As anticipated, Amazon revealed its very own tablet today, and as we reported, at least on price, the $199 Kindle Fire will challenge the pricey leader in the market, Apple's iPad . Before Amazon made its official announcement, we figured Amazon would have a pretty good offering, but nothing you'd want for Christmas. But given the cheapo price tag, you might overlook some of the downfalls for this pretty solid gadget.
The Kindle Fire lacks some of the nice touches that the iPad has, thinks Wired's Steven Levy.
As with the Kindle, the Fire is not a shiny trigger for technolust. And it lacks some of the features of the iPad and other tablets. No camera. No GPS. Not even 3G. And only 8 gigabytes of storage.
TechCrunch's Matt Burns finds the look unimpressive.
The Fire itself is rather characterless and dull. It looks a lot like the 7-inch BlackBerry PlayBook (probably for good reason) and features just enough tech to pass as acceptable.
It's smaller and lighter, which The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal appreciates.
The iPad weighs 21.6 ounces. The Kindle fire weighs 14.6 ounces. It doesn't seem like a lot, but when you're reading with one hand. those 7 ounces are big. Put it this way: the iPad is the weight of a sizeable hardcover book while the Kindle Fire is the weight of a paperback. Which do you like to carry around more?
And it's not really about the device, it's about the offerings: Amazon Prime subscribers can stream all of Amazon's offerings for free, which Gizmodo's Sam Biddle thinks is a good deal.
A $200 tablet with unlimited streaming from a huge library is... awesome? Yes, awesome.
Content is king, agrees Technology Review's Erica Naone.
The Kindle Fire is the tablet you need at the price you'll be willing to pay,The $199 device comes packed with content and features that are arguably better than what's available on the iPad, and at a fraction of the price. Wow.
Kindle Fire also makes buying that content easy, adds TechCrunch's Erick Shonfeld.
The Fire has a good chance at being the best Android-based tablet out of the gate. Not just because of the fine-tuned software, but because of all the media you can get on it. Of course, it makes it really easy to buy all of that media from Amazon.
Amazon's in house browser "Silk" works pretty well, too. Businessweek's Brad Stone calls it "lightning fast"