Kindle Fire is just around the corner and would be available in Best Buy stores tomorrow, while online orders would start reaching sometime around November 21. The first reviews are in and the overall feeling around the tablet is pretty nice. After all you are getting a lot for $199.
We have compiled pointers from some of the best reviews across the tech media for you and until we get hands on the device and put together the review, these should keep you busy.
“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. The device is decently designed, and the software — while lacking some polish — is still excellent compared to pretty much anything in this range.”
+ Great Amazon content ecosystem, User friendly, consistent UI, Affordable
– Software can be buggy; Amazon Appstore has limited selection, Uninspired hardware
iPad killer? No, the Kindle Fire is not. And it doesn’t even match the iPad in web browsing, the one area in which its hardware should have sufficient performance to compete. But the press has definitely supercharged Amazon’s product launch with a level of hype and enthusiasm that would make Apple proud.
+ A great platform for casual video playback. A perfectly fine Android 2.3 app device. A price that pleads “buy me,” repeatedly, until you crack a big grin, and give in like a good-natured father buying trinkets for the kids at Wal-Mart.
– Small screen size and insufficient processing power. Crap browser performance. Near useless as a magazine reader, and roundly trumped by superb e-ink Kindles as a book reader.
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.
Kindle Fire is great value and perhaps the best, tightest integration of digital content acquisition into a mobile device that we’ve yet seen. Instead of having a standalone shopping app the entire tablet is a store — a 7-inch window sold at a cut-rate price through which users can look onto a sea of premium content. It isn’t a perfect experience, but if nothing else it’s a promising look into the future of retail commerce.
+ 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.
– Performance is occasionally sluggish, its interface often clunky, its storage too slight, its functionality a bit restricted and its 7-inch screen too limiting if you were hoping to convert all your paper magazine subscriptions into the digital ones.
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.