Amazon Kindle Fire Review, Pros and Cons
Amazon Kindle Fire Review
Amazon Kindles have always been a popular choice in the tablet department. Unlike other more multi-purpose tablets, the original Amazon Kindles were geared specifically towards readers of e-books, making use of virtual ink technology to render the pages in a somewhat novel way. Of course, you can still read e-books with the new Amazon Kindle Fire, but additional capability puts this Kindle more in line to rival other popular tablet style devices like the Apple iPad 2, Samsung Galaxy Tab, and BlackBerry PlayBook.
So, what’s new to justify the sale of this reincarnation of the Kindle? The first, most obvious difference between the Kindle Fire and previous models is the switch from black and white virtual ink to full color. The Kindle Fire allows for music and video playback as well as web browsing and app use, and the ability to read a diverse range of document filetypes is a plus. All of this additional functionality unfortunately comes at the price of battery life, with the Kindle Fire’s battery lasting approximately 7-8 hours, as opposed to the older Kindles which would run off a battery charge for weeks, sometimes months. Still, comparing the power rating to other tablets with similar features to the Kindle Fire, a 7-8 hour battery life is certainly reasonable. As for storage space, the Amazon guide states that the Kindle Fire has 8GB to store files and downloads; however, in terms of actual usable space, this is more like 6-7GB. The Kindle Fire also synchs with Amazon’s cloud service and sports a 7-Inch touchscreen.
Amazon Kindle Fire Pros and Cons
Time to review some of the pros and cons.
Amazon Kindle Fire Pros:
- Full Color. Realistic color representation, crisp image, videos look great.
- Video and Music support. Buy videos and music from Amazon or play your own digital files.
- Filetype support. You no longer have to spend any time converting unsupported filetypes to read on your Kindle.
- Amazon Cloud synchronization. Free 5GB online storage, upgradable.
- Price. Very affordable, you can buy one of these for just under $200.
Amazon Kindle Fire Cons:
- Screen reflectivity. Although it’s fine for normal use, the screen of the Kindle Fire is quite reflective in sunlight. This was never a problem with virtual ink Kindles.
- Storage space. Perfectly adequate for storing e-books and documents; however, when it comes to larger video files, 7GB leaves something to be desired.
- No external volume control.
The screen reflectivity issue is common to most tablets on the market, and is only a problem if you intend to use the device outdoors in bright sunlight. The older virtual ink Kindles are far superior in their non-reflectivity and usable in the brightest light, at any angle. So, if it’s a pure e-reader that you’re looking for, to use in all environments and lighting conditions, a standard Kindle may be more suited to your needs. On the other hand, the Kindle Fire has a lot of great extra features.
For its price, the Amazon Kindle Fire is value for money. As an all-purpose multimedia device, it isn’t quite up there with the more expensive tablets like the iPad and Android OS equivalents, but as an affordable all-in-one e-book reader with some nice added benefits, it certainly pulls its weight.