Friday, 23 March 2012

Amazon Kindle Fire


Yes, it is an expensive tablet, on paper. Yes, it has a very sleek form factor. Yes, the UI looks brilliant. But, this is essentially a U.S. only device at the moment, and you can't even download basic stuff like apps without a valid credit card from a financial establishment in the U.S. We don't think this device makes sense to buy in India. 

While it is a part of the Kindle family of ebook readers, the Fire isn't really like any one of the siblings. This is a full-fledged tablet, a budget one at that, aimed at the user who wants an ebook reader, and a lot more.

Look & Feel
The Kindle Fire is the first Kindle with a colour touchscreen. The look is very similar to that of the BlackBerry PlayBook, but the Fire is slightly thicker. For the same reason, you will get a lot of comparisons with BlackBerry’s tablet throughout this review! The bezel around the display is quite thick, but does not support touch gestures like the Playbook. Absolutely no hardware buttons on the front.

Flip over the Kindle Fire, and the rubberized back catches your attention. While it is good for the grip under most usage scenarios, this type of finish does become quite annoying to use during the summers. Sweat becomes profound, and the tablet then tends to slip around more than what the ones with a plastic or aluminum back would. When kept face down on a desk, you immediately know what device it is, with Kindle clearly engraved on it, and the Amazon logo highlighted as well.

True to the Kindle tradition, the power key, micro USB port and the 3.5mm headphone jack are all tightly packed on the bottom spine. On the top are the stereo speakers. Side spines are completely clean.

In totality, the build quality of this device is very good. It has a premium feel to it, of a device lot more expensive than what it actually costs. One look at the budget tablets we have around, and you will understand the build quality difference immediately. It is immense, and for the better.


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