Previously, we have harped many times about how Amazon has redefined this electronic genre of tablets with their Kindle Fire. And once again, we throw in our two pennies worth of assessment, albeit with a slightly commercial perspective. A practical (rather than a wondrous) amalgamation of a tablet and media center, the $199 Amazon Kindle Fire has taken to many a new potential customer's liking. But does really have in it to compete with its heavyweight peers in the Android realm? Well, some analysts would comprehensively like to think so. As a matter of fact, according to Robert Cihra, an analyst from Evercore Partners, 'the Fire may very well take around a whopping 50 percent share of the total Android market.' Now, the question remains, does this estimation allude to Fire as the obvious choice for smart consumers? Read on, to find out.
Kindle Fire is no Android
Many of you tech enthusiasts might find a fault with the header, but we would still stick with it. Yes, we know the Kindle Fire is based on Android. But there is a big difference between having a heavily customized interface of Android and running a vanilla version of Android. In this regard, we can only counter that both the OS of Fire and OS of conventional Android machines, like the Galaxy Tab, are derived from Linux. The similarity almost ends here. Now, it depends upon your personal preference on utilization of this OS, which brings us to our next point.
What you want the tablet for?
A very important question, if you are a tablet user. The Kindle Fire takes a different course of functionality when compared to the conventional Android systems. The limitations associated with this contraption are pretty conspicuous as the device has no Bluetooth, no HDMI output, no camera, relatively little storage along with RAM and almost no accessibility to Android's app store. So, if you are looking for a high processing yet comprehensive laptop substitute in your tablet, our warning is to simply steer clear of Kindle Fire.
But that does not necessarily mean that Fire is a failure. It shines in its own way by doing things differently, and that too with a flair and dirt cheap price (of only $199). In no tablet machine can we come across the wealth of content (books, music and video) that is even close to Amazon's blatantly robust database. Moreover, Fire is also endowed with Amazon's very own Silk web browser, which is already touted to among the fastest in the world.
This factor lies in a very tricky area for a majority of tablets. In relation to this, the 7-inch Kindle Fire weighs in around 14.6 ounces. In comparison the exalted iPad 2 weighs in around 20.3 ounces. But since we are bringing in the angle of other Android devices, we should also mention that Samsung Galaxy Tab weighs even less at 12.3 ounces. Now, according to user reviews, most of them are comfortable carrying Fire around their house and workplace. But with Galaxy Tab weighing less and packing more power, we very much doubt that comparable portability is on the side of Amazon's machine.
Directly related to our second point of functionality, the usability factor of Kindle Fire has received some mixed reviews. While some people have lauded its cloud and local storage patterns, accentuated by the fast web browser (and media content), there are clearly some issues with the software. Sometimes the buttons can appear to be too small, or the updates can seem to be too slow. So, all in all, the performance is on the sluggish side. While on the design front, the Fire is simplistic in taste with a less than ideal weight. Then again, there are other Android devices that are more ergonomic in design.
Parental Control Features
Now, this may not seem to be a big deal for the younger consumers, but it is a significant point for parents. Given Amazon's massive content, along with its smooth Silk web browser, the Fire designers have certainly missed out on a security control (or at least a parental control) mechanism. Though, it is not like adult oriented themes are not available to children on other devices (read PCs). But since Kindle Fire is projected as a media content contraption, some people would surely look forward to it in the device.
At the end of the day, once again it boils down to the type of tablet you are looking to buy. If you are interested in a high-end machine, with boisterous processing power and external features like a camera (and even keyboard), there are much better options in the market than a Kindle Fire. On the other hand, if you are looking for a personalized media center that comes cheap, there cannot be anything better than Kindle Fire. And before we sign off, in Fire's defense, we should mention that it went through a comprehensive update on December 20. This package included performance boost, navigation improvement and password lock to Wi-Fi access.