September 3rd 2011 12:11 am

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 A newer version of this product has been announced!

final rating

reviewed on
this review has been viewed 1108 times

Criteria Comments Rating
  • Features Great native apps for books, Amazon video, music, etc... Missing full Android Market, real calendar integration, good
  • Display Great colors, looks good. Can see some pixel lines if you're looking good
  • Battery life Full day use for sure, but not a lot more good
  • Ease of use If you do what the Fire was meant to do, it is dead simple to operate. great!
  • Storage capacity Not an issue so for, but I can see a day when I want to load more stuff and just don't have the space, no expansion available. poor
  • Design and form factor No external volume control, the on/off is awkward when holding so-so
  • Portability (size / weight) A bit heavy, little thick. so-so
  • Durability So far seems great. I'm trying not to drop it. good
Detailed review
As a media consumption device, the Fire is great. Really good speakers for a small unit, fast performance, great libraries. The Kindle features rock, but the machine is by no means limited to them. Video is nice, apps do well. I love Plants v. Zombies and the graphics look really good in here.

I'd like the thing to be able to have a little more Personal Digital Assistant functionality. For example, I can't get a calendar app that syncs all my calendars (one work, two personal) to one view. My phone can do this, but my phone is way smaller and I'd love to be able to manage my calendrar on the nice big screen of the Fire. The native email client won't work with my office Exchange server, but one of the free Amazon downloads gave me a unified inbox that works well.

I'd like easier access to all my apps, but there is at least fairly easy access to sideload them, some directly from the web like DropBox. Adding DropBox really makes the tablet work for quickly checking documents. The Kindle allows you to email docs to yourself, but really, that means thinking ahead of what you'll need. DropBox just keeps my stuff where I can access it, and then it displays nicely once on the Fire.

Overall, I'm very happy with it. This is my first Kindle (I didn't want one before it was easier to borrow books on it - now I can do so and I'm happy about that). A few more tweaks, and Amazon will have a real winner.