Amazon delivered on their promise to deliver an affordable Android Tablet that may compromise Apple’s reign over the tablet market. The Amazon Kindle tablet is powerful, appealing, and unlike the iPad 2, this one is affordable for most!
Amazon released the Kindle Fire Tablet after companies such as HTC, Sony, Samsung, HP and Motorola failed with their own tablets in comparison to Apple’s products. More specifically, both the Sony Tablet S tablet and the HP did not go over well with consumers. One misconception each of these major industry players had is that they could beat Apple in the largely uneven market.
Possibly one of the biggest errors some of the other companies made was charging the same price, or more, for a product inferior to Apple’s iPad collection. However, while these companies were taking chances and learning the hard way, Amazon was using 2011 and the news to plot their own plan. The company found a way to even the odds on the tablet playing field with the release of the Kindle Fire.
The Kindle Fire is available for only $200 and promises to be a huge tech shake up, possibly the biggest since the release of the iPad. Yet, can the Kindle Fire hang with Apple, or is it just a two-hundred dollar eco-tab? Read the review below to find out:
Design and Build
Upon first glance and touch of the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Blackberry PlayBook comes to mind. The Kindle Fire is a 7-inch device that favors the PlayBook all the way down to the soft outer case and edges.
The device has a very solid feel to it, and is comfortable enough to grasp in one hand; remaining true to its eReader beginnings. The device is 0.45 inches thick and weighs about 431 grams so it is slightly heavier and thicker than Blackberry’s device, but still not cumbersome. It appears to be a very well-built device that can handle everyday wear and tear.
The tablet only has one button and that is the power switch; other than that, everything is controlled by the touch screen. The device also has a headphone jack and a Micro USB charging port. This is a minimalist device as it does not offer a camera or a GPS sensor.
The Fire features a 7-inch touch screen which is sufficient for apps and reading, but lacking for watching movies and videos. This screen is especially small during movies if you have the keyboard open; it pretty much reduces the screen to nothing.
On the other hand, the Kindle Fire has a 1024 x 600, 169 ppi IPS display that is very vivid and sharp. Upon turning the device on, one of the first things noticed is the brilliant, well-defined colors offered by the device. The Fire also features Gorilla Glass which is usually prone to fingerprints, but this one is actually impressive. You will find that it is easier to type on the Kindle Fire than it is to type on most Android tablets, so you will make fewer mistakes.
Software, Browser, and Performance
The Amazon Kindle Fire comes with the Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS. You will barely notice the Tab is equipped with Android because Amazon has masked most of that with their own skins and removed the Android Market. Although the interface has changed slightly, it is still impressive, customizable, and a nice change from the norm.
One of the best things about the Fire is the introduction of Amazon’s own web browser called “Silk”. The browser is cloud based and one of the Fire’s main talking points because Silk offers fast loading times and makes a good rival for Safari or Firefox mobile.
Possibly one of the reasons the Fire is offered at $200 is because it is lacking a little in the speed department as it only comes with 512 MB of RAM and a 1 GHz dual-core processor. The lack of speed inside makes the Tab sluggish at times and increases the amount of application crashes you will have to endure.
Applications and Multimedia
At first thought of having an Amazon Kindle Fire with Amazon, you would think you would have access to many apps; however, Amazon has removed the Android Market and replaced it with their own App store. What does this mean? Well, it basically means that your selection of available apps was diminished by a lot. However, Amazon does have a relationship with many large App makers so you still have good selections such as Netflix, Pandora, Angry Birds, IMDb, and the ever-popular Words with Friends. Some people will be disappointed to know that popular apps such as Facebook are only links to their mobile site and Twitter is missing completely.
As far as multimedia goes, Amazon did not include an SD slot on this device, so you are limited to 8GB of storage. They do, however, offer the Fire users access to a cloud locker for your storage. The only drawback is that you can’t load up your device with your own music, movies, photos, and more. The Fire allows Amazon Prime members to stream free movies and TV to their device, as well as lend books from the eLibrary.
Overall, Amazon has done a good job at deciding which feature to include and which to leave off in order to keep the price low. For the Amazon Kindle Fire being a $200 Tab it has enough features to make the price worthwhile, however, it is not close to knocking the iPad out of the number one spot. In the end, if you are looking for a reasonably priced Tab and you don’t require many extras then the Amazon Kindle Fire is for you. Alternatively, if you are high-tech and require cameras, speed, memory, and a large screen then the Kindle Fire is probably not what you are looking for.