire, was a long-awaited competitor that had many buzzing before its November release. But now that the Fire has been on the market for nearly a month, reviews from users are rolling in and it looks as if the Fire's flame that drove its initial success is burning out.

The Kindle Fire, which was released November 15, 2011, features a 7-inch multi-touch display, a 1 GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4 dual-core processor, 512 MB memory, 8 GB storage capacity, 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity, Amazon's own unique version of the Android operating system and a $199 price point.

Many saw the $199 price as a true advantage over other tablets currently on the market, such as the $499 iPad 2. But users are finding that you truly get what you pay for.

So what are the chief complaints exactly? Apparently there's quite a list: the off switch is easy to hit by accident; Web pages take their time loading; the touch screen is not very responsive; there is no external volume control, and others can easily see what you have been doing on the Fire since you cannot edit your history.

According to The New York Times, one-third of 4,500 Fire reviewers have given the device three stars or fewer out of five. Since November 18, five-star reviews have fallen from 50 percent to 47 percent while 13 percent have the device just one star.

"I have spent thousands on your outstanding site," said one review aimed at Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. "I own and love the original Kindle. When asked about why I would buy a Fire when I had an iPad, I said that half of me wanted to just support your effort and that I believed Amazon just did things right."

However, the customer later said he'd recommend an iPad 2 over the Fire.

In response to all of the negativity, Amazon is planning to release an over-the-air update to Kindle Fire in less than two weeks. The update will address the privacy complaint by allowing users to edit their recent activity on the tablet, and will boost performance and multi-touch navigation.

While the update will address some important software issues, some are already awaiting the successor of the Kindle Fire tablet in hopes of some hardware changes such as external volume controls, a camera, and maybe even a larger screen, since most Web pages are better suited for 10-inch tablet displays.

Sources: The New York Times, The Washington Post

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Happy owner of a Fire
By Denigrate on 12/12/2011 10:24:33 AM , Rating: 2
Hmm, I have a fire. Never accidentally turned it off, and neither have my kids, so I'm wondering how that happens? What "history" can't be edited? Browser history can be cleared currently, just have to be inquisitive and go into this thing called "settings". Only real complaint I have is the onscreen keyboard, which is to sensitive, though I'm getting used to it.

Basically, the Fire is exactly what I thought it would be, and I couldn't recomend spending another $300 for a "better" tablet.

RE: Happy owner of a Fire
By aheck on 12/12/2011 10:31:32 AM , Rating: 2
You can't clear the carousel without returning the device to factory default.

RE: Happy owner of a Fire
By ebakke on 12/12/2011 12:10:11 PM , Rating: 2
Fair enough. Personally, it doesn't bother me, but I can see how people would like the ability to clear that.

RE: Happy owner of a Fire
By Spuke on 12/12/2011 1:23:58 PM , Rating: 2
Mine cost $200, not sure why your cost $300. As for the other issues, mine works just fine. Web pages load quick, touchscreen is responsive.

RE: Happy owner of a Fire
By ShaolinSoccer on 12/12/2011 1:35:52 PM , Rating: 2
He meant he wouldn't spend an additional $300 (which would mean $500) on a tablet.

RE: Happy owner of a Fire
By DrApop on 12/12/2011 11:09:01 AM , Rating: 2
People had the same complaints about the original Kindle page turn buttons. I never had any problem. Must be some pretty big gorilla hands oafish people out there.

One thing i will give Amazon is that they do listen to their customers and really make an effort to respond.

But I have also noticed that with EVERY new Kindle iteration there is a huge/large number of negative reviews alway touting the other guys product. Soon they subside and everything is back to normal.

RE: Happy owner of a Fire
By ebakke on 12/12/2011 12:08:37 PM , Rating: 1
Must be some pretty big gorilla hands oafish people out there.
Do you live in the US? If so, look around my friend. We're surrounded by fatties.

RE: Happy owner of a Fire
By aebiv on 12/12/2011 12:16:20 PM , Rating: 2
Big hands does not necessarily = fatty Mr Troll.

I'm 6'5", if I had tiny little hands like most shorter people, I'd look quite retarded.

Maybe use your brain before you generalize everyone with "gorilla hands."

RE: Happy owner of a Fire
By Denigrate on 12/12/2011 1:48:48 PM , Rating: 3
Sure, but are you a fattie?

RE: Happy owner of a Fire
By aebiv on 12/12/2011 2:24:02 PM , Rating: 2
According to the craptastic BMI scale yes, according to body fat percentage not at all.

RE: Happy owner of a Fire
By ebakke on 12/13/2011 8:52:00 PM , Rating: 2
Dude. Certainly I'm not saying everyone with large hands is obese. Chill out.

....and then look around. My original statement is nothing but truth.

RE: Happy owner of a Fire
By Breathless on 12/12/2011 12:29:30 PM , Rating: 2
mad fatties yo

RE: Happy owner of a Fire
By gregpet on 12/14/2011 2:05:03 PM , Rating: 2
Its a great $200 toy but unfortunately it fails as any type of e-reader. Way too heavy. I would never give up my original Kindle for actual reading.

The external volume issue is real...It is a pain to have to go through menus to adjust the volume.

So happy with the Fire, I bought two.
By lightfoot on 12/12/2011 12:00:08 PM , Rating: 3
I preordered the Kindle Fire as a simple web browser/ereader for my parents for Christmas. I already owned a 10" Honeycomb tablet for myself and didn't need another.

When I recieved it I figured that there would be no harm in checking it out and seeing exactly what I was giving my parents. After a couple of weeks I realized that I couldn't possibly give it up. I was forced to purchase a second Kindle Fire so that I could still give it as a gift.

Are there problems? Yes. The interface lags a bit, the onscreen keyboard can be spotty at times and the web browser is painfully slow. Even so, the form factor is almost perfect. The speakers are incredible. The screen in beautiful. I am constantly amazed at how well it plays video. And for only $200 it gets the job done.

The Kindle Fire is infinitely more portable than any 10" tablet could ever hope to be.

My only problem is that I don't know if my parents will be able to share. It is a VERY sexy device - I couldn't blame anyone for not wanting to put it down.

Would it be nice if it had a forward facing camera or hardware volume controls? Yes it would be. But at this price I really can't complain.

RE: So happy with the Fire, I bought two.
By Denigrate on 12/12/2011 1:51:15 PM , Rating: 2
Browser is slow? I've had the exact opposite experience. The browser on my Fire is very quick, nearly matching my desktop.

By lightfoot on 12/12/2011 3:06:06 PM , Rating: 2
Some pages load very slow - usually I just have to refresh and then it comes up. It may not be a browser slowness issue at all, but an issue with the sites. However it seems more pronounced on the Kindle than other devices I've used. When the pages finish loading they seem to run very well. Dynamic content seems to be the slowest - such as the wall on Facebook, or frequently updated news websites.

By TakinYourPoints on 12/12/2011 6:19:57 PM , Rating: 3
You might want to look into getting a faster desktop

Kindle Fire...get what you pay for.
By mthr1 on 12/12/2011 11:04:15 AM , Rating: 3
I own a Kindle Fire. Pre-ordered it. After nearly a month of using it, I absolutely love it. Reviewers, critics, and others are still assessing the Kindle Fire for comparisons against other tablets that are designated for different market segments and target audiences.

For $199, you get unparalleled functionality. The hardware is solid, Silk browser works well and will only mature to work better, the apps catalog is good and most run very well, and integration of the Amazon Ecosystem is solid. Granted, if you're anti-Amazon, then you'll likely see it as a negative, but I personally love Amazon's offerings and value it's portal to Amazon.

Yes, there is room for improvement. People have to remember still that this is Amazon's FIRST pilot entry into the tablet world. They are not tablet pioneers, nor have they had a lot of time to make improvements to their OEM software and UI. It's been less than a month, people! The fact that there has already been two OTA updates and another big functional enhancing update in the works already shows that Amazon cares enough about consumer feedback to actively work on improving the platform.

Yes, hardware perks would be nice. I agree a hardware volume rocker/switch would be helpful. Although the 512mb of RAM is suffice and works generally well for everything I use the Fire for, I'm sure another 512 would smooth out some of the streaming video from Netflix/Amazon IV. A camera and microphone would be great...but if you start thinking that all those hardware perks SHOULD have been included into the Fire, then now you put it to the market segement/target audience of all the other tablets out in to tablet frenzied world.

That being said, SHOULD Amazon double the price of the Fire to accommodate suck added perks then? They're already taking a loss with each unit sold as it is now.

So, in a nutshell...yes, you definitely get what you pay the article so subtly states. I agree. You get that AND much more. $199 well spent!

By ShaolinSoccer on 12/12/2011 2:30:28 PM , Rating: 2
SHOULD Amazon double the price of the Fire to accommodate suck added perks then?

No. They should keep it at $200 and just add the technology to it in the future when it becomes cheaper to do so.

The comparisons are getting ridiculous.
By pburghdoom on 12/12/2011 1:20:02 PM , Rating: 2
All the frigin comparisons between the fire and the iPad really need to stop. They are not the same device not the same use cases, not now probably not ever. All of these people were reading story after story about the iPad killer, expecting some amazing new device that will do everything that the iPad can do and better for $199. Are people that retarded?

By Denigrate on 12/12/2011 1:52:25 PM , Rating: 1
You must remember that the general public is stupid.

By topkill on 12/13/2011 11:32:58 PM , Rating: 2 morons for the most part.

No Complaints
By MikadoWu on 12/12/2011 10:35:51 AM , Rating: 2
Bought this for my Mom's 65th B-day. She absolutly loves it and is retiering her Nook. I used it for a couple days and was extremly impressed with its abilities. I admit to being a MS fanboy and am waiting on the Win8 devices. If the intergration on MS Win8 is not right, I will get one of these for myself next Xmas.

Another pleased owner here
By MZperX on 12/12/2011 1:32:00 PM , Rating: 2
ad it not been for this article I'd have never known there were issues with the Kindle Fire (KF). Ours gets constant daily use. I practically have to pry it from my kids hands, and my wife (who is absolutely not a techie) also uses it for her recipes, books, calendar, FB, etc.

It does everything we need and does it well. Media streaming is fast and enjoyable. If I had to nit-pick, I'd say I ran into non-responsiveness of the touch screen every now and then (i.e. having to tap a button more than once to effect the command), but then again it could be just me. For the price it is an excellent device, a no brainer really. It's not a iPad, no one in their right mind ever claimed it would be. It is mainly a media consumption, entertainment, web, device that has some utility applications (calculator, calendar, etc.). I look forward to any improvement but the KF is already a smashing hit in our house. In fact I'm seriously considering a second one just so I don't have to share with the kids...

Nook Tablet
By jdmackes on 12/13/2011 5:46:10 AM , Rating: 2
I don't understand all the comparisons to the iPad, wouldn't the Nook Tablet be the better device to compare it to? I came away fairly unimpressed with the kindle fire when I used it, but I prefer having things on the device and not having to worry about being in a wifi area, so the added space and ability to add storage helped for me. Plus I don't really want to pay for amazon prime, so most of the advantage of the kindle fire goes out the window to me. I also prefer the fact that if something goes wrong with my device I can just get it switched out or fixed the same day and I don't have to deal with calling up or shipping the unit off, just have to go into my local Barnes and noble.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

Latest Headlines
Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs
September 25, 2016, 9:00 AM
The Samsung Galaxy S7
September 14, 2016, 6:00 AM
Apple Watch 2 – Coming September 7th
September 3, 2016, 6:30 AM
Apple says “See you on the 7th.”
September 1, 2016, 6:30 AM

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Laptop or Tablet - Which Do You Prefer?
September 20, 2016, 6:32 AM
Update: Samsung Exchange Program Now in Progress
September 20, 2016, 5:30 AM
Smartphone Screen Protectors – What To Look For
September 21, 2016, 9:33 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki