Kindle Fire: We're Just Not That into You

Categories: Geek

Kindle BLOG.jpg
The Kindle Fire
The hype's been going on for months -- the new Kindle Fire is supposed to be the best thing to hit the sub-tablet/amped-up book reader market ever. This is not the typical book reader with a plain old black-and-white screen, the Fire is touted as a movie-watching/book-reading/game-playing/Web-surfing marvel with a brilliant color screen.

We have to admit that we were smitten with the idea of the Fire and were anxious to try it out. Is the new Fire a mini iPad? Or just a book reader on steroids? We took it on a test drive for a few days to find out. Our criteria for the trial was simple: ease of use, speed and availability of content/apps. Our verdict...we'll get to that in a minute.

Day One: We were giddy opening the box and ready to fall in love with the Fire. We immediately and unhappily found out that Fire isn't perfect; the slim Fire comes in a huge box, which doesn't seem very green-friendly. As we turned a blind eye to the over-packaging and pulled out our Fire, it felt like a disappointing first kiss. Deep breath, move on, maybe it gets better.

The sleek-looking Fire was ready to use as soon as it came out of the box. It was already registered to us (via our charge card info), and took only a few keystrokes to sign into our office Wi-fi system. It was less than two minutes from opening the box to downloading our first e-book (a free book, as it happens, since Art Attack had a zero budget for this particular test).

We went to Amazon's Kindle bookstore first. We immediately found free dictionaries (okay, so we're a word nerd), and fiction titles. We picked a couple and downloaded them. The transactions took about 20 seconds to complete and the books were available immediately. Sometimes the on screen buttons were slow to respond, and we had to tap them two or three -- or four -- times. Still, so far so good.

Next it was app time. Same deal, lots of choices, quick transfer time. We downloaded a puzzle app, but the images of both the pieces and the finished puzzle were tiny on the small Fire screen and we couldn't enlarge them, so we quickly dumped the app.

Next it was movies and our first real hiccup. Signing in to our Netflix and Hulu accounts was difficult because the pop-up keyboard had such slow reaction time the characters in our passwords were either skipped or entered twice. Okay, that could be human error (although we've never typed too fast for any other device).

Then it was our next, and really big, hiccup. Actually, it was more of a WTF? moment: Downloading the second film, the screen froze into a white page that responded to none of our commands. Not even the on-off button. We put the Fire on our nightstand and went into the den to watch cable television. We checked on it an hour later and the screen was still frozen and unresponsive.



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13 comments
kindle fire comparison chart
kindle fire comparison chart

Hi  This is a very interesting blog, I think the information that you are giving is interesting. Thank you for sharing it 

bevvie
bevvie

I love, love my Kindle Fire. Not very techie, but this sure works for me.

Codabass
Codabass

Who are the morons testing this stuff?  I'm just an older typical computer person no skills and this is my first tablet.  I can stuff the net, check my emails, watch movies, read books with and problems whatsoever.  I have the usb cable and transferred music, movies, documents you name it into my fire with no problems.  For two hundred bucks am very satisfied.  A lot of what was posted is clearly the user.  If I had a problem Would have returned it to Amazon in a flash, but I bought two of them now and there great,  I have NOT experienced any problems as listed my this reviewer.  Find another one for the same price to do a comparison, keep it real, 

Bill Bane
Bill Bane

Bozo reviewer. Have one; no such problems.

SimplifyMyChoices
SimplifyMyChoices

I would agree. I bought a Kindle Touch and love it. Better price, and the E Ink display is much more readable in the daylight. They have a nice feature that let's me check books out of the library for free. For those readers interested in learning more, I posted info on the free library feature as well as some comparison of the different models. See: http://simplifymychoices.com/c...

blc2000
blc2000

I've had the Kindle Fire now for about a week. It's done everything I've asked. Watched TV shows. Read books. Yeah, it can be a little clunky at times. But, I've set my bookmarks and put them in my favorite for easy access to Web stuff. Overall, very happy with it.

Kindle Mad
Kindle Mad

My wife and I love our new Kindle Fire.  It's lightweight, easy to use and has a great interface.  The first thing I recommend anyone with a new Kindle do is install the nook app.  We got our instructions from www.kindlemad.com through google.   

It basically unlocks all the Android marketplace apps and unlocks the device.  I am one very happy Kindle owner!

AlphaTerminus
AlphaTerminus

I have owned an iPad 2 since relase day. love it. The family clamors for it though. Got a Fire on release day thinking I would return it, but after sideloading Dropbox, Zinio, and turning plugins to "on demand" in the Silk browser, liked it, now the family was using both devices equally. So then I bought 2 more fires and am selling the iPad 2 on Ebay. 3 devices for the price of one.

The apps we use most are Dropbox, Zinio, Prime Video, Netflix, Kindle Books, Stitcher, Logmein,documents to go, gmail via the email app, Pulse, Sign my pad.

I don't believe I ever used the app

geek
geek

Not surprised that the Texas press is not happy with something that is not super sized.

Ryan Aydelott
Ryan Aydelott

I have been a happy Kindle owner for nearly a year now, until Bezos robbed my house.

Let me explain.

I was recently unable to login to my account with the message that the password was denied. I reset my password and still received the same denied message even though I had an email confirming my reset. 

I called Amazon and was told my account was put on hold, but they couldn't tell me the reason why. 

I was then asked for some basic information and told that an Account Specialist would be contacting me within 24 hours. This was October 25th, 2011. 

I no longer have access to the nearly $1000 in Kindle content I have purchased over this past year. 

Failing any options, I disputed all of the Amazon Kindle related credit card charges that I could, however there is still about 10 months of purchases I have lost because of this. American Express even brought in their Consumer Advocacy group to try and get some answers out of Amazon.

I have filed a complaint with the BBB, emailed everyone I could at Amazon, called the Amazon Customer Service Line, the Kindle "Executive" support line, along with Amazon Corporate Headquarters. 

I have been apologized to by everyone I have spoken to and been told that they have never seen this situation before. They all wish they can help, but simply don't know how. This is the worst form of institutionalized incompetence, but at least Amazon provides this shoulder to cry on.

None of the Amazon representatives can tell me if I will ever receive access again to the books I have purchased.

Instead, they all politely take my name/information and wish me good luck in hearing back from anyone at Amazon.

If this is what the ebook revolution looks like, I plan to buy the written history in paperback.

Bfm Magee
Bfm Magee

Ok, so it's not perfect but the Kindle Fire is still an amazing deal for $200.  At kindlefireforums dot (com) there's a ton of great reviews and articles about the best apps as well as discussion with other new Kindle Fire owners.  

Bfm Magee
Bfm Magee

Ok, so it's not perfect but the Kindle Fire is still an amazing deal for $200.  At kindlefireforums.com there's a ton of great reviews and articles about the best apps as well as discussion with other new Kindle Fire owners.

AlphaTerminus
AlphaTerminus

I mean never used the iPad camera. Anyway, to each his own, but sometimes the reviewer just seemed completely inept either mentally or physically.

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