DMA Central

THE OFFICIAL COMMUNITY FOR DIGITAL MEDIA ACADEMY

Should I Buy A Kindle Fire?

This holiday season tablets are dominating shopping lists – but which tablet should you buy? One tablet that has been getting a lot attention lately is Amazon’s Kindle Fire. But for $200, is it a worthy tablet? Well, we brought one and tested it, here’s our review:


Like the iPad and other tablets, you can watch movies, reads books – and play games on the Kindle Fire. 

Kindle Fire
Cost: $199.99
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

We ordered our tablet like you will – through Amazon. Shipping was free for the $10 Gift Card (we bought it to buy apps and not have to give Amazon a credit card, more on that later), and the standard free shipping took the five days Amazon promised. The Kindle Fire arrived in Amazon’s plain cardboard box, but the inner carton, containing the Amazon Kindle was equally bland.

Amazon is actually losing money on the Kindle Fire (industry insiders say it costs around $219 to make each Kindle Fire), so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they spent absolutely no money on packaging.

After opening the box, we removed the tiny tablet from the protective plastic sleeve and plugged the device in per the instructions (which were also almost non-existent) with the included charging cable. The cable, is longer than the iPad’s, but it’s still extremely short. There was also a flash card sized instruction card – which basically told us to plug the device in and where the power button was – beyond that, not much else was in the box.


Amazon’s package is simple and clean – but may disappoint those that want to wow the gift getter on Christmas morning.

With your purchase of the Kindle Fire, buyers also receive a free one-month trial for Amazon Prime (a $79 annual fee), Amazon’s streaming video service and free shipping on Amazon orders. If you’re already an Amazon customer or have considered becoming one, it’s a great way to test drive Prime.

The Hardware

For $200 the Kindle Fire stacks up pretty well against the iPad. Amazon’s 7.5 inch tablet full color tablet has full touch screen functionality – but there’s no camera or microphone. At 414 grams, it’s one of the lightest tablets out there, but still feels good in your hand. Pressing the power button on the end started the Kindle Fire up almost instantly.

The screen resolution is crisp and vibrant – that is when you’re reading books or viewing media in the HD format. The case has a black rubbery back (with the Kindle logo on it) and is both comfortable and easy to hold. The device has two speaker ports on the top for stereo sound, a micro USB port and a 3.5 mm audio jack too, but the device doesn’t come with headphones.

Overall it feels pretty substantial for such a small tablet – and that’s one of the problems. The Kindle Fire gets a bit heavy after using it for it while.

The OS & Web Browser
Amazon’s dual core processor makes accessing apps quick and easy. Even after loading it with apps the device was still responsive although doesn’t scroll as gracefully through the apps as Apple’s iPad. When the device changes screen orientation it just snaps to the new orientation, again without the animation or grace Apple’s iPad has. Web browsing is klunky – as other reviewers have also noted. When the Kindle Fire versus the iPad in these regards the Kindle Fire falls short.

In almost every case, games, books or movies, the display was better and more enjoyable when oriented vertically. Movies stream quickly from Amazon’s cloud and using Amazon’s proprietary Silk web browser – surfing the internet was ok, although the screen size makes web browsing incredibly difficult in the vertical orientation.


Apps are just 1 click away…Or are they?

Setting up the Kindle Fire 
Before you do anything, you’ll also have to set up a Amazon account, which is free. Remember, we bought a gift card so we could buy apps without giving Amazon a credit card. Unfortunately, Amazon REQUIRES you provide a credit card to access their digital content – even the free stuff. This is a huge fail for Amazon who are trying to go toe-to-toe with Apple. If you buy an iPad and an iTunes Gift Card you can use the gift card instantly – and without giving Apple a credit card.

Calls to Amazon’s customer service indicated that they’ve heard this complaint more than once, but the customer service experience was also laborious and time-consuming, not to mention just bad – and this issue was so annoying – we seriously considered returning the device. Equally frustrating and disappointing was that we couldn’t activate the gift card we bought (at the same time we purchased the Kindle Fire) through the device.

The Bottomline
For $200 the tablet is a great deal, especially when you factor in Amazon’s store, the incredible amount of content it offers and cloud support. We should also note, while Google Android Game Development has become more popular, there are very few HD Android apps, the regular Android apps work fine on the Kindle Fire, but even the best Kindle Fire apps like Monkey Preshool Lunchbox look blurry on the Kindle Fire screen.

It’s no iPad, not by a long shot, but it is a cheap, capable and study little tablet – if your gift getter hasn’t seen an iPad they won’t be disappointed.

SIGN IN TO LEAVE A COMMENT – or – SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH OTHERS: 

[Bloglines] [del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [LinkedIn] [Mixx] [MySpace] [Newsvine] [Propeller] [Reddit] [Squidoo] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]
posted by DMA Jordan in App Development,News Blog and have No Comments

Amazon’s New Tablet: Kindle Fire Versus iPad 2

Amazon’s Kindle Fire is set to ship on November 15th. The Wi-Fi-enabled tablet device will offer a 7 1/2-inch full color screen, and be available at the extremely competitive price of $199. The tablet, which was publicly unveiled today in New York City by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, will use a version of Google’s Android operating system that was created specifically for the Kindle Fire. However, the Kindle Fire’s OS will sport a distinctive look with a special emphasis on media and apps – copying in a way what Apple has already done on the iPad.


The Kindle Fire will take extreme advantage of Amazon’s enormous libraries of content, which contain approximately 18 million movies, songs, TV shows, magazines and books.

The iPad Killer
Is Amazon’s Kindle Fire an iPad killer? The Kindle Fire runs on a dual-core processor and is equipped with eight gigabytes of data storage. Amazon offers free storage for all Amazon digital content on the Amazon Cloud. Books, movies, music and apps are available instantly to stream or download. These are great options for media savvy users, but the tablet lacks a camera and any 3G support. Furthermore, the touchscreen on the Kindle only accommodates two points of touch at a time. (The iPad, in comparison, can manage as many as ten.) So is it an iPad Killer? In a word, no, but that shouldn’t stop you from considering buying it.


Amazon now offers several versions of the Kindle, ranging in price from $199 for the new Kindle Fire, to the original Kindle model, which can now be picked up for $79.

The tech industry has been anxiously waiting to see what kind of tablet Amazon would create. The Kindle Fire signifies Amazon’s entry into the tablet computer business. It’s a full frontal assault on Apple, as a complete digital media content provider – from hardware to software. Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer, and Amazon – like market-leader Apple, already has a rich supply of content.

Downloads & Web
Amazon is in the business of selling all types of media—not just apps, but music downloads, movies, TV programs, eBooks and more. And the Kindle Fire gives users a great way to do that. The Kindle Fire is designed to be smoothly integrated into Amazon’s content. Plus, Amazon’s Cloud gives users a free and easy way to store the content.

The Kindle Fire also serves up Amazon’s redesigned cloud web browser with Silk.

Amazon is currently taking pre-orders for the Kindle Fire, buyers will also receive a free one-month trial of Amazon Prime, the online retailer’s yearly service that gives users free streaming video as well as free shipping for Amazon.com purchases (for a $79 annual fee). Amazon Prime members also receive unlimited, instant streaming of over 10,000 popular movies and TV shows.

Movies and Books
Amazon just entered into an agreement with several movie studios for content, which includes 18 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, and books. Ahhhh yes, books. The foundation of Amazon’s business. The company started as an online bookseller and smartly turned the business into an internet retailing giant. Amazon is bringing a full court press with the Kindle Fire. Visitors to Amazon.com were greeted with a personal letter from Jeff Bezos about the Kindle Fire, on the company’s website.


Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos introduces the world to the new Kindle Fire. And another salvo is fired in the tablet-computer wars…

As the tablet-computer wars continue to escalate, the question still remains: Can anyone top Apple’s iPad? For the time being, no. For those that don’t own an iPad, Amazon’s Kindle Fire offers some great incentives and looks like a solid piece of hardware. But for now, the iPad remains the king of the tablet throne. The iPad has charted spectacular sales, both the original iPad and the iPad 2. Thanks to Apple, learning app development and being able to understand programming for Google Android devices are now a game developer’s career requirements.

SIGN IN TO LEAVE A COMMENT – or – SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH OTHERS:

[Bloglines] [del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Furl] [Google] [LinkedIn] [Mixx] [MySpace] [Newsvine] [Propeller] [Reddit] [Squidoo] [StumbleUpon] [Twitter] [Email]
posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog and have No Comments