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Kindle Fire Tablet Review

Updated on December 1, 2011
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The Amazon Kindle Fire

The Kindle Fire was launched in late 2011 and immediately set tongues wagging with not only its new features but its surprisingly low price. At only $199, it's a bold call by Amazon to try and take on the indomitable iPad. It’s an interesting tactic to make against the Apple brand; a brand known for its focus on perceived value. Apple has convinced it’s customers that their products are worth the high price, but Amazon is taking a far different approach, arguing that you can get comparable features but a far reduced price.

This hub will not only review the Amazon Kindle Fire as an ebook reader, but as a competitor the Apple iPad. Part of this discussion will be on whether an ebook reader is the right fit for you, or whether traditional books and a broader, more pc-like device is a better purchase.

Kindle Fire Video

Should I buy an e-book reader?

Whether or not you choose the Kindle Fire, you need to decide whether an e-book reader is right for you. As a late convert to e-reading, I can relate to the reservations people have about putting down their trusty soft cover novel, shelving one of the last bastions that technology is yet to overrun. I couldn’t understand how a piece of tech could replace the comfort you get from snuggling up with a book. For a start, I much prefer reading pieces of paper than direct from a computer screen so I doubted I would enjoy reading entire novels off a screen.

What I can tell you is that since I bought a Kindle I have never looked back. I have read more than ever before. The reason is that all of a sudden books are far cheaper and far more accessible – no more leaving the library empty handed and disappointed. I also don’t have to lug a big book around wherever I go. In fact, I can carry a personal library of 100 books with me and I don’t have to worry about where to store them when I’m done.

The digital ink used in many e-readers make the reading process itself just as easy as reading a book, and the lack of back lighting is gentle on the eyes.

I would whole-heartedly recommend putting aside your reservations and giving an e-reader a try. You’ll be surprised at how much more reading you end up doing.


Kindle Fire Specifications

  • The Kindle Fire has a 7" multi-touch display with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and anti-reflective treatment, 1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi, 16 million colors.
  • 7.5" x 4.7" x 0.45" (190 mm x 120 mm x 11.4 mm) in size
  • 14.6 ounces in weight (413 grams)
  • Because it is wireless and doesn't necessarily require a computer, the Kindle Fire has no system requirements.
  • 8GB internal on-device storage (approximately 6GB available for user content). That's enough for 80 apps, plus 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books.
  • Free cloud storage for all Amazon content
  • The Kindle Fire battery life is up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, with wireless off. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as web browsing and downloading content.
  • Will fully charge in approximately 4 hours via included U.S. power adapter. Also supports charging from your computer via USB.
  • Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, or enterprise networks with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication; does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks.
  • USB 2.0 port (micro-B connector)
  • 3.5 mm stereo audio jack, top-mounted stereo speakers.
  • Supports Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8.
  • Kindle Fire Warranty and Service: 1-year limited warranty and service included. Optional 2-year Extended Warranty available for U.S. customers sold separately.
    Comes with the Kindle Fire device, U.S. power adapter (supports 100-240V), and Quick Start Guide in the box.

Amazon Kindle Fire Review Video

Kindle Fire Review

This review video by MobileTechReview discusses how well the Kindle Fire works well to access online content, particularly in being able to rent television shows (such as the fantastic Community TV Series!) and movies (like any of the Rambo films!). The reviewer mentions that Amazon is likely making a loss on the hardware, with the hope that they will make their money back on the consumers buying or renting the content. It is therefore very easy to access this content from the Kindle Fire.

The reviewer confirms that if want a device just for reading then a standard Kindle is probably the better option. However, if you want something with much broader functions, then the Kindle Fire is a good option at an amazing price.

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