Amazon Kindle Fire Review

The Good, the Bad, and the UGLY

Make sure you check out all the videos

amazon kindle fire

This is about the much talked about Amazon Kindle Fire tablet. With this Amazon Kindle Fire Review, we talk about NOT just its shiny-flashy details, but also about its apparent ‘shortcomings’ and how they can affect you, as a Kindle Fire user. Everybody knew that a tablet computer was coming from Amazon. Some even went on to predict that it might well be that iPad killer everybody thought every other tablet was going to be, but never was. Is the Amazon Fire as good as everybody says it is? Hold on tight and get ready to find out!

Here are the main points we address with this Kindle Fire Review

  1. The GOOD – 25 reasons why you should buy a Kindle Fire
  2. The BAD – 10 reasons why it’s not quite an iPad2
  3. The UGLY

Amazon Kindle Fire – The GOOD (25 reasons to own a Kindle Fire)

      1. Kindle Fire vs iPad 2 side by sideThe Price Tag – $199 (that’s $300 cheaper than the entry level iPad2 and $630 cheaper than the most expensive iPad2)
      2. Powerful Dual-Core processor – 1Ghz Dual-Core processor and 512 MB RAM (just like the iPad2)
      3. Wide angle viewing – Extra-wide so that more than a single user can enjoy the Kindle Fire at once (using a technology known as IPS -in-plane switching- again something the iPad2 also features)
      4. High resolution screen – 1024 X 600 pixel resolution with 169 pixels per inch (ppi). This is higher than the 132 ppi of the iPad2.
      5. Vivid colors – 16 million colors
      6. Multi-touch touch-screen/display – it’s a HIGHLY responsive touch screen from our experience. Sometimes these touch-screens (on various phones and tablets) don’t necessarily respond to your touch. Sometimes, you have to swipe multiple times to get a page to turn, that was not what we found out with the Kindle Fire as you can see on this image and video below it. This is the App that was used for the drawing below. But this is probably the best drawing app which we found later.
        If you found the video useful, please consider Sharing it! Thank you!
      7. Great selection of Apps:  The Fire comes with a variety of apps including social networking apps (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instant messaging), productivity apps (To do lists, calendars), office/business apps (Documents To Go, QuickOffice, Workplace for mobile, B Folders, Exchange by TouchDown),  Movies and TV show apps (Netflix, Hulu Plus), sports apps (ESPN ScoreCenter, Yahoo Sportacular), music apps (Pandora, Rhapsody) eReading apps (Read it later), games apps (Zynga, EA, Gameloft, PopCap, Rovio, Angry Bird), educational apps, cooking apps, news apps etc. etc.  Checkout the video below that shows how to search for and download apps to your Kindle Fire.
        You can check out all the available apps on Amazon’s page titled ‘Kindle Fire Apps‘. This page is kind of hidden within Amazon, not easy to search and find. So click that link and bookmark it for future reference! Don’t forget to check out our list of best Kindle Fire apps!
      8. 1 Paid App free everyday – check out today’s FREE app here. This is a great feature, many apps that are priced over $10 have been given away for free. Given below are some of the categories of Applications available for the Kindle Fire. Click on the image to open the Fire App Store in a new window
        Different categories of Kindle Fire Apps
      9. Durable display – Extra resistant to scrapes and bumps (special chemically treated material that is 30 X harder and 20 X stiffer than plastic). Not just the display, but the Fire altogether has a firm and solid feel to it with a good weight. Certain other tablets, especially those with plastic ‘shells’, creak when you hold them. That was definitely NOT the case with the Fire.
      10. Anti-glare display – According to Amazon, the Kindle Fire has an anti-glare display. From our hands on experience, and as you can see from our videos, it has quite a bit of glare. I guess, it could have been worse if it wasn’t for the anti-glare display and may be that’s what they mean. Your TV has it, your computer monitor has it, the iPad has it and so does the Kindle Fire… a common feature of LCD screens.
      11. Amazon Silk, ultra-fast web browsing – the computing power required to load web content is split between the device and Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) system. This is a first! Not even Apple has anything like this yet! There is a ‘cloud-mode’ (under web > settings > advanced > accelerate page loading) and ‘off-cloud mode’. When you have the cloud-mode activated the ‘weight’ of loading a web-page is split between the Fire and the cloud which makes browsing ultra-fast! We’re not 100% convinced that Amazon Silk is ultra-fast, we certainly didn’t notice a difference of page load speed compared to that of the iPad 2.
      12. FREE cloud storage backup – makes its expandable memory capacity virtually ‘unlimited’ (unlimited storage for  Amazon content and 5GB storage for your other non-Amazon content)
      13. 14.6 ounces – that’s nearly half a pound lighter than the iPad2
      14. 7″ true widescreen – lighter and easier to hold with just one hand; stick it in your pocket; read one-handed and true widescreen (Kindle Fire is a 16:9 screen whereas iPad2 is a 4:3 screen). You can’t hold an iPad in one hand (unless you have giant hands that is), it’s too broad. In contrast, the Kindle Fire can be held in your palm relatively easily.
      15. Music – 17 million songs in the Amazon MP3 store (supports MP3 and Audible digital audio formats; comes with a 3.5mm stereo audio jack and stereo speakers – iPad2 speaker is mono, but headphones are stereo)
      16. Movies – over hundreds thousand movies? Now that might be a problem! How are you going to watch all those?
      17. TV shows – over 10,000 popular TV shows. The video below shows all the movies and TV shows that you can get access to.
      18. eBooks – over 1 million books in the Kindle store and more than 2 million free out-of-copyright books
      19. Whispersync synchronization – Whispersync delivers ebooks, music, TV shows and movies and also synchronize among other digital devices
      20. Supports Adobe Flash player – the iPad2 does NOT support Adobe Flash web content
      21. Email – of course! There are Apps that will synchronize all your email accounts
      22. micro (B) USB 2.0 port – to charge your Kindle via a computer and for data transfer!
      23. Media bookmarks – start where you left off
      24. 1 month free Amazon Prime – if you like it, it’s $79/year after the 2nd month ($79 is per YEAR). Amazon Prime  comes with FREE Kindle book borrowing from ‘Kindle Owners’ Lending Library’, unlimited streaming of 13,000 + TV shows and movies and FREE UNLIMITED 2-day shipping on millions of items sold on Amazon. So you can either get (or use already existing) Netflix/Hulu memberships and/or Amazon prime depending on what you plan to do on your Kindle Fire.
      25. It’s from Amazon!

Convinced that the Kindle Fire will Kindle your Fire?

Get your Kindle Fire right away by Clicking Here

(we constantly check for deals and update the above link with current offers, if available)

Order Kindle Fire

amazon kindle fire review

The last time we checked, there was also a 6 month financing offer with the Kindle Fire

6 month financing offer on the Amazon Fire

You will need to Add it to your cart and see if you qualify for this offer. We don’t know if everybody gets qualified for this offer or if the offer is valid at the time you are reading this.

Amazon Kindle Fire – The BAD

10 reasons why the Fire is not quite the iPad2!

It is NOT quite an iPad2. The Fire doesn’t have some of the high end hardware features of the Apple iPad, but then that’s also why you’re paying $300 less than what you would pay the entry level iPad2.

      1. Wi-Fi only – No 3G (The entry level iPad2 (priced $499) doesn’t come with 3G either. The cheapest iPad2 with 3G costs $629. So if you want 3G, you need to spend an additional $430 over the price of the Fire. Don’t forget that 3G also comes with a monthly subscription plan!) UPDATE: If you MUST have 3G, there is a workaround. Have you heard about this gadget (click to open a new window). People have been using this to get web access for years and it should work with the Kindle FIRE too whereever there is NO Wi Fi.
      2. Storage – The Kindle Fire’s on board memory is not too big at 8GB. This is actually NOT a big problem because you get unlimited free storage on Amazon cloud for Amazon content and an additional 5GB for your other non-Amazon content; however if you go camping where there is no Wi-Fi, you’re stuck with the 8GB of content that is already on there. According to Amazon “That’s enough for 80 apps, plus 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books”. iPad2 has up to 64GB of storage, but it also costs up to $829! The entry level iPad2 (priced $499) comes with 16GB of internal storage. The Kindle Fire also has no MicroSD card slot, would have definitely been nice to have one!
      3. No camera or microphone – you can’t take pictures, shoot videos or record audio unlike with the iPad2. But then again, a lot of people are of the view that the 0.3MP and 0.7MP cameras of the iPad are not that good anyway, so in the end you’re not really losing a lot with the Kindle Fire. In fact, you will look a bit odd if you carry around your tablet computer making pictures and videos with it. However, a camera/mic would definitely have been nice for video chatting!
      4. 7″ display – that’s considerably smaller than the 9.7″ display of the iPad2. Even though 7″ and 9.7″ doesn’t sound like a big difference (err.. we’re talking about tablet screens here) it actually is if you think about the square area. A 4″ X 4″ square has 16 square inches while a 6″ X 6″ square gives 36 square inches. See the difference of square area the extra 2 inches gave rise to? More than 100%! Similarly, the 7″ Kindle Fire has approximately half the viewing area of the 9.7″ iPad2 (the values picked above 4X4 and 6X6 are purely for informational purposes to make it easy to understand – this is in response to some comments that pointed out that neither screen is square. The Kindle Fire display is approximately half that of the iPad2 – that’s the take home message!)
      5. 8 hours battery life – vs 10 hours on the iPad2. Again, my iPad2 never lasts 10 hours and don’t be surprised if the Kindle Fire doesn’t last the full 8 hours either. I seems to get about 7.5 hours on average, but there was one time when it only lasted about 6 hours when I used the speakers at full blast over a couple of movies. If you watch a lot of movies with the volume turned on high and/or have wireless turned on for prolonged periods, the chances are that the battery will not last as long as they say it would (would be the same case with any multimedia tablet).
      6. Less Apps than the iPad2 – but then again, not everybody makes use of all 140,000+ Apps available to the iPad2
      7. No Bluetooth – there is no microphone, so you wouldn’t need it anyway
      8. No GPS or maps – this would have been really handy
      9. The power button at the bottom – some people are apparently bothered by the fact that the power button is on the bottom edge of the Fire. So basically if you lay the bottom edge on a table or on your lap, the Kindle Fire will automatically power off/hybernate. There is a simple solution to that – flip the Fire by 180 degrees and the screen would automatically rotate 180 degrees and now the power switch is on the top and chances of you pressing it accidentally are minimal to none.
      10. No hardware button/wheel for volume control – some people seem to complain about the LACK of a hardware volume control. When you need to change volume, you need to go to settings and change volume using the touch screen. We personally didn’t find this annoying, but we agree that it would have been convenient to have one.

What’s UGLY about the Kindle Fire?

3G, camera, microphone, Bluetooth, GPS, longer battery life, larger on board storage, microSD card slot, HDMI out with a core i7 processor and 4GB RAM would have been awesome, but could Amazon have squeezed in all these features at $199?

Seriously, we don’t think there’s anything UGLY about Amazon’s Kindle Fire. You just can’t expect a $200 tablet to do the same stuff a $500+ tablet is capable of.

Convinced that the Kindle Fire will Kindle your Fire?

Get your Kindle Fire right away by Clicking Here

(we constantly check for deals and update the above link with current offers, if available)

Order Kindle Fire

amazon kindle fire review

If you really want all those features for a lower price point, we recommend you check out the Acer Iconia Tab. It has some really nice hardware features (e.g. 10.1” HD Multi-Touch Display, 1GB DDR2 Memory, 16GB on board memory, MicroSD memory card up to 32GB, Dual Analog Microphone, Bluetooth, 1X Micro USB 2.0 Port, 1X USB 2.0 Port, 1X Micro HDMI™ Out, 5MP Rear Facing Camera with Auto Focus and single LED flash, 2MP Front Facing Camera, G-Sensor, E-Compass, L-Sensor, and a Gyro-meter) for about $150 more (on sale at the time of writing). But be aware that you won’t get Amazon’s content ecosystem with the Acer Iconia Tab.

Hope It’s going to be an easy decision from now onwards!

      1. Did our Amazon Kindle Fire review convince you that it in fact is the right tablet computer for you? Find out MORE about the Kindle Fire here.
      2. Think an iPad2 will suit you better? Checkout the different versions of the iPad2 here!
      3. Or would you rather settle for an Amazon Kindle Touch? Read our ereader reviews and especially our Amazon Kindle Touch Review.


Don’t forget to read about the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. When you purchase an Amazon Prime membership, you get to access the Kindle Owners’ Lending library which lets you borrow thousands of books for free. Read all about it below.

Leave A Reply (137 comments So Far)

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  1. Joseph K.

    I have problems with old books in PDF format, especially with those with yellowish pages. When I put them on Kindle Fire, in many cases pages look empty or smudged. I found work-around for this: seemingly senseless procedure of conversion of PDF file in another PDF file using PDFCreator (
    Kindle Fire has the problem showing PDF files consisting exclusively of page images. PDFCreator creates a new file, in which every page image is placed on a white page. Kindle Fire handles this well. I have to admit, this method is somewhat time consuming, but you have to do it once per a book.

    Another problem is sensitivity of the touch-sensitive screen. I do not want it to be less sensitive, but it is difficult to hold the thing and not touch unwillingly, causing status bar pop up, page jump etc. I think about some accessory, something like light pad with margins and KF mounted firmly in the middle.

  2. Smokes

    Can you read it outside or in bright light? I have a Kindle Touch and the reflective display is one of the features that really sold me on it. I suppose I’ll have to wait until a good reflective colour display is available on the Fire rather than just a standard LCD.

  3. Amy

    The Amazon Prime membership only allows you borrow one book a month. You are making it sound like the book content is free, which is extremely misleading. This review is obviously skewed towards the Fire. I would prefer you to just list the features, and not then “qualify” the bad items. I can judge for myself whether a missing feature is critical or not.

  4. MB

    Bought the Kindle Fire and was OK with it until I found that several books I bought were only blank pages. Their customer service was awful. I had to try 3 times before they finally admitted that the device is defective. Of course they treat one like one is an idiot just so they don’t have to admit that they sold a defective device. one of them even told me that they were aware of the problem. They ended up having to send me a replacement. I haven’t received it yet, so I will see if the problem is still there with the new one. I wish I had not bought the Kindle Fire. Should have saved and bought an iPad or Samsung Galaxy tablet.

  5. Reggie

    I was just gifted a kindle Fire and when I use the key pad and tried typing it kept adding letters like I type “HELLO” but it typed “AHLIQI” have any had this problem? is there a way to calibrate the key pad?

    Sorry NO idea what’s going on :( Did you try Amazon customer service?

  6. Cass J

    I agree with Samantha, the 7″ smaller size was not an issue for me, I too liked it better (I have an iPad too). But they also do 2 different things. For example, to read a book, I like the Kindle Fire screen better.