The Amazon Kindle Fire is just one day away from release. This 7-inch, $200 tablet actually started shipping today for some consumers, and the review embargo has just been lifted. Select websites have posted their full reviews, which should ease some doubtful minds. If you’re wondering whether this tablet is worth your cash or not, here’s what everyone has to say:
Amazon Kindle Fire review roundup
Joshua Topolsky of The Verge: “If you’re thinking about getting the Fire, you have to decide not just whether you want a tablet, but what kind of tablet you want. This isn’t an iPad-killer. It has the potential to do lots of things, but there are many things I have yet to see it do, and I wonder if it will get there given the lean software support. It’s my impression that Amazon believes that the Fire will be so popular that developers will choose to work on its platform rather than on Google’s main trunk of Android, but that’s just a theory right now.”
Tim Stevens of Engadget: “The Kindle Fire is quite an achievement at $200. It’s a perfectly usable tablet that feels good in the hand and has a respectably good looking display up front. Yes, power users will find themselves a little frustrated with what they can and can’t do on the thing without access to the Android Market but, in these carefree days of cloud-based apps ruling the world, increasingly all you need is a good browser. That the Fire has.” “This thing feels incredibly solid, as if Amazon simply put a chisel to a big piece of slate, gave it a good whack and then put the resulting slab into a Frustration-Free box.”
JP Mangalindan of CNN Money: “The culmination of 17 years of work, the Kindle Fire is the missing piece of the company’s vast corporate puzzle, bringing into harmony nearly every discordant service the company has built since CEO Jeff Bezos first set up shop in his garage in 1994.” “The Kindle Fire takes Amazon’s wildly popular services and presents them in a solid piece of hardware with a responsive, easy-to-understand interface that works. It doesn’t have the iPad’s extra layer of polish and sheen, but with the Amazon brand, a wide ecosystem of services at its disposal, and that $199 price point, it doesn’t really need it. In that sense, Apple’s tablet just met its first real competitor.”
Donald Bell of CNET: “In the world of tablets, there are great products and there are cheap products, but very few great, cheap products. Fortunately, for those of you unwilling to shell out $500 for an Apple iPad 2, and wary of buying a piece of junk, Amazon’s $199 Kindle Fire tablet should be at the top of your wish list.”
David Pogue from New York Times: “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.”
The general reviewer’s opinion is similar across the net. The Amazon Kindle Fire is a great tablet for the price, but its performance is nowhere near that of current high-end tablets. Cheap tablets have been known to be very bad, and this device is the best deal you can get for $200. Other tablets at the same price will simply not compete with the Kindle Fire at all.
The Kindle Fire comes with a 7-inch (1024x600p) display, 1 GHz dual-core TI OMAP processor, 512 MB of RAM and 8 GB of on-board storage (16 GB for $250, 32 GB for $300). It also packs an improved browser, called Silk Browser, that makes browsing much faster by working “in the cloud.”
There’s also access to music, videos, books and thousands of apps from the Amazon App Store. Access to the app store really makes this a much more enticing tablet, equipping it with much of the usability the competition boasts. This, among other features, makes the Amazon Kindle Fire worthy of our attention.
We would say that the Kindle Fire is worth much more than $200. Other manufacturers would probably sell it for more, but Amazon is taking the hit in hopes that they’ll turn a profit from media and books.
Personally, I’ll be keeping the E-ink reader around; reading is just much easier without backlight. I also happen to prefer the full Android experience. But for those looking to get something between a full tablet and a reader, there’s no better option than the Kindle Fire. Even if you want a tablet for entertainment, this would hit the spot for many users.
Take a look at the reviews from the links in the quotes above, as well as the videos. There are some very interesting points and opinions. Don’t forget to let us know if you guys are still interested in this tablet. Are you buying one? Did you pre-order it? It should make a great Christmas gift for friends and family!