REVIEW ROUNDUP: Not Everyone Has Bad Things To Say About The Kindle Fire

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Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider

Early reviews of the Kindle Fire are running a wide range of opinion.Engadget barely has a sceptical word to say about it. Gizmodo and Mashable acknowledge its advantages as readily as its flaws. And Wired totally refuses to buy the hype.

Here are some highlights from each review of the tablet that refuses to allow for consensus.

Engadget says:

  • “This thing feels incredibly solid, as if Amazon simply put a chisel to a big piece of slate, gave it a good whack and then put the resulting slab into a Frustration-Free box.”
  • The 8 GB storage capacity: “You won’t need much since Amazon so thoughtfully lets you re-download anything you’ve bought any time you want, and is quite happy to stream all your music to you as well. But, if you’re the type who likes to load down your tablet before spending a few hours or days offline, you might find this single, tiny capacity a bit restrictive.”
  • The display: “What isn’t so impressive is the 169ppi pixel density. With more and more smartphones starting to offer 1280 x 800 resolutions in displays that are four and five inches we might have hoped for a bit more here.”
  • On launching apps: “You swipe left or right through the carousel and then tap whatever you want to launch. But, if your finger moves even a pixel or two in any direction when tapping the chosen item won’t launch…You have to be annoyingly precise to get your chosen thing to launch.”

Gizmodo says:

  • “The Fire doesn’t feel like any other Android tablet—and that’s a very, very good thing. From the minute you turn it on, the device is puzzlingly simple.”
  • “Oh, and that much bandied browser, Silk? It works just as well as Amazon said—pages rendered fine and rapidly, thanks to the cloud-crunching, and can be bookmarked, emailed (via Amazon’s capable little native client), Facebook shared—and yes, tabbed.”
  • “But when it’s not [responsive], it’s awful. There’s absolutely no excuse for a machine with these guts to be unable to turn pages with zero lag. It has two cores, for Chrissake.”
  • “It’s not as powerful or capable as an iPad, but it’s also a sliver of the price—and that $200 will let you jack into the Prime catalogue (and the rest of your media collection) easily and comfortably.”

Mashable says:

  • “The $199 Amazon Kindle Fire is a worthy device. It’s not an iPad slayer, but it could be the first tablet to ably stand atop Mount Tabulous with Apple’s industry-dominating slab computer.”
  • “From the moment you turn it on to the first time you download music from your own personal cloud to the minute you start watching a movie on the device and then continue watching on your HDTV…you’re hooked. This is a smart tablet with a fully thought-out ecosystem. It is…very Apple-like in its insistence in keeping you within the Amazon playground.”
  • “Sometimes the accelerometer gets stuck and the page you’re looking at remains upside down. This happened to me repeatedly. Wi-Fi was easy to set-up, but was often slow to return after sleep. The device also does its own minicrashes. It does not shut down, but simply drops you out of what you were doing — reading a book or magazine, or looking at the home screen. The latter sometimes blanked out and reappeared.”

Wired says:

  • “The Fire is a fiendishly effective shopping portal in the guise of a 7-inch slate.”
  • “For every sin it commits as a reading device, the Fire atones with a good deed in video playback.”
  • “When your web page has loaded, it’s still too small to really appreciate on the 7-inch screen. Pretty much all text must be tapped into a magnified view, and that’s a telling indicator of why so many people avoided 7-inch tablets the first time they were floated to the public last year: They suck for web browsing. And that’s a problem because web browsing is a key tablet responsibility.”
  • “The press has definitely supercharged Amazon’s product launch with a level of hype and enthusiasm that would make Apple proud.”

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