Amazon Kindle Fire Review

As nostalgia sets in, we can only think back to the day when the Apple iPad was first unveiled, seeing that it was a groundbreaking moment in time for general computing. Besides witnessing an intuitive experience on a tablet level, which wasn’t necessarily seen before its time, the one thing that impressed people most about it was its highly competitive $500 starting price point. Today, it seems that many companies strive to achieve that figure with their alternatives – thus, bringing us into the constantly shifting price wars.

So when Amazon finally dropped the news regarding its Kindle Fire tablet a few weeks ago, many were enamored to find out its price, yet somehow, it was all too expected. Nevertheless, the easy-to-swallow $200 Amazon Kindle Fire is here itching to ignite itself into stardom – thanks to its combined functionality of being an eReader first, with some light tablet-ing  sprinkled on. There’s no arguing that it’s priced remarkably on so many levels, but will it contest to replace the titans in the tablet landscape? Or will it merely prove to be nothing more than a laughable tablet wannabe?

The package contains:

  • Amazon Kindle Fire
  • Wall Charger
  • Quick Start Guide


When you’re priced so affordably out the door, it’s hard to expect a design that’s going to exhibit the traits of being stylish or chic. Let’s be for real with ourselves, we can’t knock on the Amazon Kindle Fire for its spot-on conventional tablet design, but there are still people that take pride in materialistic possessions.

Fortunately, the Kindle Fire is one solidly built tablet that enables it to stray from the perception of something being on the cheap side – thanks to its soft touch back cover and accompanying weight (413 g) that combined together give off that sensible feel in the hand. Even though it doesn’t attempt to be the thinnest or most compact 7” tablet out there, we’re still able to comfortably hold it with one hand. Interestingly, its overall design very much looks like the BlackBerry PlayBook, and honestly, if you remove their brandings, it’d be nearly impossible to tell the two apart. Overall, it’s no looker that’ll attract people from afar, but rather, we have to give kudos to Amazon for at least coming up with something that’s exceptionally solid feeling for its price.

For its display, Amazon decided to outfit the Kindle Fire with a 7” IPS LCD panel, and when you combine that with its resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels, it’s fairly standard amongst the spectrum of  7” tablets. Reading shouldn’t be much of an issue, because you can always adjust the font size to your liking. Furthermore, like other IPS displays we’ve seen, color production is very neutral with its tones, which essentially provides for some realistic looking colors – as opposed to oversaturated ones we tend to see with AMOLED displays. Viewing angles are broad to maintain its visibility, but it doesn’t quite have the strongest brightness output we’ve seen on a tablet, which proves to be a challenge when trying to use it outdoors with the sun present.

Considering that the Amazon Kindle Fire is one clean and minimalistic looking tablet, there are barely any noticeable buttons or ports protruding from its side. However, taking a quick peek on the bottom edge, we do find a 3.5mm headset jack, microUSB port, and dedicated power button. With the latter, it might be on the small size, but luckily, its response is springy enough when pressed. Meanwhile, on the top edge, the only items that are present are the left and right speakers. Finally, flipping it over to the rear, there’s nothing of particular interest except for the prominent Kindle branding embossed into the soft touch rear cover.

So what’s missing you ask? Well, it omits a volume rocker to quickly modify its level, though, it is controlled via the software. Secondly, there are no cameras whatsoever to give us the ability to shoot photos/videos, and at the same time, that means there isn’t going to be any video chat functionality. Next, it lacks a microSD card slot for additional storage, which might handicap some people because of the paltry 8GB of internal storage it’s packing – albeit, Amazon does stress the cloud storage you gain. And lastly, there is no video-out functionality of any kind, meaning, you’ll be strictly relying on the tablet's screen.



1. bossmt_2

Posts: 459; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

With some light hacking you can get the Android Market and added devices. On that note except for the Google Suite Apps Amazon Marketplace has most of the apps most people will use, I use it because they run some pretty sweet app deals on paid apps.

2. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

sounds neat for light users. almost like an introductory tablet for the older generation :) that stuttering was probably caused by the system dumping information in the ram because it got too full and reloading more. That should be able to be optimized better with a software update. Kinda sad that they didnt go with a higher amount of ram though. But for people that are just gonna use it for media, they probably wouldnt even notice or care.

10. CellularNinja

Posts: 306; Member since: Sep 27, 2011

@remixfa: Really dude? The older generation? No not really. I want the Kindle Fire and I ain't old, I am 16 and have a Windows Phone and Android device and an iPad, I don't want it because other devices are too confusing, but because I am very involved in the Amazon ecosystem, I purchase stuff from there all the time, and they have all the media I need (News, Mags, Books, Music, Movies, TV, Apps) So it's not because I'm to old or stupid to understand a normal android tablet, it's because this is what fits alot of peoples needs, for a great price.

11. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

you misunderstand my point. im not worried about the younger generation. anyone under 25-30 is pretty much born wired into electronics. The majority of the older generation has trouble understanding the value of such devices (i deal with it every day) as they didnt use anything like this in their life. The low cost of entry and easy use set up will help them decide to take the chance on this "new" tech. Hence, "introductory tablet for the older generation". Someone who is unsure if they are going to use it or not is more than likely not going to drop 600 on an ipad or Tab, but this super cheap price wont have that problem as often. I didnt say anything about the younger generation, and i didnt say it was ONLY for old people. Dont misconstrue comments.

14. vette21man

Posts: 351; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Not sure it's that CellularNinja "misconstrues comments," it's that your comment was viewed almost as an insult to younger users. A proper reply to his comment would have been, "Sorry, I didn't mean for my comment to be taken that way, let me rephrase." Rather, you said, "you misunderstand my point." Really, it's your inability to clearly state your point that caused the issue. It's like saying, "Your confused, let me explain to you why you're an idiot."

3. jamrockjones

Posts: 345; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Well said.

4. Mercenary

Posts: 61; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

Amazing tablet for a 200$ cost.

5. The_Miz

Posts: 1496; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Meh, from all the issues listed, I rather just buy an iPad instead.

6. ElectroManiac

Posts: 47; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

Miz you will buy an iPad even if the Kindle Fire is a god-send like tablet and the iPad is a turd with an Apple logo. In other words you will buy an Apple product over any other product no mater what. Stop pretending that you care.

7. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

No crap. Even without all the issues listed, I'd rather buy literally any other tablet out there (okay, maybe not one of those cheap Android 2.x.x tablets), but that's okay for Amazon because I'm not in their target demographic. I'm a tech-oriented youth who is attracted to large screens, snappy performance, and getting the most I can possibly get out of a tablet, regardless of price. Therefore, I'm more attracted to something like the Transformer Prime or the iPad 2. Amazon is targeting someone COMPLETELY different, given its price-tag and established competency in e-readers. For instance, one target demo I see for the Fire is middle-aged women who want to read a book and carry out basic features of a tablet without having to pay triple the price for an iPad (i.e. my mom). I've noticed that people on this site are very quick to deride a product without realizing that just because the product doesn't appeal to you doesn't mean the product doesn't appeal to anyone else, with the exception of the Xoom, of course, which didn't appeal to anyone.

8. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2488; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

It's a $200 tablet yet we are trying to hold it to some high standards. I can't wait to see the Nook Tablet's review...

9. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Seems great for the price. Not a replacement for an ipad or transformer but for half the price you cant go wrong if you're mainly in it for media, web browsing, and books. Other tablets at that price range normally are much worse in performance.

13. MOTOROLA_is_Cool

Posts: 9; Member since: Oct 30, 2011

Im Going to get an kindle fire Because of its price and only use the amazon market on my Droid.
Kindle Fire
  • Display 7.0" 1024 x 600 pixels
  • Processor TI OMAP4, Dual-core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 8 GB

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