Review: Amazon Kindle Fire

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I’ve had my hands on a Kindle Fire for a few weeks and have been using it daily to see what it will do. In fact I am writing this post on the Fire. I did not get the Fire for the purpose of doing this review, instead I am testing it for a client. I set up Kindles and eReaders all the time, so it is not a strange device.

Pro’s

I have found that the small size is advantageous for me to stick in my computer backpack. It is very lightweight and fits in your hands nicely. I suggest a carrying case that will let you incline the Fire for hands free use.

The battery life is excellent. I have read a book, played Angry Birds and Fruit Nija until I had cramps in my hands. I have read my Feedly RSS reader, while following the PGA and Olympic trials on Apps I downloaded. The Fire has yet to run out if charge any sooner than 10 hours. That includes a continuous video test with YouTube videos linked back to back until the battery gave out in 10 hours 12 minute’s. With it on standby it has lasted a full day, 6:30am till 11:00pm with anywhere from 35% to 52% battery left.

I like the ease of navigating the Fire App Store. The ease of use is totally different from the apps themselves. More on that later though.

Setup is crazy easy. Less than 3 minutes, 5 if you need to setup a Kindle account.

The eReader portion of the Fire is great. Ease of use of course because it’s main function is a book reader.

Con’s

I use an iPhone, which is much smaller and I did not have touch issues like I have had with the Fire. I have had more typos and missed touch’s using the Fire than I had with the iPhone when I first got it. I have also had a lot of issues with having to touch multiple times to get an item to load. Also, getting a link or action button to work in the browser is a chore most of the time. Am I touching long enough? It’s just not normal.

Slow tracking when moving around a screen. This is especially true in the browser. Amazon needs to work on this issue for me to even consider this a serious tablet.

The thickness overall is not comfortable. The Fire itself is symmetrical, too much so that it is too hard to handle or hold. Instead of tapering to the ends to fit nicely into the users hand it feels clumsy.

There is a total lack of really good business apps or for that matter useful apps. If you are a gamer, or you are into health and lifestyle then the apps are plentiful. There were plenty of apps that are need to have that are on my iPhone, but I could not find on the Fire.

Lastly I had a problem with flash video not playing in the browser, but it did run in the downloaded Maxthon browser. After testing on many different sites, checking the settings of the browser and a quick online search I decided to clear all data from the cache, and form data. That worked, but what caused it in the first place all of a sudden. I am just thankful that I am a tech and spent a few minutes diagnosing it.

What is the deal with the keyboard not having a comma? Nice to have it above the keyboard, but it should have a place on the normal keyboard or the numeric keyboard.

Lastly, the screen is glass which makes reading outside or in a well lit room you will have to deal with a fair amount of glare.

Overall

Nice eReader but lacking as a tablet. There are other tablets that are actual full fledged Android tablets that are close in price with better value, more features and usability. I would not use this as a device for work at all, it is totally a leisure device that I would reccomend to anyone that is not looking to multitask the Fire as a business device too.

The Kindle Fire leaves you wanting if you have had any experience with any other touch device or iOS device. If you are new to tablets or touch devices you will find that some of the touch issues will drive you crazy, but you will learn. You will probably learn easier than the experienced user because you are not relearning how to touch.

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