Amazon Kindle Fire review

Amazon Kindle Fire review

T3 3
  • Amazon Kindle Fire Review: Amazon promises a new dawn with an affordable-for-all Android tablet that just might end Apple's reign

    Amazon Kindle Fire review

    Love

    • Incredible pricepoint
    • Intuitive
    • innovative UI
    • Surprisingly good display

    Hate

    • No Android Market
    • Slow performance
    • No UK availability

    The Amazon Kindle Fire tablet view, is powerful, sexy and, unlike Apple products, refreshingly cheap. This lethal combination means the tablet will be a notable challenger to Apple’s iPad 2.

    It arrives after Motorola, HTC, with its HTC Flyer tablet, Samsung and Sony, with their Sony Tablet S tablet, fell short, and after HP and RIM failed miserably with their own operating systems.

    But the folly of those giants was their belief that they could beat Apple on a massively uneven playing field.

    They charged the same price, and often more, for arguably inferior products with inferior tablet ecosystems. But while all this was unfolding, Amazon spent 2011 plotting its masterplan. A way to even the odds once and for all.

    The $200 (£125) Kindle Fire tablet promises the biggest tech shake up since the first iPad launch, but beyond the hype of that miraculously inviting price-point can it really hang with the big dogs? Or is it just a two-hundred-buck chump? Let's find out

    Amazon Kindle Fire: Design and Build

    Upon lifting the Amazon Kindle Fire from the box our first thought was “PlayBook”. The 7-inch device is strikingly similar to RIM’s flailing offering, right down to the soft casting on the rear and edges.

    The device feels exceptionally solid, but certainly comfortable enough to hold in one hand. In that respect, it remains true to its e-reader roots.

    At 0.45-inches it’s slightly thicker than the BlackBerry tab and, at 431-grams, slightly heavier, but again not too cumbersome. This is an exceptionally well-built device that could probably handle a decent beating.

    There’s only one button on the jet-black gadget - the screen/power switch -  and everything else is controlled via the touchscreen.

    The headphone jack, which feels like it's at the wrong end, and the MicroUSB charging port sit next to the switch at the foot of the Fire. It’s very minimalist. Too minimalist in some respects.

    There are no cameras, front or rear, and while we can all live without another pathetic tablet camera, video chat would have been nice. Indeed, the Kindle Fire does have its limitations. There’s no GPS sensor on-board either.

    Amazon Kindle Fire: Display

     

    As we mentioned, the Fire opts for a 7-inch screen and it’s safe to say the jury is still out on the optimum screen size for a tablet.

    However, we did miss the larger screen format when watching videos and playing games and sometimes when using apps.

    This was especially apparent when using the on-screen keyboard as it reduced screen real estate to an absolute minimum.

    In saying that when we first switched on the device we were very surprised at the quality of the 1024x600, 169ppi IPS display.

    Colours are brilliant, crisp and defined. It was the first indication that the Kindle Fire actually meant business, but let's not get carried away, it's not Galaxy Tab quality.

    The Gorilla Glass touchscreen, although prone to fingerprints, is also surprisingly impressive. The typing experience supersedes most Android phones, and we found ourselves making few mistakes.

    It’s an area of the device which once again defies the price-point.

    Colours are brilliant, crisp and defined. It was the first indication that the Kindle Fire actually meant business, but let's not get carried away, it's not Galaxy Tab quality.

    The Gorilla Glass touchscreen, although prone to fingerprints, is also surprisingly impressive. The typing experience supersedes most Android phones, and we found ourselves making few mistakes.

    It’s an area of the device which once again defies the price-point.

    • Kindle Fire VS iPad 2 video
    • Amazon Kindle Fire Unboxing video
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    • Video
      Amazon Kindle Fire Unboxing video

      We take a closer look at what's inside the box of the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet.

      01:24
    • Video
      Amazon Kindle Fire video

      All the details of the Android tablet hoping to take on the iPad 2

      01:41
    • Video
      Kindle Fire VS iPad 2 video

      Can Amazon's super tablet take on Apple and its iPad? We put the two head-to-head

      02:06

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