TechSpot: Amazon Kindle Fire Review

Amazon sent a wave crashing through the mobile industry when it announced that its Android based tablet, the Kindle Fire, would land with a price of $199. Its custom UI looked good, Amazon promised tons of available apps and media content, and it seemed poised to steal some thunder from even Apple's vaunted iPad 2, which costs more than twice as much.

And now it's here. Do the expectations mesh with the reality of the device, now that we've been using it? Yes and no. It's still likely the best value in a tablet on the market, and will make tablet computing accessible to many people that either couldn't afford Apple's iPads or couldn't tolerate Android Honeycomb based tablets.

While somewhat restricted compared to other Android tablets when it comes to apps and content providers, nobody can argue that Amazon doesn't provide a great self-contained ecosystem.

Amazon's streaming services, books and other "print" media offerings, and Appstore - all backed by its cloud storage - give users plenty of opportunities to find stuff to purchase and pass the hours with. Read on as we take a look at the Kindle Fire in detail.

Read: Amazon Kindle Fire Review

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16 Comments

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Picked up one for the wife today...about what i expected for the price...hasnt crashed yet and the occasional lagginess doesnt bother her so all in all I'm content with it as a purchase

Enron said,
Waiting for a real tablet running Windows 8.

You can get a "real tablet" running Windows 7 right now, then upgrade to Win 8 when it comes out. Acer W500 is one.

wow that think is laggy as hell.

Sorry but as much as people hate the thing the Playbook is still smoother and best tablet if you own a blackberry.

"either couldn't afford Apple's iPads or couldn't tolerate Android Honeycomb based tablets."

What does this mean? Honeycomb is better than IOS in every single way apart from the range and quality of apps and that it's slightly "snappier"

If someone couldn't tolerate honeycomb why would they get this instead. The OS is like a poor mans honeycomb....?!

After a week of using the Kindle Fire, I can comfortably say I'm disappointed. I truly was hoping that it would be the media tablet I could use instead of my ipad. While it does have Netflix and Hulu as well as access to the Amazon market, apps crash all of the time and is very "laggy" as other users have put it. I've never used an Android device as a full time dedicated device and hoped that this would be my firste successful forray into the Android environment. For the record, I use a first gen ipad and a Windows Phone. My ipad apps crash all the time since my IOS 5 upgrade (downgrade? yes I keep my apps up to date) and I was looking for a good alternative. I hate to say it, but I'm going to give this to my kids, who may have more patience than I do.

One other thing that annoys me... I've purchased several apps in the Amazon App store and I contantly get an "upgrade" warning when launching them. When I tell it to upgrade it tells me I'm up to date. I just wish that the App makers would update both markets at the same time since its clear they "phone home" to see if there is an update.

Drewidian said,
After a week of using the Kindle Fire, I can comfortably say I'm disappointed. I truly was hoping that it would be the media tablet I could use instead of my ipad. While it does have Netflix and Hulu as well as access to the Amazon market, apps crash all of the time and is very "laggy" as other users have put it. I've never used an Android device as a full time dedicated device and hoped that this would be my firste successful forray into the Android environment. For the record, I use a first gen ipad and a Windows Phone. My ipad apps crash all the time since my IOS 5 upgrade (downgrade? yes I keep my apps up to date) and I was looking for a good alternative. I hate to say it, but I'm going to give this to my kids, who may have more patience than I do.

From the sounds of things, I wouldn't get your opinion of Android from this device alone, it's radically different to stock Android or any other Android tablet I've seen or used. Honestly, I think this is the first tablet that uses Android purely as a base platform and the rest of the experience is completely customised, unlike say other phone manufacturers such as HTC and Samsung that take android and add a little bit of their own sauce in it for good measure (see: Sense UI and TouchWiz).

The Teej said,

From the sounds of things, I wouldn't get your opinion of Android from this device alone, it's radically different to stock Android or any other Android tablet I've seen or used. Honestly, I think this is the first tablet that uses Android purely as a base platform and the rest of the experience is completely customised, unlike say other phone manufacturers such as HTC and Samsung that take android and add a little bit of their own sauce in it for good measure (see: Sense UI and TouchWiz).

Fair Enough. I know that other devices may not have the same experience with Android as this one, but I really was looking for a tablet replacement for my iPad. IOS for the most part works as advertised (an App launcher), which is fine, but I was hoping for a more integrated and unique experience. At this point, I think I'll wait for a good Windows 8 Tablet (I'm hoping for a upgraded Windows 8 version of the Asus Transformer) which would give me a full OS experience as opposed to the "thin OS" experience currently provided. I know it will be more expensive, but buying these thin OS alternatives hasn't fared well so far. We'll see what's available when Win 8 comes out.

Drewidian said,
I use a first gen ipad and a Windows Phone. My ipad apps crash all the time since my IOS 5 upgrade (downgrade? yes I keep my apps up to date)

I have a first gen iPad with IOS 5 and I have no problem with all my apps. Sound like you have problems with your iPad. Lets not generalize here.

Drewidian said,
After a week of using the Kindle Fire, I can comfortably say I'm disappointed. I truly was hoping that it would be the media tablet I could use instead of my ipad. While it does have Netflix and Hulu as well as access to the Amazon market, apps crash all of the time and is very "laggy" as other users have put it. I've never used an Android device as a full time dedicated device and hoped that this would be my firste successful forray into the Android environment. For the record, I use a first gen ipad and a Windows Phone. My ipad apps crash all the time since my IOS 5 upgrade (downgrade? yes I keep my apps up to date) and I was looking for a good alternative. I hate to say it, but I'm going to give this to my kids, who may have more patience than I do.

Google has always had a longstanding problem with Android in that they would rather develop more half-baked features that work on performance.

I would get one.
But, winter is coming and with all the snow in our streets, kinda hard not to spend money on tires and gaz. Handbrake ftw.
Vroom Vroomm!