The Amazon Kindle Fire is a low cost tablet computer that was first released in November 2011 and has gone on to become one of the most popular Android-powered tablets ever. It can be argued that it contributed a great deal in popularizing the 7-inch tablet form factor. Despite the fact that it runs an older version of the Android software, it managed to attract a great deal of attention from all around the world. Apart from being portable and handy, the Fire retails for just $199, and that’s part of what has made it one of the fastest rising tablets in history.
Amazon is reportedly losing money with every Kindle Fire sold due to its $200 price tag. However, Amazon is betting that sooner or later users will pay for content available on its online store and that’s how it actually makes money—with its digital offerings. So what, other than its very affordable price, gets people to want to buy this tablet?
First off, the 7-inch 600x1024 pixel resolution makes it extremely portable. It measures 11mm thick and weighs only 413 grams, so users are able to carry it around easily whether in a bag or inside a pouch. Its other hardware features include microUSB connectivity, Wi-Fi, stereo speakers, and 8GB of internal storage. Processing duties are handled by a 1GHz dual core TI OMAP CPU and 512MB of RAM, which is plenty for using the device for what it was meant to be used for: multimedia content consumption. That means reading books, listening to music, watching movies, and even playing games. Given that the Fire offers up to 7.5 hours of video playback, users will find it quite convenient to lug around during their day-to-day activities.
As mentioned earlier, it runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. A forked version, to be more specific. It has been tailor-made to work well with Amazon’s online services, and includes a new type of Web browser called Amazon Silk. It may be worth spending a couple of hundred dollars to get the Kindle Fire if you are a loyal Amazon customer or want to get started using Amazon’s digital services. Otherwise, there are probably better options available in the market now, starting with Google’s very own Nexus 7.
Need To Know: Amazon Kindle Fire
1. Small, portable, and lightweight yet offers enough battery life to last throughout a day’s worth of moderate to heavy use. (The Good)
2. Tight integration with Amazon online services makes it very easy to get books, music, movies, and games. (The Good)
3. Built-in multi-touch display has disappointingly low native resolution. (The Bad)
4. Amazon has no plans of providing official updates to the Android software in the future. (The Bad)