Santa brought us a cool gift this year: a Kindle Fire tablet.
At a first glance we were astonished: “Why?! We’ve been good boys through the whole year. Why are being punished?”. It’s not and iPad, but ok.
Heh, just kidding… I couldn’t lose the opportunity. What can you expect from Apple fanboys?
Ok, seriously. We’ve been using it for a week now and decided write a small review of our first impressions while handling the gadget.
Looking at the tech specs available on CNET website, we noticed that this is a very simple yet good tablet for the everyday use and a good gadget to keep on your bedside table:
- 7 inches screen;
- 1024x600px (169ppi) screen resolution;
- 8GB integrated memory and dual-core processor;
- Wi-fi, but no bluetooth nor 3G;
- Supported audio formats: AAC, WAV, OGG, MP3, MIDI;
- Supported text formats: AZW, PRC (Mobipocket), PDF, DOC, TXT, DOCX;
- Supported video format: MPEG-4;
- Supported image formats: PNG, JPEG, BMP, GIF;
- Recharge time: 4 hours with the included charging cable. However, it charges when you plug in your PC, but the gadget stays in “stand-by” mode and you can’t use it while charnging;
- Battery life (wireless off): 8 hours of continuous reading (this could easily spoil a good night of sleep).
A deeper analysis of the tablet brought us into some good and some not so good conclusions.
So let’s start with the not so good aspects:
- No USB to Micro USB cable included, needed to access the gadget content from your computer. Also, after testing with the cable we found out that the transfer rate is quite slow;
- A bit thick;
- Scrolling smoothness is bad;
- It gets slow when changing screen orientation;
- Amazon store accepts only US credit card for pay. Here, at the Brazilian office we couldn’t buy anything (apps, books, TV shows) because it does not even accept international credit cards;
- Does not recognize the main electronic book formats: .epub and .mobi;
- Internet browsing is a poor experience. Since it’s resolution is 1024x600px and most of the websites are built for 1024x768px resolutions, you either lose a lot of vertical space when in landscape position or it cuts part of the content horizontally when in portrait.
Now the good points:
- Feels very good in hand for its size. One can hold it with only one hand;
- The task of typing something is very pleasant because your thumbs can reach all the virtual keyboard keys without having to take your hands off the tablet body. In addition to it, a large variety of special symbols are available on the special keys keyboard;
- You can copy your MP3 files from your computer, there’s no need to re-buy them from Amazon. If your MP3 carries album data like Album cover, Album Name, etc., it will help to organize your songs in albums. Also, it’s possible to listen to music while you read a book or browse the internet.
- Reading books is quite pleasuring just like on iPad. You can highlight texts and make notes over it. However, since the screen emits light, your eyes may get tired after some hours of reading. I know, this is a problem that comes with iPad too.
Kindle Fire is a very good tablet, easy to use and to carry, good to have on your bedside table or your backpack.
Also its price is quite reasonable for what is being offered.
The only thing that made me a bit sad was the difficulty of purchasing apps, books, movies and music.
However I’d recommend it for regular users that don’t need awesome performance and graphic resources and think that having iTunes to manage all their tablet content is too much effort for a small piece of shining plastic.
My only concern is: Amazon, Y U NO PUT USB TO MINI USB CABLE INSIDE THE BOX?!