Amazon’s Kindle Fire may have started shipping early, but the reviews are already rolling in. So far, everyone seems in agreement that $199 for a tablet is a remarkable feat. However, some are a little more enthusiastic about the device and its features than others.
Read on to see who gave the device a thumbs up or down, then decide for yourself which way your own thumb will be pointing.
Editor-in-chief Joshua Topolsky believes the Kindle Fire is not necessarily an iPad killer, but a more feasible option for anyone on a budget. For its affordability and overall usability, The Verge gives Fire a thumbs up.
Great Amazon content ecosystem
Seamless integration on Whispersync
User friendly and consistent
Software can be buggy
Amazon Appstore has limited selection
“There’s no question that the Fire is a really terrific tablet for its price. The amount of content you have access to — and the ease of getting to that content — is notable to say the least.”
There are just a few quirks that editor-in-chief Lance Ulanoff found in the Kindle Fire, but for $199 he gives it a thumbs up.
Wi-Fi often slow to return after sleep
Minicrashes do not shut down the device, but drop you out of what you were doing
Interface does not always feel like it was designed for a 7-inch tablet
Odd placement of power button
Tied to previous Kindle accounts
Pages look great, and accessing features such as highlighting and definitions is easy
Frictionless environment for app purchase and content consumption
Excellent and easy to use
“It is the closest tablet I’ve seen yet to an Apple iPad: a consistent, well-thought out marriage of hardware and services that offer an almost frictionless environment for app purchase and content consumption.”
Tech columnist David Pogue notes the potential of Kindle’s tablet in the future, but for now he gives Fire a thumbs down.
Videos play well
Attractive, colorful home screen
Not nearly as versatile as a real tablet
Animations are sluggish and jerky
Text shrunken down too small to read, and zooming is limited
Glare on the superglossy screen is a problem, too
“The Fire deserves to be a disruptive, gigantic force — it’s a cross between a Kindle and an iPad, a more compact Internet and video viewer at a great price. But at the moment, it needs a lot more polish; if you’re used to an iPad or ‘real’ Android tablet, its software gremlins will drive you nuts.”
Lead mobile analyst Sascha Segan finds the device overall satisfactory, giving a thumbs up.
Incredible value for the price
Sharp, bright, hi-res screen
Extremely easy to use
Free cloud storage for Amazon content
Screen can be very reflective
Limited on-device storage
“While the user interface occasionally gets sluggish, we’re willing to have a bit of patience to get a first-rate tablet for half of what most competitors charge, thus the Kindle Fire is our first Editors’ Choice for small tablets.”
Consumer Reports also found the price to be incredible, and the device overall gets a thumbs up.
Quick and smooth touch response
Display looked very good, with a crisp picture
Easy to stream Prime videos, and they quickly loaded and ran smoothly
Sometimes the screen was overly responsive
Display is only fair in sunlight because of glare, a little more so than other tablets tested
“In our first look, the Amazon Kindle Fire was a fine performer, especially if your priority is to get Amazon content including movies, TV shows, music, and books. The display is smaller than the iPad’s, and the app market is more limited, but for $200 you’re getting a full-featured tablet that performs well.”