Before it was announced, the Kindle Fire was rumored to be Amazon's entry into the Android tablet market. To get a serious tablet, even a small one, at the Kindle Fire's price of $199 would have been a holiday miracle.
But in our time with the Kindle Fire, it fell far short of what tablets should be able to accomplish. As a vector for Amazon's video and music stores and huge e-book selection, it's great. As an e-reader, it's merely OK. As an Internet and app portal, it falls short of Amazon's promises.
Still, if you're looking for an e-reader and don't mind a smallish LCD screen, a lightweight video player, and a limited-use browser, the Kindle Fire can fill those niches—in its own ambling way.