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Amazon Kindle Fire
So how does Amazon's Kindle Fire stack up to the competition

Amazon's Kindle Fire will officially be released to the public on Tuesday, but reviews are already in for the 7" media tablet. For those that aren't "in the know", the Kindle Fire uses the BlackBerry Playbook reference design; hence its dimensions and specs stick pretty close to that tablet.
 
That means that the Kindle Fire has a 7" display with a resolution of 1024x600, measures 7.5" x 4.7" x 0.45", and weighs 14.6 ounces. The tablet comes equipped with a 1GHz dual-core processor, 8GB of internal storage (6GB available to the user), Wi-Fi, stereo speakers, and runs Android 2.3 with Amazon's own custom skin running on top.
 
The Kindle Fire is priced at a low $199.
 
Tim Stevens, Engadget:

The Kindle Fire is quite an achievement at $200. It's a perfectly usable tablet that feels good in the hand and has a respectably good looking display up front. Yes, power users will find themselves a little frustrated with what they can and can't do on the thing without access to the Android Market but, in these carefree days of cloud-based apps ruling the world, increasingly all you need is a good browser. That the Fire has.
 
When stacked up against other popular tablets, the Fire can't compete. Its performance is a occasionally sluggish, its interface often clunky, its storage too slight, its functionality a bit restricted and its 7-inch screen too limiting if you were hoping to convert all your paper magazine subscriptions into the digital ones. Other, bigger tablets do it better -- usually at two or three times the cost.
 
Joshua Topolsky, The Verge:

If you're thinking about getting the Fire, you have to decide not just whether you want a tablet, but what kind of tablet you want. This isn't an iPad-killer. It has the potential to do lots of things, but there are many things I have yet to see it do, and I wonder if it will get there given the lean software support. It's my impression that Amazon believes that the Fire will be so popular that developers will choose to work on its platform rather than on Google's main trunk of Android, but that's just a theory right now.
 
Still, there's no question that the Fire is a really terrific tablet for its price. The amount of content you have access to — and the ease of getting to that content — is notable to say the least. The device is decently designed, and the software — while lacking some polish — is still excellent compared to pretty much anything in this range (and that includes the Nook Color).
 
Sam Biddle, Gizmodo:

If you like what Amazon Prime has going on in the kitchen, the Fire is a terrific seat. It's not as powerful or capable as an iPad, but it's also a sliver of the price—and that $200 will let you jack into the Prime catalog (and the rest of your media collection) easily and comfortably. Simply, the Fire is a wonderful IRL compliment to Amazon's digital abundance. It's a terrific, compact little friend, and—is this even saying anything?—the best Android tablet to date.
 
Sascha Segan, PC Magazine:

It's hard to make the Kindle/Nook decision without reviewing the Nook, but here goes. The Kindle has enough storage—especially with Amazon's Cloud Drive and focus on video streaming—along with better app and media stores and a lower price. I feel safe awarding it our Editors' Choice for small tablets. If the Nook lives up to its promise, it will also be a great tablet, and may get the same rating. But the Kindle Fire will still be a winner, if not the only winner, for this holiday season.


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As expected
By Demmue on 11/14/2011 10:33:40 AM , Rating: 2
I think the only ones that are going to be disappointed with the Fire are those expecting an Ipad like experience with it. Those of us who know better will be satisfied with what the Fire offers, which is a lot given it's $199 price tag. The bigger question for me is WHEN is mine going to ship, come on Amazon!




RE: As expected
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 11/14/2011 10:39:37 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah, for $200, it's hard to knock it too much. My only concerns are with the sluggishness of the UI, but that seems to be a general trait of Android OS.


RE: As expected
By Shig on 11/14/2011 11:17:16 AM , Rating: 2
It seems amazing to me as long as you're in wifi, but without access to wifi it just seems like a kindle e-reader with a color screen. Maybe that's unfair to say, almost any device is useless without a connection to the internet these days.

I think they got almost all the right features that people expect a tablet to have. Ditching the cameras was a really good move. I'm just wondering how much more this would have cost with an SD slot and some kind of HDMI, if they could have included those this would have been close to perfect.


RE: As expected
By jimbojimbo on 11/14/2011 5:39:19 PM , Rating: 2
True. That extremely limited storage is hard to get over.


RE: As expected
By TakinYourPoints on 11/15/2011 2:10:20 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, looks good! Amazon did a great job with the UI and their cloud integration.

TBH, they nailed cloud syncs way back in 2007 when the original Kindle launched. It was the thing that most impressed me about it. Amazon did a fantastic job with the services wrapped around the hardware and software, and it all worked from the first day.

For $200 you're obviously limited in terms of hardware specs and display size, but in terms of user experience it's also a better overall device than the scores of Honeycomb tablets out there simply because Amazon focused so much on overall integration.

It's good that they're taking this in small steps, sidestepping the iPad market and carving out their own niche in the low end. Once they firmly establish themselves in that area with consumers, they can step up to the $500 area with a bigger/faster tablet. There is no question that Amazon has a chance of succeeding where companies like Samsung and Motorola are going to fail.


Depends how tight of a lease amazon is using
By invidious on 11/14/2011 2:19:40 PM , Rating: 2
Can you side load apps without rooting? I might get this for my gf but if I have to root it in order for her to use the full app library I'm not sure I want that headache.




By jimbojimbo on 11/14/2011 5:41:56 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, you can side load apps right away. Just plug it into your computer and drag and drop your apk files then use the already installed Easy Installer to install it. Easy.


local content?
By Homerboy on 11/14/2011 1:13:53 PM , Rating: 2
can the Fire play local content over my home LAN? Or does everything have to be in the Amazon Cloud?




Sony
By DrApop on 11/14/2011 1:25:07 PM , Rating: 2
Is anyone else seeing that this story is being brought to you by Sony? Kinda ironic.

I think Amazon really thought about what most would use a tablet for. The vast majority don't Skype or they take pictures with their phones...thus no cam or mic.

Storage for many is an issue so Amazon provides unlimit storage for Amazon purchased digital media (actually I think they just store the purchase ID since they have the product in their inventory already).

They provide a very quick browser (so the reports indicate).

I think the vast majority use a tablet for email, web browsing, watching video, listening to MP3s, small games, and perhaps reading books.

You can't get to the Android market but Amazon has an android market that has a lot of stuff that the vast majority want.

Then there are web 2.0 apps on the internet.

For $200 it will do just about every single thing that the average user needs it to do.




So this is what an Apple iPad...
By One43637 on 11/14/2011 2:27:06 PM , Rating: 1
...would look like at the USD 200 price point?

I hope people (the consumer masses) don't expect this to perform like a tablet 3 times it's price. This is a Kindle first and foremost, but with extra bits here and there. Like your favorite dessert, with toppings.

My current happens to be a brownie.




Fire
By schmizz on 11/14/11, Rating: -1
RE: Fire
By RjBass on 11/14/2011 11:06:31 AM , Rating: 3
I guess it's all a matter of preference then. I have a 7" Galaxy Tab that i love while my wife has the larger 10" version. I find hers to be to big, and not as easy to move around. Sure the larger screen is better to look at, but I find that transporting my 7" model to be much easier. I can even fit it in the cargo pockets of my pants. It's awesome.


RE: Fire
By TRYthisONaMAC on 11/14/2011 12:26:52 PM , Rating: 3
Yea same here, I have the 7" galaxy and I love that I can put it in the back of my jean pocket. You can't just go out with a ipad, unless you want to carry a bag everywhere or craddle it like a baby while you are out.


RE: Fire
By invidious on 11/14/2011 2:04:24 PM , Rating: 5
I thought carrying it around as a fassion accessory was the primary function of the iPad?


RE: Fire
By jimbojimbo on 11/14/2011 5:43:44 PM , Rating: 2
I like the 7" form factor as well and can carry my Archos 70 in my coat pocket easily. The only thing I've found it not good for is reading PDF documents since the screen is too small. I can't imagine reading comic books either on a 7" but good luck to them.


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