Kindle Fire Product Review: First Impressions
Amazon Kindle Fire
Is the Amazon Kindle Fire the iPad alternative everyone has been waiting for? Pre-sales figures suggest it’s on track to outsell the iPad in first month sales. If that happens it would be a pretty big happening. So far no competitive product has come close to rivaling Apple’s dominance of the tablet market.
There is a lot of reason for the excitement surrounding the Kindle Fire. It’s different from the iPad, and yet similar enough to be a worthy alternative - or an even better choice altogether. In fact, Amazon doesn’t seem to be trying to beat the iPad as much as it’s doing its own thing and fulfilling other market needs.
What It Is...
The Kindle Fire looks similar to the Blackberry Playbook or Samsung Galaxy Tab 7. It runs a modified version of the Google Android operating system and includes 8GB of internal memory. It features a dual-core processor for fast, powerful performance, a Micro-USB 2.0 port, supports Adobe Flash Web content and has an estimated 8 hours of battery life.
Amazon has pre-loaded the Amazon suite of digital stores and services so the device is ready to go out of the box. You can instantly download eBooks, apps and games, purchase music, stream video, browse the web, eMail, listen to locally stored music or read PDF’s.
The first really appealing benefit of the Kindle Fire is the price. At $199, it’s less than half the price of the iPad, which starts at $500. But don’t be fooled, it’s notjust another cheap product - it’s a great product at a cheap price – and you don’t find that combination very often!
What It Has...
The Amazon cloud storage and processing is a key component to the Kindle Fire experience. It provides free storage for all your Amazon digital content. Achieved media such as eBooks, movies, music and apps are available at the touch of a button to make up for the limited device storage of only 8GB. Additionally, the Cloud Drive service offers another 5GB of storage for photos, music, documents, etc.
The Kindle Fire uses Amazon’s Whispersync technology to automatically sync your eBook library, bookmarks, notes and highlights across your devices, and even extends to video. You can start streaming a video movie and then pick up right where you left off on your eBook or TV show.
Amazon’s unique Web browser (Silk), is cloud-accelerated and splits the work of loading Web pages between the Kindle Fire and the exclusive Elastic Compute Cloud system to leverage computing speed and power.
More often than not, cheaper tablets offer poor screen quality, but the Kindle Fire counteracts this by providing a 1024x600 pixel resolution display (169 pixels per inch) using the same wide-angle IPS screen technology as the iPad.
Although the Kindle Fire is smaller than the iPad (7" vs. 10"), the smaller size and weight offers the capability of being held with one hand for hours without fatigue and is small enough to be carried in a purse; but might not be as ideal for watching movies or playing games. At this point that remains to be seen and may simply be a personal choice.
What It Doesn’t Have...
The Kindle Fire does not have photo or video camera capability, video output, GPS, Bluetooth support, memory expansion or cellular data connection. Nor will you find Google Android features such as Gmail, Navigation, Maps or the Google App market.
Should You Buy It?
As I said earlier, the price alone offers a great incentive and it won’t put a huge dent in your pocketbook
Amazon’s reputation with the Kindle eBook Reader along with the solid suite of services they have built for the Android, the device’s ties to Amazon’s storefronts, and the vastselection of movies, TV, books and music set the Kindle Fire apart.
The 7-inch screen and 8MG of storage may make it less appealing for word processing and document editing, and it doesn’t currently have a comparable selection of games and apps to the iPad. So if you’re looking for an exact replacement for the iPad it probably isn’t going to be the right choice for you.
But if you’re looking for an extremely portable, fun device for media consumption, e-mailing friends, and surfing the Web, the Kindle Fire looks to be the best thing out there forthe price.
Click here for the Amazon Kindle Fire web page.
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