Amazon Kindle Fire Review: Insight and How Not To Get Burned

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The Kindle Fire is Amazon's attempt to blaze a trail in the low cost Android tablet market, and if doing so ends up applying a bit of competitive heat to Apple and its dominating iPad line, then so be it. To be clear, Amazon isn't pitching the Kindle Fire as an "iPad killer" nor will you find any veiled marketing attempts to cast this as Amazon's David to Apple's Goliath. The Kindle Fire is a different type of device aimed at a different type of buyer, namely anyone who can't afford a full-sized slate or simply isn't willing to fill a fruit basket full of cash and hand it over to Apple.


Amazon Kindle Fire: Insight and How Not To Get Burned


If you're comparing these specs to the iPad, the Kindle Fire falls short in almost every category. It's also less than half the price and is capable of playing games, watching movies, listening to music with or without headphones, sending emails, surfing the Web, reading books and magazines, and editing documents. But can the Kindle Fire do all of these things well, or at least well enough to warrant a $199 investment? Let's find out.
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AKwyn replied on Mon, Dec 5 2011 11:20 AM

Nice review Lilly. My only complaint would be that you were sort of getting close to worshiping the price of the thing but you backed away from that. It's also nice that you gave your fair opinions without letting the Amazon hype machine affect you (the LCD screen daylight brightness and the Sikk browser, I mean I haven't been following the Amazon Hype Machine for a long time but you have, and that makes your efforts more admirable... The other stuff you did was good, you went in detail with the design and the user experience; glad to know our neighborhood reviewer is still doing his job well.

Even though it's disappointing, I still think it's a gamechanger mainly because of the stuff Amazon was able to do for a tablet for the price offered. I mean really, it's time we had tablets with cheaper prices with the quality Amazon was able to put into the Kindle fire.

 

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JKatt replied on Mon, Dec 5 2011 11:32 AM

It is a NO BRAINER why Amazon doesn't allows downloads from Google's Android Market: Amazon has to LICENSE AND PAY Google for that privilege.

Obviously, Amazon - which is giving the Kindle Fire away at a loss - doesn't want to incur losses to Google nor be limited by Google.

The point of the Kindle Fire is that it is completely independent of Google. It doesn't owe anything to Google.

And Amazon wants to make money on the Kindle Fire by selling you content - including Apps.

Thus: No Android Market. Welcome to the Amazon Market.

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gloriad1 replied on Mon, Dec 5 2011 12:03 PM

Well I think people will try it, because they wil be more interested in staying with the pc type of thing, because they are used to Android and thus will stay with pc ideas. So Amazon Kindle fire is just another pc idea.Wink I do not think that anyone will leave apple though, they seem to be fairly loyal.No  So it will just be the other pc type of companies that will be losing some sales, but apple will most probably not lose any sales.No

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Dave_HH replied on Mon, Dec 5 2011 12:23 PM

Clearly, that's the case. The question is, how much more attractive would the device be if they offered both? Their search menus could all point to Amazon Market but they could just have the Android Market in there as a standalone app. Then the question is, how much does it cost per device to offer this and can they keep their pricing this aggressive as a result?

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94_xj replied on Mon, Dec 5 2011 12:29 PM

Amazon hit the mark they were aiming for. They brought the world an eReader that doubles as a tablet that will do what 90% of tablet users do with them anyway: browse the internet, check facebook and play Angry Birds. While the lack of the Google Market is a (slight) negative this is an Amazon device so of course they want you to use their own marketplace especially since they need to make up for the money they are losing just by selling these things at their price point.

I'm curious to see when they start giving these things away banking on your future market purchases much like cell phones are offered for "free".

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JRobert replied on Mon, Dec 5 2011 1:03 PM

Personally, I'd like to see a bit more user options in terms of expansion, but at the end of the day it meets my primary requirement:  it isn't made by Apple.

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"It's a good tablet with nice little power under the hood and ample content support and features. Would make a nice gift for anyone. It mores than fulfills the basics. Excellent review."

"Have to wonder if the Nvidia Kal-el architecture is tied up to 4+1 cores. I would be wise to have a dual core+1 version for budget tablets like this and offer a little more feature for the price."

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Chondro replied on Mon, Dec 5 2011 1:30 PM

As long as it does everything it advertises, i think its great.

anything to get away from apple is a plus in my book!

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Very nice review of this tablet Paul. This certainly has made up my mind that I will be purchasing an e-ink slate for my wife and not the Kindle fire. I guess Amazon's browser certainly does not deserve the name silk... more like the ocean browser.

@Dave/Paul/Marco do you think it will take very long for modders to get their hands on these and side load the Android Market on the thing? Or do you think Amazon has put some type of security measure in place to prevent this type of hack. Either that or someone is going to flash a stock Android rom and deal with the slightly less functional Amazon reader app.

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Hey omegadraco, you can actually sideload Android apps onto the Kindle Fire straight away using a file manager, or even just by emailing the APKs to yourself. There's the familiar option in settings to "Allow Installation of Applications From Unknown Sources."

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dam, sucks that it doesn't have android market access. But if you need it for the simple stuff, go for it. looks great for that.

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I personally love this. I like this a lot better than the iPad because it has a lot of features I like and doesn't have a lot of the features I don't like and wouldn't use on an iPad, that combined with the lowered price makes this a much better option for people like me but I'm sure there are people out there with different opinions.

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MCook replied on Mon, Dec 5 2011 9:37 PM

I love mine too Aknudson, and that's coming from a former Toshiba Thrive and Asus Transformer owner, I agree with you on all of those points. To those who say it won't access the market, all you have to do is root it, and other than a lack of custom rom's at the moment, that opens up a world of things, like navigation (via TetherGPS, a free program) and custom launchers. Amazon by the way did not lock the bootloader on this, like B&N did on their Kindle, and has made it VERY easy to root, in fact, they even seem to be encouraging it.

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bry2k2 replied on Tue, Dec 6 2011 6:00 PM

It should be mentioned if your willing to do some research and play a little, you can easily root the device and install the Android Market on your Kindle Fire giving you access to "all" android apps.

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you really have to hand it to amazon, going after a tablet market that is going to be huge, they have now introduced thousands more people who could'nt afford a tablet into a market that needs more buyers, thie is potentially the spawn point of a new generation of tablet loving society.

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Dave_HH replied on Tue, Dec 6 2011 10:30 PM

Understood and agreed bry2k2. However, only enthusiasts like us will be interested in rooting the device. The average mainstream Kindler isn't going to want to muck with it. Still, it obviously can be done fairly easily.

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Excellent review! I love your direct and honest opinions about the Fire. You're right. It's not fair comparing the Fire with the iPad. I really do hope Amazon ups the memory size and fix the choppy web surfing. I'm holding out for the Amazon Fire 2 when the bugs have been resolved.

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Samar replied on Mon, Dec 12 2011 8:16 PM

Lets see the sales figures, and not shipments :-), for Amazon at the end of the day.

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Vixencode replied on Tue, Dec 13 2011 10:24 PM

Thanks for the review. It looks good but i was hoping the sound would be a bit on the loud side. Bt its ok

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Wish it was 10" tablet, hopefully a new one will be released early 2012! Great to see Amazon in the tablet market!

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First thing I suggest is to buy a Targus stylus from Walmart. Second thing is to side load opera mobile or dolphin browser from Handango or four shared. The silk browser is horrible.

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