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    Cyber Warrior's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    Hello everyone,

    The purpose of this thread, is to hear members thoughts & opinions on how the Amazon Kindle Fire stacks up amongst a suggested list of attributes:

    • Aesthetics
    • Screen
    • Hardware
    • Overall User Interface
    • Widgets
    • Signal quality (Compared to other devices)
    • GPS
    • Social Networking
    • Email/Calendar
    • Battery Life
    • Performance
    • Media (music, movies, DLNA)
    • Keyboard's
    • Camera (both still & video)
    • How the Kindle Fire compares to your previous tablet (if applicable)
    • Disappointments (if any)


    Feel free to provide as little or as much detail as possible, while trying to make it as useful as possible. Hopefully this will help others who are considering the Kindle Fire, but would like to hear some user feedback first. Also, please do not review the Kindle Fire prior to having one

    And if you read a review that you found helpful, please use the Thanks button to show them your appreciation!
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    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.
  3. #3  
    PJNERO's Avatar

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    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    •Aesthetics - Nice small form factor at 7'

    •Screen - Great color and clarity

    •Hardware - Havent' had any freezes calling for a reboot

    •Overall User Interface - Very easy to get the hang of the navigation gestures

    •Widgets - Again, navigation was esy to figure out.

    •Signal quality (Compared to other devices) - I can't compare it to anything else in this regard, but it scans and locates every available wifi network within range and displays them for you.

    •GPS - Don't think it has GPS ( I haven't found it yet anyway)

    •Social Networking - Apps for FB and Twitter.

    •Email/Calendar - Supports multiple email accounts in a unified inbox. Several calendr apps available.

    •Battery Life - Battery is about what it says online, 8 hours.

    •Performance - Nifty. No lags or freezes.

    •Media (music, movies, DLNA) - Have had no prblem streaming music from the cloud. No problems streaming movies from Netflix or MovieVault.

    •Keyboard's - Keyboard is virtual/on-screen. Easy to use. Easy to activate when you need it.

    •Camera (both still & video) - Sorry, no cameras.

    •How the Kindle Fire compares to your previous tablet (if applicable) - The only tablet I can only compare it to is an Ipad. It's smaller. It's cheaper. It still gets the job done.

    •Disappointments (if any) - None yet.
  4. #4  

    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    I'm going to keep this short and sweet.

    I ordered two Kindle Fires, one for myself and one for the wife. We got them today in the mail. I wasn't expecting too much out of the Fire but as I pulled mine out of the box, my expectations increased. The thing is built like a tank and when first picking it up, it feels really heavy for it's size.

    I've been playing around with it for the past couple hours and I have to say that i'm really impressed with it. Definitely worth the $200 they're asking.
    Last edited by pkcable; 11-17-2011 at 02:32 PM.
    Wow....My Asus tablet just Transformed into a netbook right before my eyes!
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  5. #5  

    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    Had mine now for 24 hours.

    Yays: Size, very easy to get good stuff with Amazon; movies, books magazines, products. Like Amazon Prime.....a lot. Stable OS. Very clear screen. DId I mention the size? just slips in a larger pocket. So much more handy and useable than an iPlate.

    Nays: #1 is the location of the power button. Several times, I've accidentally turned it off because it's EXACTLY where my right ring finger hits in portrait mode. very irritating. Also, it's a little sluggish on some web pages, but not bad.

    Overall, it's incredibly worth $200.00
    Get one.
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  6. #6  
    DirkBelig's Avatar

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    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    Got mine a few hours ago and here are some snap impressions (+ means positive; - means neg; ~ means meh):

    + Once you got past the security hole that is having your Fire already armed with your account info, it's a blast to see all your Amazon content stocking the virtual shelves. Kindle books in Books; TV series I've bought in the Video Library and all the Prime streaming stuff; music I've bought AND uploaded to my Cloud Drive, etc.

    + It's built like a brick. The rubber coating should be tackier, but it seems OK. Looks like it'll show finger oil over time, so no eating Doritos.

    - Power button is right where it rests on my fingers holding it one-handed, so I've had a few instances of it asking if I want to shut down. I'll have to grip it a different way. (That's what she said!)

    - Not sure if the Silk browser can auto-format text to fit screen width. Initial tests have been disappointing with non-mobile sites.

    ~ It had an update right away adding Facebook and IMDB links to the Favorites shelf. They're just links to mobile pages and not apps, so big deal.

    - The "coverflowish" recently used whatnot - video, books, apps all appear in a line - scrolls waaaaaaaay too fast.

    + Screen seems nice, but compared to my Galaxy S II's SuperDuperUber AMOLEDROFLBBQ PlusUltraMax screen, it seems a tad washed out. (Anything not SDUAMOLEDROFLBBQPUM looks bad, though.) Cranking brightness up for video is blinding. 2/3rd brightness seems OK.

    + Looked at a YouTube clip and an episode of Prime streaming Hottie Terminator and it looks sharp. Too bad you can't download episodes into the Fire (like Unbox) for viewing, but oh well.

    - Not all of my A'zon Free App o' Day apps are showing. Don't know if they're blocking non-tablet friendly apps or what, but I added the free Kobo and Aldiko reader (for my non-Kindle e-books) and it's not showing. I'll investigate further. (UPDATE: It appears no other e-readers are available. Not cool. Changed to a minus.)

    - Built in speakers are weaksauce and located on the top when in portrait orientation, meaning when watching video, audio is all on one side. (Plugged in a set of AKG K240 Studio phones and it sounded good without hiss.)

    + Seems pretty peppy with very few hiccups. I'd say it's smoother than my ASUS Transformer, but not as fast as the Galaxy S2 which runs like greased grease.

    - - - - - - Not a problem with the Fire per se, but the Wired app is pure, unadulterated bovine excrement! Issue is 261 MB and doesn't download as fast as my connection should put it through. If you switch to another app, it not only doesn't download in the background, but you have to sign in to the Wired app with your email and password EVERY. FRAKING. TIME to get back at the issues screen. Amazon can send you a device ready to blow your credit card into smithereens out of the box, but Wired thinks you need to prove yourself every time?!?!?!?? If it had a camera, they'd probably want a retinal scan. What total Apple-sucking a-holes! Vanity Fair (202 MB DL) looks the same, so it's a Conde Naste (pronounced "condy nasty") thing.

    INITIAL JUDGEMENT: It's going to take time to wring it out and the lack of alternate book readers - I haven't tried sideloading anything yet - is silly, but my initial reaction is quite favorable. My phone, even with a 4-1/2 inch screen isn't really suited for reading, etc. and my big tablet was too cumbersome for taking out of the house, so this feels Baby Bear to me.

    ===================

    UPDATE #1:

    - - File transfer speeds are very slow. Connected to home and work computers and copied comic books and videos and it takes waaaaaay too long for a USB 2.0 device.

    - As noted in Ars Technica's review, user videos copied into the Video folder do not show up in the Video area, but are found in Apps>Gallery. WTF?!? I tried an AVI and it couldn't play it. 720p MP4s (copied from YouTube) play back fine. I skipped thru a 45 minute video w/o a hitch.

    - - The lockout of reader apps that the Amazon Android App Store offers to other Android devices is seriously annoying. While you can roam the web and look for APKs and sideload them, it's stupid and not user-friendly. Knock it off, Amazon. (GetJar has nothing for it yet.)

    + Watching video is good and smooth as long as you have headphones for the sound. I just wish you could cache the streaming stuff like Unbox, but oh well. As long as you have wifi broadband, you're cooking with gas.

    - To find out what percentage of battery you have left, you have to drill down Settings>More>Device to get at the readout. Weak and counter intuitive.
    Last edited by DirkBelig; 11-17-2011 at 02:51 PM. Reason: updated
    "The Nexus 5 is such a big black slab of power that if you dropped it down in the middle of a pack of monkeys, they'd start using weapons." - Dirk Belligerent.
    Devices: 32GB Nexus 5, 16GB Nexus 7 (2013), 16GB Nexus 7, 16GB Nexus 4, ASUS Transformer TF101, Kindle Fire, HP TouchPad (CM7), Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch Long Name Phone, HTC EVO 4G, Palm Pre, 64GB 1st gen iPad WiFi
  7. #7  

    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    It definitely moves smoother than the Transformer.
    Wow....My Asus tablet just Transformed into a netbook right before my eyes!
  8. #8  

    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    I got my KF 2 days ago. I have a question about connectivity...wondered if anyone had the same. I can make my iPhone 4 into wifi hotspot via PDANet or MyWi 4.0. But the problem is the KF cannot see the hotspot from either of these apps (but other iPads and laptops can). What is going on...anyone else have this problem too?
  9. #9  

    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by sunsetnpch View Post
    I got my KF 2 days ago. I have a question about connectivity...wondered if anyone had the same. I can make my iPhone 4 into wifi hotspot via PDANet or MyWi 4.0. But the problem is the KF cannot see the hotspot from either of these apps (but other iPads and laptops can). What is going on...anyone else have this problem too?
    I don't know a lot about this topic but the Fire only recognizes certain methods of creating hotspots. I hear that there's the infrastructure method and the adhoc method. I believe the Fire only recognizes the infrastructure method.
    Wow....My Asus tablet just Transformed into a netbook right before my eyes!
  10. #10  

    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    Got my Fire last night. So far I'm liking the size and build quality. Screen is gorgeous too.

    Pros:
    Great build quality and form factor
    Nice screen
    Amazon app store purchases I've made carried over w/o issue pretty much
    App store has a fairly good selection
    Speedy device for the most part
    Not too difficulty to sideload apps you can't find in the Amazon market

    Cons:
    No official Facebook or Twitter apps
    Sometimes a bit stuttery when scrolling on some apps and webpages
    The carousel on the home screen is super sensitive making it hard to click things sometimes
    Very quiet speakers even at max volume in my opinion



    Over all I'm happy w/ my purchase. I got a $99 HP Touchpad during the fire sale as my first tablet ever. I figured $99 why not? Well I ended up selling it cuz I hated it had basically zero apps I wanted and performance was BAD for such powerful guts inside it.Even overclocked it and everything and it didn't help

    I can safely say however the Fire performs much better than the Touchpad. Better on every single level actually, and not many drawbacks. The limited storage would suck but I'll stream my music and video from the cloud or Netflix. I don't own my digital hard copies of video so thats no big deal. The no cameras doesn't bug me either as if I'm video chatting I will most likely use my phone instead of a tablet
  11. #11  

    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    I've had mine since about 2 pm CST today and I've been running it through its paces. I agree with everyone on here (the positive and negative sides) - but I can definitely say that it's a great piece of hardware, regardless of the fact that it's only $200.

    My primary issue right now is that if you hold it in landscape (with the speakers facing left) the bottom left corner is slightly unresponsive when trying to press the "Home" button. It's only in this position. Essentially I have to press the black part of the bezel to get it to work, and it doesn't happen when I'm using the keyboard to switch to using numbers/symbols. Does anyone else have this issue? I'm really debating on getting rid of my GTab 10.1 for this thing, but as sad as it sounds, the unresponsiveness in that spot might be a deal breaker.
  12. #12  

    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    Impressions are both good and bad.

    pros: easy to side load apps via email so plenty of apps available. Easy to watch netflix, amazon prime. Nice size and form factor. Overall works well for a $200 tablet.

    cons: using accelerate page loading actually slows download speeds. With it on, my speeds off my home with wifi are at best 6 to 8 Mbs, with it off, I get normal speeds near 30 Mbs. keep it off.

    cons: bug with bookmarks. one can delete them, but they keep showing back up, even when clearing cache, history, etc.

    Cons: sometimes have to press hard to get it to respond, and wifi range is not that great. Actually it probably is because the app wifi Analyzer shows good strength, so it just may be a bug in the software misreading the strength. Never had a drop though.
  13. #13  

    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by wxman2003 View Post
    Cons: sometimes have to press hard to get it to respond, and wifi range is not that great. Actually it probably is because the app wifi Analyzer shows good strength, so it just may be a bug in the software misreading the strength. Never had a drop though.
    I was having that issue with my home button in landscape that it usually took a multitude of presses, or a press half on the screen and half on the bezel to get it to register. I called Amazon and they sent me a replacement Fire that I have not received yet, but it seems to me that this is something you could get it replaced for. I have little issue with it other than that.
  14. #14  

    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Wildo6882 View Post
    I was having that issue with my home button in landscape that it usually took a multitude of presses, or a press half on the screen and half on the bezel to get it to register. I called Amazon and they sent me a replacement Fire that I have not received yet, but it seems to me that this is something you could get it replaced for. I have little issue with it other than that.
    The home button works fine for me. I occasionally have problems when starting an app or surfing the web. It sometimes takes a few taps. Other times, no problems. It may be that I don't tap exactly on the icon. I can live with that. I have the ipad 1, and the Fire isn't as quick and responsive but it's not as expensive either. The only thing i really dislike about the Fire is the browser and it's whole messy looking bookmarks. it's a terrible browser. I put Opera on the Fire to solve that problem.
  15. #15  

    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by wxman2003 View Post
    The home button works fine for me. I occasionally have problems when starting an app or surfing the web. It sometimes takes a few taps. Other times, no problems. It may be that I don't tap exactly on the icon. I can live with that. I have the ipad 1, and the Fire isn't as quick and responsive but it's not as expensive either. The only thing i really dislike about the Fire is the browser and it's whole messy looking bookmarks. it's a terrible browser. I put Opera on the Fire to solve that problem.
    I have that problem too. I'm hoping that's something that would be fixed with a software update. The home button issue was enough for Amazon to send me a new one with very little questioning.
  16. #16  
    freddyc's Avatar

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    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    So after two weeks with the Kindle Fire, I can say without reservation that I like it. I'm not in LOVE with it, and it's not perfect, but for Amazon's first attempt at what I consider an ebook reader with a "twist", I'm OK with it.

    The Warm and Fuzzies:

    - It's small. Much easier to hold than my Galaxy Tab 10.1, and it's more portable. Also, the thing is SOLID
    - The device is nimble. I haven't experienced any lag while jumping around from thing to thing
    - The interface is very straight forward. It may take some explaining as to what does what and why and where, but most people will get it fairly quickly
    - I was concerned about prolonged reading on an LCD screen as opposed to my regular Kindles e-ink display, but I've not had any issues. It's great for reading at night
    - It's a front-end to Amazon and it's world of services. Movies, music, books, shopping ... it's all there.
    - It's $200

    The Cold and Pricklies:

    - It could be a *tad* lighter. I wasn't feeling any hand or arm fatigue holding it, but I was surprised at how "dense" it was
    - Volume buttons (physical) would be nice
    - The Fire runs a version of Android Gingerbread, but unless you're familiar you wouldn't know it. That's not a bad thing. The "prickly" is that you have to install apps from Amazon's app store, and can't install them directly from the Google app store. Which means the selection is limited. It's not a bad selection, but many a time Sidney and I looked for something specific that we use on our phones and couldn't find it. And yes, I know that there are ways around it. I just hope moving forward Amazon works with developers and starts beefing up their app selection if their intention is that we use Amazon exclusively.
    - The OS limits it's flexibility. There's no changing wallpaper or keyboards or fonts without a little (or a lot of) hacking.
    - No 3G/4G option available for purchase. Yet.

    There are other little things that I could care less about but others may have a problem with: No camera, no Bluetooth, no SD card slot, limited accessory selection. But the "800 lb gorilla in the room" question is "Would I recommend this over an iPad". Weeellllll .... yes and no. Before I recommend anyone purchasing anything, I ask a million questions to determine why they want it and what they're going to use it for. There will definitely be cases where I'd recommend this over an iPad, depending on why they want an iPad (or any Honeycomb tablet). For me, this isn't going to replace my Galaxy Tab 10.1 at home, but it has replaced my Kindle (and no, you can't have it). For traveling, for the trip to work, for sitting in the barber shop, the Fire is my new best friend. Perfect? Nope. But it ain't bad. It ain't bad at all.
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  17. #17  
    aapold's Avatar

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    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    I've always liked anandtech's reviews, they go far more in depth that just about anyone out there, and really explain a lot of what is going on and what works and doesn't.

    .

    From the summary:

    The Kindle Fire is probably the best tablet you can buy at $199. Amazon has effectively defined the new price point and specs for entry level tablets, anything comparable shouldn't even bother with a price tag greater than $199.

    The integration of Amazon Prime video streaming and the Amazon stores is extremely well done. If you're an Amazon addict, the Kindle Fire will likely do horrible things to your bank account.

    That being said, more concrete recommendations are always nice so here we go:

    1) If all you do is read eBooks, grab a regular Kindle. The reading experience is far better on those devices. Sure response time is noticeably longer than on the Kindle Fire, but you do get better battery life, a display that's easier on your eyes, etc...

    2) If you already have an iPad/Honeycomb tablet, look elsewhere. I appreciate you reading this review but don't buy a Kindle Fire. If you really want something more portable to read books on, see point 1.

    3) If you need an entry level tablet, the Kindle Fire is as good as they get for $199. You get the same general purpose compute and memory as an iPad 2, at a far lower price. GPU performance isn't a knockout but as long as you're not a hardcore 3D gamer (do those exist on Android yet?) or high end game developer this isn't an issue.
    Last edited by aapold; 11-30-2011 at 08:10 AM.
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  18. #18  

    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    Love the Kindle Fire, the price is right (a bargain compared to my ipad!), and it works well.

    Just bought my sister one for the holidays and she loves it. Even got her iGloLEDset lights for our xmas tree ....and she can control the lights using the Kfire iGlo app....so cool.

    Now it just needs to change my TV so I can throw out my 2 remote controls!
  19. #19  

    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    I love this thing! I bought 2, one for me and my wife. For $200 each, I got 2 for less than the price of an IPAD2. It will never be an IPAD, but for reading, casual web surfing, watching some TV or movies, it is great. I wanted something to take on the deck, or sit on the couch and use. This does that. When I want to watch a movie, I turn on my 46" screen TV. When I want to do my banking or write documents, I turn on the HP desktop. This, is for that casual time, and it works great, right out of the box.
  20. #20  

    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    i just got mine last night and very happy with it. i never have had a tablet before so i think this is a good first one to go towards. reading experience is pretty smooth and apps are as well. have not tried videos yet but will sometime soon.
  21. #21  
    Ed Witles's Avatar

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    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    My cuz just got this toy.

    Already has a thin line down the side.

    Tried to download ANYTHING from the Kindle store - no joy. Not compatible w/ Fire

    Tried to download ANYTHING from the Amazon Android store - no joy. Not compatible period.

    So glad I was not given one of those.....

    Not impressed.
  22. #22  

    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    Got mine opened yesterday. I bought one for the wife and myself. I've rooted it installed android market. I now have an Android tablet with amazon skin of course. Not really wanting to run a custom rom at the moment. Just wanted market and google apps.
  23. #23  
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    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    Sideload GoLauncher EX. Assuming you don't like the Kindle Skin. Looks great
  24. #24  

    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by soapfan9900 View Post
    i just got mine last night and very happy with it. i never have had a tablet before so i think this is a good first one to go towards. reading experience is pretty smooth and apps are as well. have not tried videos yet but will sometime soon.
    Is there any compatibility problems with APP download? sorry if it is too unprofessional a question.
  25. #25  

    Default Re: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions/Reviews

    No dedicated physical volume control. WTF? sorry but....no thanks.
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