Amazon Dies in a Fire

I was really hoping to see some competition for the iPad. Oh well:


A few of their many complaints: there is no external volume control. The off switch is easy to hit by accident. Web pages take a long time to load. There is no privacy on the device; a spouse or child who picks it up will instantly know everything you have been doing. The touch screen is frequently hesitant and sometimes downright balky. 

 All the individual grievances -- recorded on Amazon's own Web site -- received a measure of confirmation last week when Jakob Nielsen, a usability expert, denounced the Fire, saying it offered "a disappointingly poor" experience. For users whose fingers are not as slender as toothpicks, he warned, the screen could be particularly frustrating to manipulate. 

 "I feel the Fire is going to be a failure," Mr. Nielsen, of the Nielsen Norman Group, a Silicon Valley consulting firm, said in an interview. "I can't recommend buying it."

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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