Kindle Fire – Review

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The soon to be launched new tablet from Amazon which was recently announced by Jeff Bezos on 28th September has been creating a huge buzz amongst tech enthusiasts. The Kindle Fire offers the functionality of a tablet and also a color e-Book reader, but at a very attractive low price.

The Fire is designed primarily as a media consumption device which runs on a modified version of the Android OS. Does the Kindle Fire have what it takes to scorch the competition in the tablet world and be the tablet to beat or does it fall short? Read on to find out.

Features of the Kindle Fire

  • 7 inch color (IPS) touch screen (1024 x 6000 display resolution)
  • 8GB internal storage memory
  • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Amazon Cloud for unlimited storage of content
  • Lightweight, weighs just 413 grams
  • A single charge provides up to 8 hours of usage
  • Headphone jack, built-in stereo speakers
  • Free 1 month trial of Amazon Prime

Design

The Kindle Fire bears a strong resemblance to the BlackBerry Playbook in terms of the weight and feel of the device. The design itself is very streamlined, including just a power button on the unit. With its relatively small dimensions of 7.5 x 4.7 x 0.45 inches, the Fire is small enough to fit in a reasonably sized pocket or be held one-handed.

Display

The 7-inch multi-touch display with IPS (in plane switching) provides a maximum resolution of 1024 x 600 at 16 million colors. The ISP technology used provides an excellent range of viewing angles, allowing the display to be viewed at 178° and greater.

Despite having a lower resolution than the iPad, text on the Fire’s display looks crisp and sharp. The display doesn’t use e-Ink technology though however, so if you want a Kindle primarily for reading I recommend one of the earlier models which feature an e-Ink display to minimize eye strain over extended periods.

Connectivity

The Fire isn’t too strong on the connectivity front. There is support for Wi-Fi, but no support for Bluetooth, 3G or GPS. The headphone jack is very handy for when you want to watch movies or listen to music in private.

User-interface

Amazon has taken a leaf from Apple’s book and opted for simplicity when designing the Fire. The user-interface is very simple and provides easy navigation via the touch screen. There is a screen to flip through all your digital content plus an icon tray to store your favourite items.

Final Thoughts

When all is said and done, the Kindle Fire isn’t an iPad killer, but it sure packs a punch with its spec and is a great entry for Amazon into the tablet market. The lack of cameras, extra internal storage options and 3G connectivity will be off-putting to some people who are after a full-fledged tablet experience, but for many who are after a pure media consumption device, what the Fire delivers will suffice.

The low price point of the Fire and its media capabilities are hugely appealing, making it worth serious consideration for anyone interested in enjoying media on the move.



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