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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

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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.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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