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  1. #26  
    technomom's Avatar

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    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    OK, I'm definitely late to the party, having just bought my Kindle Fire this week. So here goes:

    First impression is terrific. Take it out of the box and it works immediately, I really liked that.
    I like the weight and size. It fits in my purse and I can hold it with one hand. That's a huge plus over the iPad in my opinion.

    You definitely want a cover for this puppy though. I sprung for the faux leather Marware and I'm happy with it though I wish there was a place for me to stow maybe a business card so that if it gets lost somewhere, it can be tracked back to me.

    The Carousel: It's a good start, but quickly gets muddled. I think Amazon needs to reconsider the "shelves". Right now, it's essentially one shelf for Everything and precious little space for Favorites. I'd like to see it divvied up a little more intelligently along the Books, Apps, Web, Music lines.

    Battery life is surprisingly good. I like that the battery doesn't drain overnight like my Android phone does.

    The Amazon app store: Meh. It's okay, certainly not as well stocked as the Android Market, but then I'm using this tablet mostly for movie viewing anyway. Gamewise it looks pretty good. It's a little confusing to think of apps as something you can have "saved" but not installed.

    Movie playing: Crystal clear video, sound is a little disappointing. And c'mon Amazon, no subtitles/captioning for my Fire? This is the one big minus. If the sound sucks, a 50+ year old person like myself really NEEDS the subtitles. I don't for the life of me understand why I can see subtitles on Amazon Video that I play on my PC but not with the SAME video on my Fire. This sucks and really needs to be fixed. Oh and yeah, a volume rocker? How did they miss that?

    Book reading: Much better than expected, though I'll still do the majority of my reading on my lower powered, e-ink Kindle keyboard because its easier on the eyes which are also 50+. I like that I can stay in sync.

    Music: Having my entire Amazon MP3 cloud collection out of the box is great. I am a big believer in the music in the cloud model and have my music backed up to both Amazon and Google. So this was great. It plays fine, sounds okay but really miss that volume rocker.

    So, overall, I have no buyer's remorse. I like the thing and look forward to having it with me on an upcoming plane ride to China. It will certainly help pass the time. I give it 4.2 out of 5 stars and look forward to updates to the software to push it closer to 5.
  2. #27  
    jsh1120's Avatar

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    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    Added a KF to a household with multiple Windows laptops/desktops, a couple of Android smartphones, and an iPad 2. So comparisons, especially to the iPad 2 are inevitable. Cutting to the chase, the KF provides about 80% of the functionality of the iPad at 40% of the price. As far as specifics are concerned...

    Aesthetics: Very good. A bit heavy for its size but still 30% less than the iPad and much more portable. Nice look and feel. Added a Marware "CEO" case and it eliminated a nagging concern about dropping it.

    Screen. Excellent for media consumption. My wife thought she'd miss the e-ink display of her 3rd gen Kindle but tweaking the brightness works great. When and if the sun ever appears in Seattle she may prefer the Kindle to the KF, but it's a minor issue. Otherwise, the 16x9 aspect ratio is great for watching movies. Better than the iPad's 4x3 format.

    Hardware. Purchased after a couple of Amazon updates to the OS and the hardware works very well. One experience with an unexpected shutdown in a month of ownership but a hard reset resolved the problem without difficulty.

    I'd prefer a hardware based volume control but it's not a big deal. For me, at least, having the audio output on the bottom is a bigger PITA. And having the on/off toggle on the bottom hasn't bothered me at all, though I can understand complaints along that line.

    Overall User Interface. I don't like the fact that I have to remove items from the carousel manually. It's a PITA. And the Favorites shelves should be at the top of the screen, not the bottom. Haven't tried sideloading a different launcher. May try that. Otherwise, if you're accustomed to an Android UI approach, it's a piece of cake.

    Widgets. N/A

    Signal quality (Compared to other devices). Excellent wifi connectivity on my home network. Connecting to my Verizon mobile hotspot is sometimes a challenge especially if other devices are already connected. Requires turning hotspot on and off multiple times to connect at times. Otherwise, it works well with public wifi's (though I don't use them much.)

    GPS. N/A

    Social Networking. Mainly N/A for me. Facebook is OK but I seldom use it.

    Email/Calendar. Excellent compared to our cell phones. Not nearly as functional as a full-fledged email client. Sync with google and outlook is more or less a nobrainer.

    Battery Life. Not outstanding, especially compared to the iPad or other Kindles. But neither is a fair comparison. For us, it requires recharging only at night so that's fine.

    Performance. Excellent. Haven't experienced any of some early reviewers' complaints about lags, jumpiness, scrolling issues. I suspect software updates for the OS and the browser have something to do with that. Browsing using the Silk browser is fine. Not earth shattering in either accelerated or non-accelerated mode, but no complaints.

    Media (music, movies, DLNA). Speaker OK, nothing more. Drives a pair of headphones very well, though. Movies are great! As noted above, the 16x9 format makes up for the 7 inch screen compared to the iPad.

    Keyboards. I hate virtual keyboards. The KF's is about average. Not as "good" as the iPad but that's mainly because of size. I'd much prefer bluetooth support for a real keyboard but I doubt I'd use it much given the other devices in the household. Haven't tried sideloading other keyboards but having Swype or another of the popular keyboards (e.g. SwiftKey) available on Android would be nice.(I assume that can be done with sideloading or rooting.)

    Camera (both still & video). N/A

    How the Kindle Fire compares to your previous tablet (if applicable). Considering the price point, comparing the KF with other tablets is problematic. Would I rather have the KF than an iPad (or one of the most recently introduced Android tablets?) No. Would I rather have a Miata than a Ferrari? No. For my requirements (including content creation) the iPad is a better choice even at a price premium of at least $300. But my requirements are pretty stiff. As a content consumption device at 40% of the price of an iPad, it's a bargain.

    Disappointments (if any). Sure. No SD card support for more local storage. No bluetooth. No option for an e-ink dsplay. A bit of a hassle to enable sideloading of additional apps. Hate the design of the Carousel. But none of these are deal breakers for me or the rest of my family. Would I pay another $100-$200 for these and other enhancements? Nope. All in all it's a GREAT device.
  3. #28  

    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    The Kindle Fire operates smoothly, my favorite thing about it is how user friendly the interface is. For 199$ on amazon now you really can't beat the price. The WiFi capability makes it easy to download apps and books. If you buy the Fire from Amazon's website, it comes with your login information already onboard, so you just confirm that you are you, and you're off. The top of the home screen has labeled categories: Newsstand, Books, Music, Video, Docs, Apps and Web. Any Kindle e-books you ever bought show up in the library archive, any music you bought or uploaded to Amazon's Cloud Player shows up in music, and any video in your locker is there, too. There's a gallery of apps that you may have purchased from Amazon's app store (excuse me, "Appstore"). And by design, each page of stuff you own is just a click away from a store where you can get a ton more. If you are interested in purchasing visit Amazon yourself and check it out!
    http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Fire-Am...idcentral00-20
  4. #29  

    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    After a very short initial usage period, I’m pleased. Not wowed! But pleased. I think the Kindle Fire will compare very well to the Nook Color and at the price will draw a lot of people into the Amazon ecosystem. Both Barnes and Noble and Apple should be a little worried. However, even though this describes a large segment of the population , I don’t see this as a good iPad replacement for those who want more than just a simple eReader with a few extras.
    Last edited by Inishatr; 09-13-2012 at 12:03 PM.
  5. #30  

    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    i am pyrrhus, a bewildered old creak who has just got himself an Amazon Kindle Fire.
    Last edited by pyrrhus; 11-03-2012 at 10:42 AM.
  6. #31  

    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    Thank you for your post, I too have just got a KF.
    Last edited by pyrrhus; 11-03-2012 at 10:42 AM.
  7. #32  
    androidalais's Avatar

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    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by jason330i View Post
    Ok, here is my take:

    Aesthetics
    looks and feels good. solid and has some weight to it, maybe a little too much.

    Screen
    adequate. not retina, not super amoled, not qhd, or anything like that.

    Hardware
    everyone already knows the specs. limited to 8GB of storage with no expansion is worrisome.

    Overall User Interface
    not liking the home screen that much. especially the "scrolling view" of the most recently used items (painful to use and awkward).
    other parts of the user interface is ok.

    Widgets
    not applicable.

    Signal quality (Compared to other devices)
    no problems with my wifi connection.

    GPS
    not applicable.

    Social Networking
    haven't tried facebook yet, so don't know.

    Email/Calendar
    haven't tried yet, so don't know.

    Battery Life
    seems ok, but with 4400mAh, i wouldn't expect much.

    Performance
    for something that has a dual-core processor, i would have expected better. sometimes sluggish. i've had it crash on me once already. netflix freezes occasionally.

    Media (music, movies, DLNA)
    access to amazon content is available and seems to work fine.

    Keyboard's
    no issue with the onscreen keyboard.

    Camera (both still & video)
    not applicable.

    How the Kindle Fire compares to your previous tablet (if applicable)
    first tablet.

    Disappointments (if any)
    storage space (knew that going in).
    already crashed on me (not a good sign regarding stability).
    no hardware volume buttons (knew that going in, but didn't realize how much i would miss it).
    location of power button (not a good spot).

    for me, i am trying to decide between this or the nook color 2. but at $50 more plus paying sales tax, not sure if the nook color 2 is worth the higher price.
    Social network is fine. But the Facebook "app" on the Fire is just a link. You have to side load the real app.
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