Amazon's new Kindle Fire tablet: an in depth review

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  • pokepoke Posts: 506member
    I think Horace Dediu is right. He said there's no room to undermine the iPad purely on price because the iPad is not yet "good enough." Reading these reviews about the clunky Kindle Fire at $199 have only served to make me think my $499 iPad 2 was a bargain. I don't think the market is ready for a "budget iPad." You have to make too many sacrifices. There's a lot of people who seem to think there's room for a "consumption device" but this is mostly based on the mistake of thinking of the iPad is used a "consumption device" and the rest of its features are superfluous. In practice, these cheap tablets are not much more than warmed-over PMPs, and those have already failed in the marketplace.



    The iPad is a laptop-replacement that is not yet good enough for everyone's needs. People will want the best version until such a time as it's over-serving that category. Then we can have a price war. This is no different than with PCs. Years ago everybody bought the best PC and we all used to joke about how it was already obsolete before we got it out of the store. PC buyers had to buy defensively because PCs weren't yet "good enough." You bought not just for what you could do with it now, but for what you might use it for in the future. Nowadays you go for cheap models since the hardware is far beyond good enough for the majority of needs. Because innovation stalled, competition on price has been fierce. The tablet market is more like the early days of the PC market than the current PC market.
  • djdjdjdj Posts: 74member
    Two corrections:



    (1) The original Kindles (1st, 2nd, and 3rd gen) were not hardwired to an Amazon account. I bought one for my parents and had no trouble whatsoever removing it from my account and registering it with theirs. It wasn't hard to do at all.



    (2) The article makes it sound like the Amazon Appstore is the ONLY way to put apps on the Fire. This is not correct. If you can download an .APK file you can install onto the device. I have over a dozen apps not offered by Amazon on my Fire. Depending on the software author, they may or may not make their .APKs available... it's done entirely at their discretion.



    I also need to call the author out on something. He complains about the pixel density of the Fire's screen, but not that of the iPad. The pixel density on the Fire is much higher than that of the iPad. The screen resolutions aren't that different: 1024x600 on the Fire, and 1024x768 on the iPad. So the number of pixels on the Fire is only 20% less, on a screen that is less than half the size. If he is going to complain about the pixel density on the Fire, for consistency and to be fair he has to state that the iPad is worse. It certainly isn't fair to compare it to that of a phone, which the Fire (obviously) is not.
  • thesmoththesmoth Posts: 34member
    That is the worst, most biased writing i've ever heard. It just drips of apple fanboy.



    I think the gist fo the review is correct, just written poorly and very biased sounding.
  • sipsip Posts: 210member
    All the talk about size, and someone's girlfriend actually preferring 7" to 9.7"...



    There isn't a mobile OS as polished as iOS out there but as a Mac user, I am seriously looking at the 11" Macbook Air.
  • thesmoththesmoth Posts: 34member
    The iPad is FAR away from a laptop replacement. It cannot yet really do anything well enough to replace a laptop. Even simple web browsing is faster and more efficient on a laptop, AND You can watch flash videos (actually a big deal). There are a lot of sites I frequent that require flash, so the argument that it isn't a big problem anymore is completely false. The iPad is an expensive toy and all I see on these boards are people desperately trying to justify their expensive and unnecessary purchases. You spent a lot of money on a nearly useless toy, accept the fact and deal with it, stop making up pathetic justifications. iPads are really cool, pretty, trendy, well advertised, fun to interface with, have cute games, etc... But that is all they are and all they will be. They are great to have around for those odd occasions where you don't want to use your laptop or you are traveling, etc... but they are worth about $200 in the functions they return. Slowly the number of useful functions they can perform is increasing, and slowly their prices will drop, and in about 2 years those will balance out and we'll have tablets worth buying. For now you early adopters are beta testers funding development of the real deal.







    Quote:
    Originally Posted by poke View Post


    I think Horace Dediu is right. He said there's no room to undermine the iPad purely on price because the iPad is not yet "good enough." Reading these reviews about the clunky Kindle Fire at $199 have only served to make me think my $499 iPad 2 was a bargain. I don't think the market is ready for a "budget iPad." You have to make too many sacrifices. There's a lot of people who seem to think there's room for a "consumption device" but this is mostly based on the mistake of thinking of the iPad is used a "consumption device" and the rest of its features are superfluous. In practice, these cheap tablets are not much more than warmed-over PMPs, and those have already failed in the marketplace.



    The iPad is a laptop-replacement that is not yet good enough for everyone's needs. People will want the best version until such a time as it's over-serving that category. Then we can have a price war. This is no different than with PCs. Years ago everybody bought the best PC and we all used to joke about how it was already obsolete before we got it out of the store. PC buyers had to buy defensively because PCs weren't yet "good enough." You bought not just for what you could do with it now, but for what you might use it for in the future. Nowadays you go for cheap models since the hardware is far beyond good enough for the majority of needs. Because innovation stalled, competition on price has been fierce. The tablet market is more like the early days of the PC market than the current PC market.



  • bongobongo Posts: 158member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tinman0 View Post


    Hate to say this, but every review I've read about the Fire just makes it sound cheap and nasty.



    For instance, the packaging looks appalling. I mean, this is the first thing you see and it doesn't set a good tone for the rest of the experience. And when packaging looks bad in a web photo, you know it's much worse in reality.



    And I'm reading a lot of forum responses (not just here) of disappointed people returning Fires as well. That cannot be good.



    The Kindle packaging just seems like a clean recyclable box. There's actually a slip cover on the store versions. I don't really use packages for anything once I buy a product other than box it up and sell it on e-bay, so I don't really judge gadgets by the boxes.
  • psych_guypsych_guy Posts: 450member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by thesmoth View Post


    That is the worst, most biased writing i've ever heard. It just drips of apple fanboy.



    I think the gist fo the review is correct, just written poorly and very biased sounding.



    This is an Apple fan site, or couldn't you tell by the title of the blog, and you must be new because DED is one of the biggest Apple Fanboys out there. Anything he writes is going to be about propping up Apple.



    That being said, Daniel is going to write everything in such a way that will for sure rankle a few people, who are quite vocal and still don't get that no matter what they say, Daniel wont change his writing style.
  • dagamer34dagamer34 Posts: 494member
    The Fire is very similar to most v1 Apple devices, sure the first version has some attractive points, but what you really want is v3 or v4 which has been heavily refined over years of feedback.



    Probably the most interesting thing about it is the 7" form factor, which at least makes it possible to hold in one hand (not so with an iPad).This greatly increases portability and opens it up to new use-cases.



    I really do think it's only a matter of time until we get a smaller iPad.
  • psych_guypsych_guy Posts: 450member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by thesmoth View Post


    The iPad is FAR away from a laptop replacement. It cannot yet really do anything well enough to replace a laptop. Even simple web browsing is faster and more efficient on a laptop, AND You can watch flash videos (actually a big deal). There are a lot of sites I frequent that require flash, so the argument that it isn't a big problem anymore is completely false. The iPad is an expensive toy and all I see on these boards are people desperately trying to justify their expensive and unnecessary purchases. You spent a lot of money on a nearly useless toy, accept the fact and deal with it, stop making up pathetic justifications. iPads are really cool, pretty, trendy, well advertised, fun to interface with, have cute games, etc... But that is all they are and all they will be. They are great to have around for those odd occasions where you don't want to use your laptop or you are traveling, etc... but they are worth about $200 in the functions they return. Slowly the number of useful functions they can perform is increasing, and slowly their prices will drop, and in about 2 years those will balance out and we'll have tablets worth buying. For now you early adopters are beta testers funding development of the real deal.



    Dude, you're in the wrong place. Go somewhere else to preach anti-Apple. You're wasting your time and your emotion.
  • ahmlcoahmlco Posts: 432member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    10% of the world might be disappointed by this but the other 90% either wants larger or simply doesn't care. And Apple will keep designing for the 90% because the sales are high and growing.



    It's easy to make a compelling argument when you pull all of your percentages out of your... ah, out of thin air. From my perspective, I simply have to disagree. And there's a good chance that Apple might agree with me, as well.



    Does Apple make a single one-size-fits-all MacBook Pro or Air? Or are there 11", 13", 15", and 17" versions? Is there a single iPod, or are there shuffles and nanos and Classics and the Touch?



    One size most definitely does NOT fit all, and if Amazon sells a boatload of 7" devices, then I could see Apple jumping in with their own 7" iPad at, say, a $299 price point (or even $249).



    As this review and others make perfectly clear, the Fire's main weapon is its price. Get another iPad into the same price range, and suddenly it's shortcomings are magnified even more. Buy a Fire at $199, or get an iPad for just $50 more?



    One thing that Apple has amply demonstrated over and over again is that it's not afraid to cannibalize its own product lines. (Notebooks reducing desktop sales. iPad reducing notebook sales. iPhone reducing iPod sales.)
  • umrk_labumrk_lab Posts: 550member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by thesmoth View Post


    <..> The iPad is an expensive toy and all I see on these boards are people desperately trying to justify their expensive and unnecessary purchases. You spent a lot of money on a nearly useless toy, accept the fact and deal with it, stop making up pathetic justifications. <..>.



    Funny to hear the kind of arguments that predicted market failure for the iPad. The tablet sales figures provide an objective evidence that a high number of people (wrong or not) believe they have a "need" for such a device (at least up to the point they buy it).



    I do not want to generalize about my case (I have three iMacs at home, a MacBook + an iPad (I have two teenage children).



    From this experience, if I was in such a financial distress that I could only afford to buy just one item, it would be the iPad, without any hesitation !
  • bongobongo Posts: 158member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sip View Post


    All the talk about size, and someone's girlfriend actually preferring 7" to 9.7"...



    There isn't a mobile OS as polished as iOS out there but as a Mac user, I am seriously looking at the 11" Macbook Air.



    I looked at iPads and for the portability, the iPad and Macbook Air aren't really that different. Of course, that left a spot in my gadget "wants" for a something bigger than an iPhone, which the for $200 the Kindle Fire fit nicely.
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 12,934member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sip View Post


    but as a Mac user, I am seriously looking at the 11" Macbook Air.



    Then you should seriously buy it!



    I've got the 13" model. No regrets. Absolutely amazing, and a quality piece of engineering to boot.
  • easy288easy288 Posts: 80member
    Wow, what a waste of 7 minutes reading this. If anybody wants a real review, check out the many available video's on youtube and from not biased independent reviewers from other websites.



    I could spend 20 minutes rebutting various aspects of this 'review.' But that would be a waste of time for this audience.



    I would note that my 8gb 3rd gen iPod Touch apparently didn't have that Apple 'magic' pre-packaged in the unit because it also lacks decent sized memory to carry around my videos, it also stops for several seconds at a time for no apparent reason and apps stop working and crash. Yet it still sold 12 million in the last year. Go figure.



    Recently I wanted to re-install the Amazon app for comparison shopping. I thought I successfully re-installed the app. I saw the icon on page two loading. After it downloaded, I couldn't find the app. App Store said it was installed. Search did not yield a result for the app. I reset the device- just I occasionally do with those supposedly flawed Windows PC's - and lo and behold, there the app was on page two.



    Something in iOS was hiding the Amazon app. If I were paranoid, I would think that Apple didn't want me running the app and deliberately blocked it from view.



    LOL. Magic indeed.



    By the way, I have a 22 inch 'rectangular' LCD monitor and I have no difficulty reading web pages. I don't see why a rectangular screen would be a reason why one could not read a web page. Do you people have square eyes?
  • karmadavekarmadave Posts: 207member
    I think there's probably a 7" iPod Touch in Apple's lab. The question is whether they release it to fight off the Kindle Fire (and BN Nook) or not. My guess is that you will see such a device before the 2012 Holiday Season...
  • easy288easy288 Posts: 80member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by karmadave View Post


    I think there's probably a 7" iPod Touch in Apple's lab. The question is whether they release it to fight off the Kindle Fire (and BN Nook) or not. My guess is that you will see such a device before the 2012 Holiday Season...



    Ain't gonna happen. Jobs said people would have to sharpen their fingertips to use touch on such a small screen.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,470member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by karmadave View Post


    I think there's probably a 7" iPod Touch in Apple's lab.



    I agree.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by easy288 View Post


    Ain't gonna happen.



    I agree.



    Quote:

    The question is whether they release it to fight off the Kindle Fire (and BN Nook) or not.



    I think my line about 'legitimizing bastard lovechildren' stands.



    Quote:

    My guess is that you will see such a device before the 2012 Holiday Season...



    My guess is that we never see such a device, for the following reason:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by easy288 View Post


    Jobs said people would have to sharpen their fingertips to use touch on such a small screen.



    Again, not to say that Apple hasn't made one. I agree with you that they have. They just know that it doesn't work.



    And it's remarkable how well my argument can be made with just your two posts.
  • mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 6,750member
    Everything down to the packaging looks cheap.
  • addicted44addicted44 Posts: 808member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post


    Having had an iPad, owning an iPad 2, and having bought a Kindle FIre just to play with, I agree with most of this review, with one exception...



    That exception is the utility of the 7" device. True, it's not as big and flashy as the iPad. It's true that you don't have the "magazine" experience you get with the iPad.



    The Fire doesn't feel like a magazine, it feels like an inexpensive little paperback.



    But, you know... sometimes a paperback is exactly what's needed. A paperback is more handy and more flexible. It's fits in more places. It's easier to carry in an oversized pocket or purse.



    In short, for a number of cases, it works. My girlfriend loves her iPad, and didn't really connect with the Fire's interface. But she loved the size, and would trade her full sized iPad for a 7" version in a heartbeat.



    I think this is an area that Apple needs to address.



    I agree... I think the 7" tablet is here to stay. And I think we will see one from Apple next year.
  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post


    I agree... I think the 7" tablet is here to stay. And I think we will see one from Apple next year.



    I don't think so. Shrinking the iPad OS in half wouldn't be ideal. I'd think a 5-7" iPod Touch with the 3:2 aspect ratio and a brand new version of iOS UI for the device would be more likely.
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