EH Buyer’s Scorecard: Amazon’s Kindle Fire
A closer look at this inexpensive tablet, from in-house and around the web.
December 02, 2011 by EH Staff

With the popularity of the iPad (and iPad 2), this was the year when everyone and their mother released some sort of tablet.  Then in September, Amazon released the mother of all tablets: The Kindle Fire.

Now, the Kindle Fire isn’t exactly an iPad killer. In fact, what makes the Fire so wonderful is its price. For $199, you can have a lot of the functionality that manufacturers have been hoarding for people willing to pay a lot more.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire is a 7-inch tablet with access to all of the movies, music, magazines and apps that you little heart desires. Well, maybe not all of them. Of course, if you want iTunes, you’re going to have to buy an iPad. Instead, all of this tablet’s content comes from (duh) Amazon and its associated apps. 

Weighing in 14.6 ounces, Kindle Fire also features and IPS (in-plane switching) LCD screen, a state-of-the-art dual-core processor, and Whispersync technology for use across several devices and platforms. It also has the new Amazon Silk cloud-accelerated web browser, free storage options via the Amazon Cloud.

What the Manufacturer Says

“Kindle Fire offers more than 18 million movies, TV shows, songs, books, magazines, apps and games, as well as free storage of Amazon digital content in the Amazon Cloud, Whispersync for books and movies, a 14.6 ounce design that’s easy to hold with one hand, a vibrant color touch screen, a powerful dual-core processor and Amazon Silk—Amazon’s new revolutionary web browser that accelerates the power of the mobile device by using the computing speed and power of the Amazon Web Services cloud—all for only $199.”
Visit Amazon to Learn More About the Kindle Fire

Reviews and Ratings from Around the Web

Kindle Fire
Super cheap!
Access to all of Amazon
Nice display
No camera
No microSD card slot

Ars Technica
“Ultimately, the $200 Kindle Fire lacks many features I consider essential in a serious tablet: the ability to work on it using a keyboard, browse the Internet quickly, view whole magazine pages, and so on. But we can’t fault it for not being an iPad. It’s only a few hundred fewer dollars, and Amazon has never marketed it as a tablet. This is a basic media consumption device.”
Read the Full Review

“At $200, the Kindle Fire is a fantastic buy. It is intuitive and capable, and the integration with Amazon services is well-done… Amazon took its time with the Kindle Fire and it shows. There is plenty of room for improvement, but this first-generation tablet is an intuitive, functional tablet that is as cohesive as it is affordable.”
Read the Full Review

Digital Trends
“Amazon has upped its game with the Kindle Fire. The device is the most focused tablet on the market. Those who purchase it will know exactly what they are getting into and the tutorials and simple interface mean that almost anyone will understand how to use and enjoy the Fire.”
Read the Full Review

What Electronic House Says

Maybe you have the Kindle Fire on a holiday wishlist or hidden in the back of your closet waiting for someone special. Either way, we’re thinking that if you’re reading this, you don’t already have one. Consider yourself in the minority! According to recent sales numbers, Amazon’s Kindle Fire is spreading like wildfire—and the company is currently number two in the tablet market. This is pretty impressive, considering the Fire has been available for only two months.

Of course, it’s no iPad or even a full-fledged Android tablet like the Samsung Galaxy 10.1. It doesn’t claim to be. If you’re looking for the ultimate tablet, that kind of functionality will cost you. The Kindle Fire is for the people who want more than a standard Kindle, but are willing to trade the full tablet experience for a lower cost. It’s lacking a few of those bells and whistles of the tablets—most notably that camera and the lack of an option to add a keyboard and/or microSD card. However, if you can do without, the Kindle Fire does offer a lot of nice features, at a very nice price. 

What is Electronic House Buyers Scorecard?
Rather than bring our users a single opinion on a product or service, our EH Buyers Scorecard combines what the manufacturer has to say about their product with real ratings and reviews from other websites, along with our own opinions and knowledge of the product to derive a wider lens recommendation that can help you in making a purchase decision.
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