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Amazon's Silk does little to accelerate Kindle Fire, HTML5

post #1 of 76
Thread Starter 
An assessment of the new Amazon Kindle Fire's capabilities a web app client found it a "competent but minimal HTML5 platform" but reports that a key feature, its Silk server-side accelerated browsing is "not very noticeable."

HTML5 development tools vendor Sencha put the Fire through a series of tests, as it has previously done with Apple's iPad 2 and iOS 5, Android 2.x tablets like the Galaxy Tab, Android 3.x Honeycomb tablets like the Motorola Xoom, and RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook.

The firm notes that "the Fire runs a customized version of Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) and in the past, weve been disappointed with the quality and completeness of that browser. We were hoping that Amazon would improve the stock Gingerbread browser significantly."

It concluded "we can say that while its a solid browser for normal page browsing, it lags the best of the competition in HTML5 capabilities. Constrained by its Gingerbread foundation, its a competent but minimal HTML5 platform that reflects its $200 price point."

Web standards testing

In terms of web standards testing, the Fire scored 95 out of 100 in the Acid3 test, below both iPad 2 and the Playbook, both of which soured 100. It lost points primarily due to lacking support for SVG, failing to complete media queries tests in the allotted time, and being too slow to pass a "challenging" garbage collection speed test.

Modernizr, a test that uncovers browser support for new web features often associated with HTML5, shows the Fire browser supports CSS 2D transforms and Canvas "as well as other Android 2.x capabilities."

Fire was also found to correctly render both Google Fonts and Typekit dynamic fonts, although the reports notes that both Typekit font loading and page scrolling with lots of Google Fonts were both "noticeably slow."

However, the Fire's year old version of Android does't support 3D transforms, web sockets, web workers and many HTML form input types, and the Fire's minimal hardware lacks support for web features such as geolocation.

SunSpider and web animation performance testing

In terms of SunSpider performance, a test that benchmarks JavaScript, the Fire and its dual core chip (the same as the PlayBook) scored "in the same range as other tablets," an impressive feat for a device that costs less than half as much.

In real world testing of CSS3 animation performance however, Sencha reports that while a test game did play, "the frame rate was poor and touch responsiveness while animations were running was also substandard."

The report notes that the browser didn't seem to use the Fire's built in GPU core, in contrast to the similar PlayBook, which "does a far better job leveraging the same GPU core."

In simpler animation testing, Sencha notes that the Fire's browser allowed animation elements to "diverge and lag noticeably and visibly from each other," an issue it blamed on Android's JavaScript timer latency, which it contrasted with iOS 5's "best-in-class implementation."

Out of touch performance

In testing general performance as an HTML5 web app client, Sencha noted that "the Kindle Fire has problems processing touch events with good responsiveness," noting that like previous Android devices, "the OS and browser seem to fight over who gets touch events."

The report added, "since the Fire is based on Android 2.x, full multi-touch with independently tracked touches is not supported either."



Silk has little impact

"One of the main selling points of the Kindle browser is supposed to be its cloud-caching and pipelined HTTP connection that uses the SPDY protocol," Sencha wrote. "This does seem to speed up normal page browsing a little, but its not very noticeable and we didnt test this rigorously. But for HTML5 web apps, where code is downloaded and executed, there doesnt seem to be any performance difference when we tested with acceleration on and off."

The company also notes that "SunSpider scores were essentially the same when accelerated browsing was turned on or off."

The report concludes, "Amazon Kindle Fire doesnt seem designed to run HTML5 apps as a primary goal. It does a good job of displaying ordinary web pages and its resolution and rendering capabilities meet that need well. But there are too many sharp edges, performance issues, and missing HTML5 features for us to recommend that any developer create web apps primarily for the Kindle Fire. The iPad 2 running iOS 5 continues to be the tablet to beat, with the PlayBook a respectable runner-up in HTML5 capabilities."

Amazon Kindle Fire browser testing from Sencha on Vimeo.

Sencha has also posted a video that demonstrates the minimal acceleration Silk seems to provide when loading a variety of complex and simple websites, which in some cases actually slows down rendering as much as it speeds it up in others.
post #2 of 76
I expect some of these shortcomings to be fixed when Amazon updates the Kindle Fire OS to Android 4.0. Other than that, I wasn't really surprised in the results. Android 2.x isn't that great when it comes to supporting modern standards. Performance is subpar and only masked on phones because of processors that range from 1.2-1.5Ghz to make up for the OS' shortcomings.

Considering Apple gets better performance only running it's CPUs at 800Mhz, it's pretty clear to me that software matters a LOT. Heck, Windows Phone 7 devices are smoother than most Android smartphones and they only have a single core (but hardware acceleration!).

It's the software, stupid!
post #3 of 76
fair enough!
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post #4 of 76
Those that are buying this as a tablet aren't likely to care much. It's the same mentality that has those buying $400 PCs and still running IE6. It's just not something they consider.


PS: Speaking of JS performance has Google dropped the ball with their engine or just dropped the ball with their Android browser? As you can see in the link below the Galaxy Nexus and Droid RAZR on par with the iPhone 4S in JS yet those machines have a 50% faster CPU and 2x more RAM. I'd think they should be doing much better in JS performance as Chrome browser is over Safari on the same HW. And pushing almost 2x as many pixels as the iPhone 4/4S but using a considerably weaker GPU? Does that really make sense to any Android buyer?

»

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5133/g...al-performance
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post #5 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

I expect some of these shortcomings to be fixed when Amazon updates the Kindle Fire OS to Android 4.0.

Why would Amazon upgrade the Fire to Android 4.0?

3.0/4.0 are Google's efforts to make Android into an iPad challenger.

Kindle Fire is Amazon using the Android 2.x installed base to instantly have a bunch of apps the Fire can run. "Upgrading" to 3/4 would force Amazon (or B&N) to adopt Google's direction, rather than go on their own as device makers taking advantage of the fact that more than half of Google's own app market customers are still running 2.2.

Amazon didn't update its original Kindles aggressively, and no Android 2.x vendor has upgraded its 2.x tablets to 3.x.

Further, even if Amazon could pick and choose portions of newer Android software to use on future Fire devices, Android's browser is not nearly as good as iOS 5's in HTML5 performance. If anything, Amazon is helping make Android more of a mess than it already is.

If the Fire takes off, it will put a bullet in the head of Android 4.x tablets, and they've already shot themselves full of lead. Will be interesting to see how well Google maintains any leadership when "Android" on tablets comes to mean $200 devices purposely running last years 2.3 version.

If Google can't give away its latest version of Android, it becomes more pathetic than even Microsoft and its inability to sell Windows Phone.
post #6 of 76
Thanks for all the great Kindle coverage.

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post #7 of 76
I saw some of the reviews for the Kindle Fire and it's precisely how I thought it would be, complete fucking garbage. Did anybody expect anything different from an Android tablet? What experience does Amazon have with making hardware and software, besides their kindle readers?

Some reviewers said that it doesn't even qualify to be called a tablet.

The Silk browser is slow as shit. I guess besides datamining people's surfing habits, there's not much benefit to having a browser in the cloud, because it sucks. The tablet is also too small for browsing, and when you go to zoom, it's choppy and slow as hell. It's also too small for comics, magazines and other reading purposes.

The general UI of the tablet is laggy, unresponsive and often doesn't register clicks. Oh, it's not multitouch either, it's only two touch and the one gesture it has, zoom, fucking sucks because of the choppiness, like I already mentioned above.

And the power button is on the bottom? What kind of moron thought up that idea? I read that quite a few reviewers were questioning that retarded move. It doesn't even have physical volume buttons. That's accessed through the crappy touch screen.

Some people say that this tablet is like an upgraded Kindle. No it's not. An e-ink Kindle is a better reader, so what exactly is this Amazon thing good for? Not fucking much.

I'd rather not have any tablet at all, than to have this Amazon tablet. The $200 price tag doesn't mean shit. It may be half the size of an iPad, and less than half the price of an iPad, but the quality is about 10% of an iPad. It's unacceptable. If I picked up this tablet, I would probably end up throwing it into the wall after a few minutes of using it. Slowness, lagginess, and choppiness = Death.

Oh and one last thing. That Amazon one-click purchasing is sure going to put a hurt on a lot of poor people, the people who are buying this tablet to begin with. If people have no money to buy something proper, and they settle for junk, even if it costs $200, then these people certainly don't have the money to be buying much from Amazon. Letting their kids use the tablet for two minutes can end up being a very costly thing for these poor ignorant people who make misguided and uninformed choices.
post #8 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Thanks for all the great Kindle coverage.

Indeed. Such an insignificant gadget getting so much attention!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

Why would Amazon upgrade the Fire to Android 4.0?
...

Amazon didn't update its original Kindles aggressively, and no Android 2.x vendor has upgraded its 2.x tablets to 3.x.
...

It seems from the poor reviews that they will have to update now. We shall see...

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Those that are buying this as a tablet aren't likely to care much. It's the same mentality that has those buying $400 PCs and still running IE6. It's just not something they consider.

Exactly.

Quote:
PS: Speaking of JS performance has Google dropped the ball with their engine or just dropped the ball with their Android browser? As you can see in the link below the Galaxy Nexus and Droid RAZR on par with the iPhone 4S in JS yet those machines have a 50% faster CPU and 2x more RAM. I'd think they should be doing much better in JS performance as Chrome browser is over Safari on the same HW. And pushing almost 2x as many pixels as the iPhone 4/4S but using a considerably weaker GPU? Does that really make sense to any Android buyer?

»

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5133/g...al-performance

Thanks for the link. I don't quite understand your concerns though. The Nexus and RAZR both outperform the 4GS by about as much as their CPUs are faster, and RAM isn't of importance here. As to GPU performance, they are behind the 4GS but 3 times faster than the 4G. I wouldn't question their graphic performance unless there have been any serious issues observed with the three times slower 4G. It actually seems that the performance boost of the 4GS over the 4G is a bit of an overkill, unless it can do 9 times more in real-life applications.
post #9 of 76
Silk is an excellent feature, but I'm not surprised it doesn't give a big advantage over WiFi...
However, should Amazon release a 3G version of the Fire... Well, then you will really notice a difference with Silk!

The same things happens to BlackBerries. Browsing in 2G (and even in 3G, sometimes) is much faster on BlackBerries than in other phones, thanks to the BIS...
post #10 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

It may be half the size of an iPad, and less than half the price of an iPad, but the quality is about 10% of an iPad. It's unacceptable. If I picked up this tablet, I would probably end up throwing it into the wall after a few minutes of using it. Slowness, lagginess, and choppiness = Death.

Finally, a Fire review that I can agree with.
post #11 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by EgoAleSum View Post

However, should Amazon release a 3G version of the Fire... Well, then you will really notice a difference with Silk!

Yeah, sure, it should be included in the $200 price.
post #12 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

The Nexus and RAZR both outperform the 4GS[sic] by about as much as their CPUs are faster

They don't. In one JS test the Droid RAZR even did slightly worse than the iPhone 4S despite having a clock speed 50% faster than in the iPhone. And in no test was the these 1.2GHz devices showing 50% faster JS rendering. What is the point of having a 50% faster CPU over optimized code?
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post #13 of 76
Silk is just an excuse for data collection. Anyone with a basic understanding of networking would realize that the performance boost would be unnoticeable, and it might actually make things worse in many conditions.
post #14 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

They don't. In one JS test the Droid RAZR even did slightly worse than the iPhone 4S despite having a clock speed 50% faster than in the iPhone. And in no test was the these 1.2GHz devices showing 50% faster JS rendering. What is the point of having a 50% faster CPU over optimized code?

Solips, you and I know that efficiency will always trump raw performance. Like Windows, Android is just a patchwork that needs higher-horspower specs to do barely the same functions that iOS can do.

Makes me wonder if tech-heads that continue to get wet on specs are simply ignorant, or just pretend to know what they are talking about.
post #15 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by bedouin View Post

Silk is just an excuse for data collection. Anyone with a basic understanding of networking would realize that the performance boost would be unnoticeable, and it might actually make things worse in many conditions.

I call BS. I have a networking background, and I think that the service has potential... Amazon just started selling their Kindle Fire's. Perhaps not everything is working just yet.
post #16 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

They don't. In one JS test the Droid RAZR even did slightly worse than the iPhone 4S despite having a clock speed 50% faster than in the iPhone. And in no test was the these 1.2GHz devices showing 50% faster JS rendering. What is the point of having a 50% faster CPU over optimized code?

I'm confused why you're trying to move the discussion into the Nexus and RAZR, neither of which have anything at all to do with Amazon's Fire. They don't share hardware, OS versions or markets

If you wanted to open a thread to compare them I would imagine it might get some responses, but this really isn't the proper one is it? Kinda derails the discussion.
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post #17 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

What is the point of having a 50% faster CPU over optimized code?

Because optimized code requires effort and a belief that software and hardware should form a marriage within a product. It's much easier to slap in a faster CPU and hope that the lousy software optimization will just go unnoticed.

When your software is shit, you're left with little choice but to focus on the hardware.
post #18 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I'm confused why you're trying to move the discussion into the Nexus and RAZR, neither of which have anything at all to do with Amazon's Fire. They don't share hardware, OS versions or markets

If you wanted to open a thread to compare them I would imagine it might get some responses, but this really isn't the proper one is it? Kinda derails the discussion.

You're talking to the wrong guy. He wasn't the one that brought it up.
post #19 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Finally, a Fire review that I can agree with.

Much obliged.
post #20 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

They don't. In one JS test the Droid RAZR even did slightly worse than the iPhone 4S despite having a clock speed 50% faster than in the iPhone. And in no test was the these 1.2GHz devices showing 50% faster JS rendering. What is the point of having a 50% faster CPU over optimized code?

I checked out the Android 4.0.1 source and had a look. They're using v8 version 3.2.10, from October 20, 2011 - http://code.google.com/p/v8/source/detail?r=9719. For comparison, the current stable version of Chrome (15.0.874.121) uses v8 version 3.5.10.24, which has several performance improvements. Android 4.0.1 isn't yet using the NEON-optimized support libraries, such as libjpeg-turbo (http://libjpeg-turbo.virtualgl.org/). I'm not sure why this is, but I suspect Google will upgrade their external libraries in a future version.

Of course, when they do that, I'm sure the fair-minded folks here will be sure to reevaluate their opinion of Android based on the evidence, right?
post #21 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


Makes me wonder if tech-heads that continue to get wet on specs are simply ignorant, or just pretend to know what they are talking about.

It's what they've been taught - That specs tell the story. Pick up Best Buy's sales ad tomorrow and see how they market PCs and Android phones: Ghz, GB, Robots, and explosion.
post #22 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Makes me wonder if tech-heads that continue to get wet on specs are simply ignorant, or just pretend to know what they are talking about.

They don't know what the hell they're talking about. You get these delusional, ignorant people boasting about how one device is better than another device, simply because the specs look better on paper.

Anybody with a functioning brain and anybody who has been around the block a few times knows that specs doesn't tell the whole story about the actual performance of a device, and that's what's actually important.

It's pretty embarrassing that many devices have these dual core CPU's that are supposed to be good, at least spec-wise and on paper, but doing something really simple like browsing a webpage is slow, choppy and terrible. These people should be ashamed of themselves. They should all move to Japan and commit hari kari. I would respect them for that at least.
post #23 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by derekmorr View Post

I checked out the Android 4.0.1 source and had a look. They're using v8 version 3.2.10, from October 20, 2011 - http://code.google.com/p/v8/source/detail?r=9719. For comparison, the current stable version of Chrome (15.0.874.121) uses v8 version 3.5.10.24, which has several performance improvements. Android 4.0.1 isn't yet using the NEON-optimized support libraries, such as libjpeg-turbo (http://libjpeg-turbo.virtualgl.org/). I'm not sure why this is, but I suspect Google will upgrade their external libraries in a future version.

Of course, when they do that, I'm sure the fair-minded folks here will be sure to reevaluate their opinion of Android based on the evidence, right?

No, consumers will not care and will only remember that it performed like crap.
post #24 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

You're talking to the wrong guy. He wasn't the one that brought it up.

Actually I did bring it up as post script after making my original statement about the Kindle Fire.I thought those that would find browser performance stats about Fire interesting might also find browser performance stats about the latest "iPhone killers" interesting.

I don't think GatorGuy doesn't like having no defense of how a much newer and faster HW can't easily best the iPhone 4S using a nearly year old chipset.

But even a 'PS' it's still relevant. Everyone keeps advertising it being dual-core, 1/xGHz or having x-amount of RAM, yet it's all pointless if the OS and apps are inefficient rubbish. I've used WP7 on a single-core Cortex-A8 CPU with 512MB RAM. It was smooth, it was silky, there was no lag, and if felt natural. It's the best mobile OS on the market after iOS… and I hope that they can make some headway in the market because that is what will push Apple to push harder, not these silly inconsistencies from Android with the always appended "Coming Soon". Hell, did they even open up Android 3.0 again or is that still locked out?
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post #25 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

No, consumers will not care and will only remember that it performed like crap.

What do you mean "performed like crap?" I was responding to a question about the Galaxy Nexus, which is one of the fastest Android phones on the market right now. Every review I've seen has commented that it's fast and smooth with no lag. If Android isn't your cup of tea, that's fine, but there's no need to call names and spread untruths.
post #26 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Actually I did bring it up as post script after making my original statement about the Kindle Fire.I thought those that would find browser performance stats about Fire interesting might also find browser performance stats about the latest "iPhone killers" interesting.

I don't think GatorGuy doesn't like having no defense of how a much newer and faster HW can't easily best the iPhone 4S using a nearly year old chipset.

I'm not a spec-freak and don't pretend to know why tests show what they do, or what they actually prove. If you wish to start a discussion thread on the the Galaxy Nexus or the latest Android versions and want my input I'd be happy to oblige. This thread didn't have anything to do with those initially, but now appears irretrievably hijacked, a normal outcome I suppose whenever any subject remotely related to a Google product is mentioned.
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post #27 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

They don't. In one JS test the Droid RAZR even did slightly worse than the iPhone 4S despite having a clock speed 50% faster than in the iPhone. And in no test was the these 1.2GHz devices showing 50% faster JS rendering. What is the point of having a 50% faster CPU over optimized code?

The ~800 MHz clock speed of the 4S CPU is only an estimate, from a single source. Other sources point out that the A5 processor may dynamically adjust clock speed between 800MHz and 1 GHz. So the differences may not be as high as you make them to be, and likely within the range of measurement error. This is also one benchmark, and there will be code (including third party) that will benefit from and thus justify the higher clock speed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I'm confused why you're trying to move the discussion into the Nexus and RAZR, neither of which have anything at all to do with Amazon's Fire. They don't share hardware, OS versions or markets

If you wanted to open a thread to compare them I would imagine it might get some responses, but this really isn't the proper one is it? Kinda derails the discussion.

Sorry, got carried away when replying. And maybe the Kindle Fire really isn't all that exciting, except for AI writers, for some reason...
post #28 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by derekmorr View Post

What do you mean "performed like crap?" I was responding to a question about the Galaxy Nexus, which is one of the fastest Android phones on the market right now. Every review I've seen has commented that it's fast and smooth with no lag. If Android isn't your cup of tea, that's fine, but there's no need to call names and spread untruths.

I thought we were still bashing the Kindle Fire here?!?

I'm not up on the Galaxy Nexus but I hope it performs better than my "Fire".
post #29 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Actually I did bring it up as post script after making my original statement about the Kindle Fire.I thought those that would find browser performance stats about Fire interesting might also find browser performance stats about the latest "iPhone killers" interesting.

I don't think GatorGuy doesn't like having no defense of how a much newer and faster HW can't easily best the iPhone 4S using a nearly year old chipset.

But even a 'PS' it's still relevant. Everyone keeps advertising it being dual-core, 1/xGHz or having x-amount of RAM, yet it's all pointless if the OS and apps are inefficient rubbish. I've used WP7 on a single-core Cortex-A8 CPU with 512MB RAM. It was smooth, it was silky, there was no lag, and if felt natural. It's the best mobile OS on the market after iOS and I hope that they can make some headway in the market because that is what will push Apple to push harder, not these silly inconsistencies from Android with the always appended "Coming Soon". Hell, did they even open up Android 3.0 again or is that still locked out?

Just wanted to chime in with a few comments.

Reviews indicate that Android 4.0 doesn't lag and the UI has been cleaned up, plus the code for ICS has been released. On the flip side wrt spec, without an incentive for OEMs to produce higher specced phones, WP7 isn't going to have the best third party apps. Especially games wise, which is what Microsoft is now good at. WP7 needed support for dual-core and higher resolutions yesterday.

About Android vs WP7, the former is entrenched - not really from a customer view, but from a carrier view. I've heard horror stories about folks simply being pushed away from WP7 in store. I'd argue that WP7 is limited, but well done and Android on the other end of the scale has loads of features, but they have been poorly implemented, although apparently this has all been solved now.

On topic: Silk is not sounding like a great selling point and sadly it seems Amazon didn't see fit to make using the Fire a great experience. Which is the wrong way of thinking, because if I like using the device then I'm more likely to purchase additional content.
post #30 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

I thought we were still bashing the Kindle Fire here?!?

I'm not up on the Galaxy Nexus but I hope it performs better than my "Fire".

Of course Fire is a custom Android 2.3 device, while the new Nexus is Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich". The problem for ICS is the fragmentation Android is inducing into the Android ecosystem, effectively threatening to make most android tablets 2.x devices along with the Nook Color.

That will derail Google's own efforts to merge Froyo/Gingerbread smartphones with Honeycomb tablets, keeping development split between old and new phones and old tablets and new phones.

Android advocates like to mix everything up together and get the "low price" bragging rights of the Fire and Nook while bragging up the specs of high end $800 smartphones and pointing to the market sales of "Android phones," most of which are cheap, outdated Froyo devices.

The real problem with that illusion is that it obscures the reality of Android's fragmentation, a real problem that prevents developers from creating any really great software for the platform, any real software for new/high end devices.

Apple lacks that problem, which is why the iPad has so many custom apps and why iPhone 4 and iPad 2 have a variety of apps that take special advantage of their new features.

One is a good example of how to run a long term, sustainable software development platform and the other is a free ad platform masquerading as open source (while the code was closed throughout most of 2011).
post #31 of 76
All of this objectivity and fairness is making me nauseous. Can we get back to bashing the Kindle Fire? I'd hate to take my biases elsewhere.
post #32 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

. . . did they even open up Android 3.0 again or is that still locked out?

Both Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich source code have been released. (Figured Corrections would have mentioned that after making the open source comment).
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post #33 of 76
"Well Jim, thanks for confirming my thoughts...a $200 device is not as good as a $600 device"
"Well Bob, we always knew we were smarter for having paid the $600 for spurious unnecessary luxury item..."
"Yes Jim, quite. But let us talk technical specifications. Did you know that clock speed is largely irrelevant on modern processors and has been for some time, but that for the purposes of this discussion we can pretend like it is so that we can attribute some sort of software mastery to the device makers from our team."
"Astounding! I also would bet that it is harder to touch something on a surface that is smaller, compared to say...a larger surface!"
"Quite true Jim. I am quite glad we logged on to stroke each other's ego by comparing largely dissimilar things and confirming that we in fact voted for the very highest quality of Chinese out-sourcer with our pocketbooks."
post #34 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by trolleo View Post

"Well Jim, thanks for confirming my thoughts...a $200 device is not as good as a $600 device"

Not exactly.

Kindle Fire is $200 and 16 GB iPad 2 is $500.

Also, I'm guessing that quite a few Kindle Fire owners will choose to sign up for Amazon prime, so in those cases, it's at least $280.

And a refurbished iPad 2, which is as good as new (Apple's refurbished products are first rate) can be had directly from Apple for $450.

If I were really, really poor, I'd rather pick up a used iPad 1 than spend $200 for a Kindle Fire.
post #35 of 76
This device is more like a toy compared to the iPad. It really doesn't measure up. One thing I have noticed is that it has no email capability. I would think if you have internet access and you brows the web you should be able to get your email as well.
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post #36 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by bedouin View Post

Silk is just an excuse for data collection. Anyone with a basic understanding of networking would realize that the performance boost would be unnoticeable, and it might actually make things worse in many conditions.

Actually:

1) data collection need not delay response at all -- it is merely a logging of client requests (typically done anyway) by the server for later analysis.

2) caching of page requests on Amazon's servers could yield great performance improvements:
-- each img, script, stylesheet request involves a separate connection request/response with the target servers
-- each of these can easily take 1/2 second or more
-- a page like the NYT with many of these items takes a while to resolve the content
-- because they need to support a single screen size Silk servers can pre-render optimal results for the Fire

What makes caching work, however, are lots of reqrests for the same pages -- so Amazon can just deliver from the server cache to the device (no need to re-retrieve and rerender the pages)

I suspect that there is not yet enough Fires in use to maintain enough meaningful cached pages.

As the number of Silk page requests increases -- individual Silk performance should increase proportionately.
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post #37 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I saw some of the reviews for the Kindle Fire and it's precisely how I thought it would be, complete fucking garbage. Did anybody expect anything different from an Android tablet? What experience does Amazon have with making hardware and software, besides their kindle readers?

Some reviewers said that it doesn't even qualify to be called a tablet.

The Silk browser is slow as shit. I guess besides datamining people's surfing habits, there's not much benefit to having a browser in the cloud, because it sucks. The tablet is also too small for browsing, and when you go to zoom, it's choppy and slow as hell. It's also too small for comics, magazines and other reading purposes.

The general UI of the tablet is laggy, unresponsive and often doesn't register clicks. Oh, it's not multitouch either, it's only two touch and the one gesture it has, zoom, fucking sucks because of the choppiness, like I already mentioned above.

And the power button is on the bottom? What kind of moron thought up that idea? I read that quite a few reviewers were questioning that retarded move. It doesn't even have physical volume buttons. That's accessed through the crappy touch screen.

Some people say that this tablet is like an upgraded Kindle. No it's not. An e-ink Kindle is a better reader, so what exactly is this Amazon thing good for? Not fucking much.

I'd rather not have any tablet at all, than to have this Amazon tablet. The $200 price tag doesn't mean shit. It may be half the size of an iPad, and less than half the price of an iPad, but the quality is about 10% of an iPad. It's unacceptable. If I picked up this tablet, I would probably end up throwing it into the wall after a few minutes of using it. Slowness, lagginess, and choppiness = Death.

Oh and one last thing. That Amazon one-click purchasing is sure going to put a hurt on a lot of poor people, the people who are buying this tablet to begin with. If people have no money to buy something proper, and they settle for junk, even if it costs $200, then these people certainly don't have the money to be buying much from Amazon. Letting their kids use the tablet for two minutes can end up being a very costly thing for these poor ignorant people who make misguided and uninformed choices.

Too much profanity for an intelligent conversation!
post #38 of 76
My recollection of Opera Mini, which probably uses some of the same techniques for "speeding up" the web, is that it wasn't worth the bother.
post #39 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Makes me wonder if tech-heads that continue to get wet on specs are simply ignorant, or just pretend to know what they are talking about.

Specs mean you can impress the lesser non tech people by appearing to have personal knowledge of many devices you have never used let alone seen.
you only have freedom in choice when you know you have no choice
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you only have freedom in choice when you know you have no choice
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post #40 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Too much profanity for an intelligent conversation!

Nice of you to dupe it.
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