The Kindle Fire has caused quite a stir in the tablet market because it looks like there is finally a decent tablet from a major brand that is actually affordable. The price point of $199 makes it far more attractive than the alternatives like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom and of course the iPad which are all priced at the $500 mark. Kindle Reviews in this post.
However, given the type of device that the Kindle Fire is, it would be unfair to compare it with these more costly tablets because the Kindle Fire isn’t trying to be an iPad killer or any other Android killer, but what it is, is a killer media consumption device. Amazon is consolidating their business as an online store to buy anything to an online store where you can consume any type of digital media. They started out with the original Kindle which was a natural progression for them as they allowed people to consume books on demand and now with the Kindle Fire it opens up new possibilities to consume any type of digital media.
This tablet as a consumption device rather than a creation device is an important distinction and goes someway towards explaining the price point of this tablet. We need to start by looking at what the Kindle Fire lacks compared to its more expensive competition. You won’t find any 3G wireless, cameras, microphone, GPS, and expansion slots available in the Kindle Fire which obviously reduces the costs a lot but also limits what you can do.
The Kindle Fire as a media consumption device is where this tablet really comes in to its own because you can instantly access over 18 million movies, TV shows, apps, games, songs, books, newspapers, audio books, magazines and docs from the Kindle Store. The content is available on demand and streams automatically via your wifi connection and with Amazon Instant Video you get access to over 100,000 movies and TV shows to download and watch whenever you want. This means that from just $0.99 per movie you can download it and watch it for 30 days and if you need to catch up on last night’s TV show it’s just $1.99 to watch it immediately.
As an eReader the Kindle Fire performs as well as any other tablet device but it can’t be compared to a dedicated eReading device like the Kindle Touch which uses the advanced e-Ink displays. The backlit LCD screen will start to hurt your eyes after a while so if you are planning on buying the Kindle Fire as your primary electronic reading device you might want to explore the other Kindle options. However if you can foresee yourself only doing casual reading, maybe one hour at a time then the Kindle Fire works very well.
Music on the Fire Kindle is handled very well, you have the option to upload your own DRM-free music collection to your Amazon Cloud and then access it through the tablet from anywhere with a wifi connection. However you might struggle to transfer any music bought from iTunes because almost all of the files contain DRM which restrict its use. This is one major advantage Amazon MP3 has over iTunes and should be a big enough reason for many people to make the switch from Apple to Amazon: Amazon doesn’t use DRM in most of the music you buy from them.
Amazon have been touting their new Silk browser as a revolution for tablet based Internet browsing because it leverages Amazon’s Cloud services to optimize, serve up and present the web pages quicker than ever before. Some critics have been sceptical of this claim but judging by user experiences posted in reviews and in forums, most have been very happy with the speed boost that Silk provides.
You may have read Kindle reviews despairing at the lack of storage space on the Kindle Fire but this is slightly misleading: The Kindle Fire isn’t meant to be used as a storage device. When you buy the Kindle Fire you get storage space on Amazon’s cloud services where you can upload all your own media (like DRM free MP3’s and movie files) from your main computer and then access it from anywhere where you have a wifi connection with your Kindle Fire.
The 7 inch screen is bright and even packs more pixels per inch than the larger tablets like the iPad which makes reading books and watching movies easy on the eyes. If you are using the excellent new Silk browser to surf the web you will find that there is a small trade off though as you may have to zoom in on some websites to read the content clearly but the simple and accurate hand gestures means this doesn’t become too much of an issue. The Kindle Fire also has the added benefit of supporting Flash which means that all the video sharing sites like YouTube, Facebook and others are accessible unlike on iPad where you can only watch HTML5 videos online.
To conclude Kindle Reviews, if you just want a small device for consuming media that is bigger than your smartphone but far less expensive than the more powerful tablets then the Amazon Kindle Fire is the perfect choice. It’s not as cumbersome to carry around as an iPad and the movie and book experience is far better than any smartphone.