Wednesday, 16 November 2011


Few days ago Amazon released it's Kindle Fire tablet into the market. Since then the device has received wide reviews and comment. Most of which were of the possibility of this device overthrowing Apple's ipad devices. Therefore I painstakingly decided to surf the net in search of a good review on this Device and I came up with this from Mashable . I hope you learn a lot from it.

The $199 Amazon Kindle Fire is a worthy device. It’s not an iPad slayer, but it could be the first tablet to ably stand atop Mount Tabulous (or at least on a rock ledge just a few dozen feet lower) with Apple’s industry-dominating slab computer.
This is a product I wanted to love. The Kindle Fire’s unveiling was so impressive. Jeff Bezos hitting all the right notes in true Jobsian fashion, telling the tale of a product vision so clear it made my eyes tear up. Instead, now I’m discovering it’s a somewhat flawed gadget — a product that literally does not always know which way is up.
First the good stuff. The Amazon Kindle Fire is a tablet that simply works. From the moment you turn it on to the first time you download music from your own personal cloud to the minute you start watching a movie on the device and then continue watching on your HDTV — without connecting the device to the TV — you’re hooked. This is a smart tablet with a fully thought-out ecosystem. It is — and I don’t think Amazon would disagree with this — very Apple-like in its insistence in keeping you within the Amazon playground.
Having an Amazon account or, better yet, an Amazon Prime account ($79 per year for free 2-day shipping, one free book rental per month and free streaming flicks), opens a world of content possibilities on the 7-inch-screen device. Amazon, like Apple (and like Barnes and Noble with its upcoming Nook Tablet) has your credit card on file. It’s tied to your Amazon user name and account. For me, it’s also tied to my original Kindle 2. When I first started using the Kindle Fire, it was already tied to my account, but signing in with your Amazon account is also simple. This Fire calls itself “Lance’s 3rd Kindle” (that’s because I was also looking at the Kindle Touch). Each device syncs whatever content it can. In the case of the multimedia-friendly Fire, that’s books, magazines, music, apps and more.

The device itself is, in some ways, unremarkable. Its finish is a stark black color and it has exactly one button. It weighs 14.6 ounces (solid-feeling, but not uncomfortable to hold), is less than a half-inch thick and has a pleasantly rubberized back that keeps the Fire from slipping out of your hands. The speakers, which can blast out near-room-filling-sound, are on the narrow side of the device, opposite the side where the device’s sole button and audio jack are located. There’s no camera, no microphone (the Nook Tablet has one, as does the 9.7-inch iPad 2), no screws and no discernible way of opening the device. The Kindle Fire’s screen has 1024 x 600 pixels (like the Nook Tablet. The iPad 2 is 1024 x 768) and things look superb on it. Inside it’s running a dual-core 1GHz CPU (similar to the Nook Tablet and the Apple A5 chip in the iPad). It has 512MB of RAM (like the iPad, but half of what’s in the Nook Tablet) and 8GB of on-board storage (the Nook Tablet, by contrast, has double that and a micro SD card slot). Like the iPad, the Kindle Fire does not blemish its clean lines with a memory card slot. Amazon’s focusing primarily on extending storage space via the cloud, which has a prominent position on the Fire Interface.

The Kindle Fire is an Android 2.3 device, but the interface is all Amazon. It is, naturally, dominated by a virtual bookshelf. This is not a new screen metaphor. I first encountered it on the iPad’s iBook bookshelf. To be honest, it’s a cute concept on the Fire, but with a somewhat clumsy execution. Whatever you looked at recently — books, a movie, apps, web pages, etc. — all sits on the top shelf. As a result, it’s a hodgepodge of icons. Some are movie boxes or posters, which look good. Book covers look great as well; giant icons for email, Facebook, Angry Birds, the Wired Magazine app — look ridiculous. The shelves use a carousel to let you swipe through your content. This is effective once you get used to the Fire’s tendency to let the moving icons run away with themselves — I constantly missed the item I wanted to access.
As a device not much larger than my original Kindle (though almost 5 ounces heavier), reading on the device is a joy. The pages look great, and accessing any of Kindle reader’s smarter features such as highlighting and definitions is easy. While I love my Kindle ereader, it’s definitely much easier to simply touch what I want to access — I do not miss the physical joystick from my e-ink reader. I’m what you might call a Kindle serial reader: I often go from my Kindle ereader, to my phone, to my iPad, and now to the Fire with the same book. As long as I allow these devices to sync, wherever I leave off on one device is where I pick up on another. Of course, this will only work on the Kindle Fire as long as you have access to a Wi-Fi connection—there is no 3G (same for the Nook Tablet).
Whenever I wanted to get back to the home screen I simply tapped the screen once to access the home button in the lower left corner. The Kindle Fire’s one physical button is only used to put the device to sleep, turn it off completely and turn it on. Its placement is a bit odd: The button sits on one narrow side, and more than once I accidentally rested the device on a table or my lap and it went to sleep. Because there’s an accelerometer in the Fire, I can turn the device completely over so the button is on the top, but then the speakers rest on my lap. In general, the button sticks out too much and is too easy to depress.

Conclusively to fully appreciate the Amazon Kindle Fire, you have to step back and look at all you’re getting for $199 (the base 16GB iPad is $499, the Nook Tablet $249). This is a highly polished device and collection of services. It bakes in books, music, movies, apps/games, magazines, multi-tasking, universal search, easy access to anything you have in Amazon’s cloud, and a sense that this device and Amazon know you. 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. This is why the iPad has been so successful and why I think the Kindle Fire, despite its imperfections, is a winner, too.

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