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

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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

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