First Look at the Kindle Fire by Amazon

Today, I am giving my first impression of the Kindle Fire. It is not an in depth review but a very brief talk based on the few minutes I spent with the Kindle Fire.

Kindle Fire
Image by Gadgetmac via Flickr

First things first, although a lot of people try to compare any tablet out there with the iPad, it has been shown time and time again that they are not the iPad and they can’t seem to offer that extra touch the iPad does. That said the kindle fire is no different and should not be seen as a competitor but a device with it’s own purpose.

I got the chance to play around the kindle fire at a store (same as the way tech editors do at tech shows) and I wasn’t totally disappointed.

The first thing you notice when you see and pick up the kindle fire is how much prettier it is compared to the other kindle devices. It has got a black shiny body and feels super great to hold. It’s a has a 7″ multi-touch display (bigger than that of the iPhone and so makes its a little more comfortable for prolonged reading) and fits perfectly in a purse or small size messenger bag. The weight of the device also gives it a sturdy feel making you feel a bit more in control.

There are no external buttons except the power button which was oddly placed at the bottom of the device right next to the charge port. I am not sure of the reasons behind this design move but hopefully during prolonged use, it doesn’t become an issue where people accidentally switch of the device during use *read during download or software update*.

UI & Content

Getting to the use and feel of the device, iPhone, iPod and iPad users may feel a bit off balance at first. This is because the home screen of the device looks a lot like the Newsstand app and so they may find themselves looking for the “real”

A Fire is a Fire, a Playbook is a Playbook
Image by andyi via Flickr

home screen (this is where I went scouting for a home button and discovered the device has no external buttons or control) but after a little while, you just come to accept it.

Delving into how apps are presented and consumed, it faired well but I was disappointed at the interface for reading. If you already dislike how the Kindle app renders the content of books (especially on an iPod or iPhone), be prepared to dislike this one. One would have thought that since they designed the device and they own the Kindle app, a little more work would have gone into making reading books an awesome experience. The formatting of some books still look and feel very boring and tiring to read after a while but hopefully, in the near future we will see improvements.

Another thing I notice during my first few minutes with the kindle fire is its unresponsiveness. We users have been spoiled and get really impatient and frustrated when a device doesn’t act and respond with super speed or tend to slow down or freeze briefly. As I tried playing around with the Kindle app and messed around with other apps, I noticed some lags, which did not ring pleasant bells but hopefully this will be fixed with a software update and hopefully soon!

The lack of 3G support was another bummer for me. It meant that if I were in an area without wi-fi or even a decent wi-fi connection, I was stuck with offline data and have to wait till I get somewhere with wi-fi. It is also worth noting it has no camera, bluetooth, GPS or expandable storage

Overall all, the kindle fire is a decent device for its price. It is not an iPad competitor and focuses more on media consumption unlike the iPad which allows for consumption and creation. It excels in portability and price and will suit anyone not after a lot of storage space.

Have a kindle fire or considering one? Share your thoughts here!


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