September 3rd 2011 12:11 am

Heads up! A newer version of this product has been announced!

final rating

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this review has been viewed 1326 times

Criteria Comments Rating
  • Features The tablet is full-featured, especially considering the price. Features that it doesn't have are commonly in your smart phone anyway (video chat etc..) good
  • Display The display is VERY easy on the eyes reading for long periods. great!
  • Battery life I used this thing for HOURS and hours for two days and finally got the battery down to 15%. Movies, web, reading, it sips power. great!
  • Ease of use Very simple user interface. Think iOS but simpler, more concise framework. Basic settings are slightly more convenient to access. great!
  • Storage capacity I don't need a lot of storage but an SD slot would make this a 5 and help to differentiate from Apple. so-so
  • Design and form factor Clean, but I would like a volume rocker! good
  • Portability (size / weight) The tiniest bit too heavy, but no more so than the Blackberry tablet or the iPad. I was assuming a little closer to a regular Kindle (unreasonable expectation) good
  • Durability It seems sturdy. We'll see! great!
Detailed review
The un-boxing was over before it began. It came in a simple box with a 2-sentence getting started card. I plugged it in to charge and it almost immediately turned green (full charge).

I turned it on and immediately began a system update which took about 2 minutes. It was pre-loaded with several apps. I added my account info for Amazon and it automatically began my Amazon Prime free trial.

Books: I downloaded a loaner book from the new Amazon lending service (The 5 Love Languages) and checked out the reader. I have since read half of that book and have found it to be a comfortable reader, not as light and perfect as a Kindle but not hard on the eyes and light enough to endure long sessions. Occasionally (1/100 times maybe?), the right hand page turn tap doesn't register properly.

Comics: Comixology reader app (Android) is TIGHT on this. I wish that it would remember your title and place though! Regardless, after reading comics for months on the iPhone in guided mode I am SOOOOOO happy to be able to spread out on 7" of screen now.

Video: I have been watching the Ken Burns Civil War documentary on Amazon Prime streaming. The screen, software, and hardware work together flawlessly to make viewing a pleasure. This is a real win for me since I can watch with my headphones while sleeping beauty snoozes beside me. The headphone jack is not very secure...1/8" stereo jack slips a bit, but it hasn't been a big problem.

I also downloaded Netflix app and it works fine. This is probably user error, but I couldn't find software volume controls for that app.

Picture quality is least as good as iPad.

Apps: One major bummer for me so far is the absence of Good Technology (my work PIM) from the App Store. I talked to Good reps last week and it will show up eventually. I can't really do any work with my Kindle until this is remedied.

The kids have downloaded Angry Birds and such and found the apps similar to the ones that they use in Android/iOS. No big surprises on the games.

Rhapsody, Netflix, Pandora, and about 5 other apps downloaded and worked well with very easy configuration of accounts etc.

Web: This is a bit of a downer so far. I was really looking forward to Silk but it doesn't seem to make much difference yet. Web browsing is about as fast as my iPhone 4 (on wi-fi) and the browser is pretty basic. I do like the Pulse app that aggregates magazine-style sites.

Overall, this is a STEAL for $199. Run, don't walk, to your nearest Best Buy and pick 2 up!