With the new Kindle Fire ready to be pre-ordered and expected to ship on the 15th I decided I would take a close look at what some are calling the best tablet PC so far. And although I like it a lot I can’t really say that I agree with that type of bold statement. It is a very beautiful design, screen and a battery life comparable with the iPad but it does not support 3G, does not have a camera or a mick and these are things that I actually really want in an iPad.
New Kindle Fire
But I’m getting ahead of myself and I am really not paying credit where credit is due. And the Kindle Fire does have some very nice features.
Ok, so the new Kindle Fire is very user oriented and by user I mean the majority of people and what they will be doing with a device like this. And the truth is Amazon has always been good at doing their market research and I can honestly say that I’ve never seen anyone with an iPad on the train or anywhere else doing anything but watching movies or listening to music. I know that there is this big thing that people can read eBooks and newspapers and even email with their tablet PC but truth be said those things are much easier to do with a regular laptop and Amazon picked up on that in the Kindle Fire.
So the software for the Kindle Fire, which is the new Android 2.3, has been formatted to provide the users with all the apps created by Amazon. And it works beautifully on the dual core processor. So now if you want to watch a movie, a TV show, or listen to music you have very ergonomic and easy to find menus for each of those situations. You can actually still access your online Amazon library, that is, assuming, you have bought books from them in the past. Of course no LCD screen will ever compare in terms of eye comfort with the E Ink but for casual reading, that is to say for no more than 2 hours, this is great.
For what it is meant to be, that is to say a multimedia entertainment center, the Kindle Fire is the perfect choice, it would actually deserve a 10 but the occasional video chat with friends does constitute fun and is impossible on the camera-less Kindle Fire. However, everything else except for that is absolutely perfect. Every movie or TV show you have ever paid for is available in the Kindle Fire as is the ability to buy new movies from Amazon and store them in the cloud. And the best thing about that feature is that Amazon is the only provider so far that allows you unlimited storage capacity.
And the other great thing about the Kindle Fire is that it comes with the Kindle Silk which is their one web browser. The funny thing about it, though, is that it has been designed to work with small bandwidth internet connection and it has an intuitive algorithm that allows it to download the next page you are most likely to click on. However the Kindle Fire does not have 3G so there really is no point for that unless they are holding the 3G option in reserve for the next generation Kindle Fire.
At $199 the Kindle Fire is definitely not the cheapest tablet PC but it also isn’t the most expensive. It has some very nice features and the fact that it is so flawlessly integrated in the Amazon store means that it is absolutely perfect for watching movies, listening to music and basically having fun on your own. But then again there are some features that most other tablet PCs have and let’s not forget what a hard time we gave the Apple guys for just throwing in there a 1.3 camera. So now that the Kindle Fire doesn’t even have one there is definitely no way to even consider giving it a perfect score.
There really isn’t that much to say here: for a very good price you will be getting a very good tablet PC in the Kindle Fire. However there are some very particular limitations that you need to be aware of and they include no camera, no microphone and a software that will only work with the Amazon provided apps. But then again that’s not so different from the Apple iPad and that is a celebrated achievement by any standards.