When word of Amazon’s interest in the tablet market hit the air, radio and internet waves, many predicted that it would be the first major competitor to Apple’s iPad which is yet to have major competition from any of the Android counterparts. Turns out that those predictions may be true; analysts are predicting that early into 2012 Amazon will be positioned as the number two tablet manufacturer worldwide thanks to their new Kindle Fire tablet, with millions of consumers driven to find out where to buy the Kindle Fire.
With a price point of $199 without any sort of contract involved, Amazon is taking a loss on the sale of each device, but thanks to the sale of digital content on the Amazon App Store as well as eBooks, magazines, music and movies, Amazon will be able to recoup their the money lost by the sale of each device and come out with a nice profit.
Design and Features
Picking up the Kindle Fire and the first word that comes to mind is solid. This feels like a well-built tablet and it’s not hard to tell that Amazon spent some serious time manufacturing a tablet that not only looks sexy but feels so as well.
While the Kindle Fire is by no means heavy, it feels sturdy and has an overall weight of 14.6oz. The dimensions of the Kindle Fire are 7.5 x 4.7 x 0.45. Amazon is putting enough screen real estate, a 7” IPS multi-touch panel with 1024 x 600px , into a device that is not too bulky to carry but still big enough to be usable.
In device storage is listed at 8GB with 6GB available for user content. According to Amazon, that will hold 80 apps, 10 movies, 800 songs and 6,000 books. As usual, if that is not enough space, Amazon is providing free cloud storage for all content purchased from Amazon. Unfortunately, there is no way to expand the memory so you’re stuck with the 8GB.
A dual-core 1GHz processor comes standard with Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, microUSB, 3.5mm headphone jack and an internal battery that will hold 8 hours of charge and take about four hours to fully charge (all numbers claimed by Amazon). This type of powerful core design has certainly initiated a lot of tablet shoppers to seek out where to purchase the Kindle Fire.
The Kindle Fire runs Android 2.3.4 under a heavily skinned UI. While it is possible to load side apps and the likes, Amazon does not provide the Android Settings page to users so theoretically, you could install your own skin, keyboard or other UI enhancements, but you will never see them unless you root the device. While we are on the subject, Android Market access is not enabled and instead apps must either be side loaded or installed from the Amazon App Store.
With that being said, overall performance was good. There were a few times we noticed that the UI would glitch, but it was only for a split second and something we can definitely forgive considering the sub $200 price of the tablet.
The screen is beautiful and bright, however, the Kindle Fire’s closest competitor, the Nook Tablet does beat it out by a slight margin, albeit for $50 more. The web browser uses Amazon Silk which claims to speed up browsing and comes with Adobe Flash Player support.
Amazon did a great job of providing enough content to keep Kindle Fire owners busy and we found no shortage of apps on the Amazon App Store or Amazon MP3 Store to interest us. Amazon has an app dedicated to renting and buying movies and TV shows but we did rather downloading the Netflix app and using it since we have a subscription. Of course, the Kindle Store is there for all your eBook and magazine pleasures.
Overall the Kindle Fire is a solid tablet and one that has little competition as it stands thanks to all the consumers rushing out to find where to buy the Kindle Fire tablet. If you are looking for a budget tablet, one that has a strong focus on entertainment and reading, we couldn’t think of a better device, and at a price of less than half that of an iPad, this could be the perfect device for many individuals.
Our only major reservation with the Kindle Fire is it’s occasional glitching. Like we said in the review, it’s not a major annoyance, and we definitely expect Amazon to send out an update to fix the bug as soon as possible.