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Kindle Fire, Full Color 7″ Multi-touch Display, Wi-Fi and more
Amazon quelled the rumours they were launching a new tablet with their recent announcement of the Kindle Fire. This 7 inch tablet features an impressive spec especially for its low price point at just under $200. With the Kindle Fire costing less than half the price of the iPad 2, Amazon looks set to weaken Apple’s domination of the tablet market.
So what can the Fire do? Besides being able to read e-Books and magazines, you can watch movies and tv shows, view picture galleries, run Android apps, listen to music and surf the internet on the new cloud accelerated browser – Amazon silk. Plus more besides!
Read Consumer Reviews on the Kindle Fire
Initially, the Kindle Fire will only be available in the US, but should be released in other countries in the future although the release dates for other countries have yet to be confirmed.
Despite its range of capabilities, the Kindle Fire is marketed as a tablet opposed to an e-Book Reader so is it worth considering for avid book readers or should you opt for one of the previous Kindles? Read our review to find out.
Kindle Fire Features
7” Color Touchscreen
Highly Durable Display
Powered by High-speed Dual-core Processor
Amazon Silk browser for High-speed Web Browsing
Free Cloud Storage
7″ Color Touchscreen
The Fire features a vibrant 7” multi-touch display which utilizes IPS (in-plane switching) technology to provide an extra-wide viewing angle, making it possible for others to watch movies and TV shows with you.
The display produces 16 million colors at a resolution of 1024 x 600, making magazines, movies and books come to life in vivid detail.
For those who like durable devices, you’ll be pleased to know that the display has been chemically strengthened to be 30 times harder and 20 times stiffer than plastic, to make the Fire highly durable and more resistant to knocks and scratches which may occur in everyday life.
Easy to Use
One of the aspects we particularly like about the Fire is its user-friendly interface which is sure to appeal to the mass market. Its intuitive interface allows you to browse effortlessly through the menus using your finger, accessing a whole plethora of content.
Wide range of content
Being an Amazon product, the Kindle Fire give you access to Amazon’s massive library of digital content at your fingertips, including a wide range of magazines, movies, TV shows, music, games, apps and books.
Amazon prime members get unlimited free access to more than 10,000 movies and TV shows, so you never stop being entertained. If you’re not an Amazon prime member, you get a 30 day free trial of the service so you can get a taste of it.
You can store an unlimited amount of content for free in the Amazon Cloud. This solution gives you convenient, instant access to all your content whenever you want, providing you have Wi-Fi access. The great thing about this feature is that it allows you to delete content from the device, and then download it again from the Cloud whenever it suits you. This inclusion is a great boost for the Kindle Fire.
Amazon Silk for high-speed Web Browsing
Amazon has incorporated a revolutionary, high-speed Web browser in the Fire – the Amazon Silk, which makes web pages load much quicker than they do on conventional browsers.
The Amazon Silk utilizes a “split” browser architecture which leverages the high power and speed of Amazon’s EC2 (Elastic Cloud Computing) service to increase page load times when you are surfing the web.
The silk has a failsafe system integrated so if the Amazon cloud servers are unavailable due to technical problems, the silk browser can still retrieve data and function on its own.
If you hate fast-forwarding, then you’ll love WhisperSync. Amazon have enhanced their WhisperSync tech even further by now allowing you to pause movies and TV shows on the Kindle Fire, so when you view the content on another device such as your TV, you’ll be in the correct place.
Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos had this to say about the new and improved WhisperSync for the Kindle Fire.
“Customers love Whispersync — so we thought you know what people would really like? What if Whispersync also worked with movies and TV shows? Well it does.
“When you get home, switch to your big screen TV. Your movie will be right where you left it.
“You won’t have the frustration of needing to find your spot.”
Kindle Fire Specifications
Display Size: 7″
Display Type: IPS LCD multi-touch panel
Display Resolution: 1024 x 600
Size: 7.5″ x 4.7″ x 0.45″
Weight: 14.6 ounces
Processor: 1GHz dual-core TI OMAP
Storage: 8GB internal storage memory
OS: Customized Android 2.3
Battery Life (Wireless Off): 8 hrs reading or 7.5 hours video playback
Battery Life (Wireless On): TBA
Charging Time: Approximately 4 hours to fully charge via supplied U.S. power adapter
USB: USB 2.0 (micro-B connector)
Audio: 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack, plus top-mounted stereo speakers
Native PDF Support: Yes
Pros and Cons of the Kindle Fire
The low cost of the Kindle Fire makes it a bargain for what you’re getting. To put this into context, it’s about half the price of similar sized tablets released by competitors such as Samsung.
With its lightweight of only 414 grams, the tablet is light enough to be held with only one hand, which is especially handy when you’re in a crowded place such as on a train.
Flash support is included, so you can enjoy the many games and websites which use Adobe Flash. This is one of the key advantages which the Kindle Fire has over the iPad, when taking into consideration the large amount of websites which use flash.
Comes with a 1 month free trial of Amazon Prime, allowing you to experience unlimited streaming of more than 10,000 movies and TV shows.
The lack of 3G access will be disappointing to some users who want to take the tablet with them on their travels and don’t have regular access to a Wi-Fi hotspot.
For multi-media buffs, the 8GB internal storage could be rather limiting. Adding to this, there isn’t any expandability for flash cards to increase storage.
It doesn’t feature a microphone or camera, so video chat is out of the question.
Final Thoughts on the Kindle Fire
The Kindle Fire has all the hallmarks of an excellent low cost tablet with a clear focus on multimedia. Its user-friendly interface makes it suitable even for non tech-savy users to enjoy its myriad of multimedia features. While the Fire lacks some of the desirable features which higher priced tablets have such as the iPad 2, it still packs in a lot for its low price and is outstanding value for money.
For people who frequently use Amazon services such as Amazon Prime members, then this tablet provides the perfect way to enjoy them.
The market has been crying out for a low cost, but well specified tablet. The Kindle Fire could just be it.
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