The Kindle Fire is one of the hottest gifts this holiday season, but many users have voiced complaints over problems with Amazon's new tablet. While Amazon has sold millions of Kindles since its release on Nov. 15, many consumers have been returning their used Kindles after citing problems with the device. Despite complaints, holiday shoppers continue to purchase an estimated one million Kindle devices a week.
We decided to take a closer look at the Kindle Fire to determine whether or not the tablet is worth your money this holiday season. What are the pros and cons of the Amazon Kindle Fire?
Kindle Fire Pros:
The Kindle Fire is one of the cheapest tablets available. At $199, the Kindle Fire is more than half the price of the iPad 2 and is competitively priced with every tablet on the market.
2. Weight / Size
The Kindle Fire is small and light. At 14.6 ounces, the Kindle Fire is significantly lighter than the iPad 2 and weighs no more than a heavy paperback book. The Fire fits easily in a small bag and is much easier to carry around than the larger tablets. However, the screen on the Fire is only seven inches, which may not be large enough for some.
3. Seamless Connection to Amazon's Online Store
The Kindle Fire is streamlined so users can easily download new material and browse the Amazon Online Store. This means consumers instantly have access to thousands of books, movies, TV shows and other material. In addition, consumers get a free month of the Amazon Prime Membership, which means unlimited streaming of available TV shows and movies directly from the Amazon site.
4. Crisp Screen With Beautiful Colors
The Kindle Fire has an incredibly crisp screen with beautiful colors. The screen is great for watching movies and TV shows as well as for playing games like Angry Birds, Words With Friends, Bubble Buster and Jewels.
Kindle Fire Cons:
1. Lacks Privacy Controls
Users who share devices or show their device to a friend may find others can see their entire browsed history open to all on the homepage. Many users have complained that the Kindle Fire's Carousel, which is prominently featured on the homepage, does not allow an owner to delete or hide downloaded apps and browsed web pages. The device allows for one-click purchases, which means small children can purchase endless books and videos with nothing stopping them, and there are no blocks for pornography or adult content.
2. No Google Android Market
Although the Kindle Fire runs an Android operating system, users do not have access to the Android Market and are limited in what apps they can buy. Unlike the iPad 2, the Kindle Fire also offers very little user customization. The default backgrounds of the Kindle Fire cannot be changed.
3. Slow Internet Browser
Amazon hyped their technologically advance Silk Browser, but users have been overwhelmingly disappointed. The browser is slow and sometimes non-responsive compared to other tablets.
4. No Extras
The sound quality on the Kindle Fire is lacking compared to other devices. While the sound is loud enough with or without headphones for close viewing, the sound is not as sharp as with other devices. The Kindle Fire had to make many sacrifices to keep its low price tag, but many users say a built-in camera is essential for a tablet device.
5. Limited Memory
The Kindle Fire only allows users to store 8GB of memory, which, if consumers wish to download plenty of movies and music, may not be a sufficient amount of storage space. Even with the cloud as a backup, the device could use the option of adding more storage space or adding a memory card.
6. Nonresponsive touchscreen
Many consumers have complained that the screen is not only too small, but the touchscreen is not responsive or easily makes mistakes. Users have complained that the Kindle Fire's screen is all-around too small.
The Bottom Line: It all depends on what you are looking to do with your Kindle Fire.
If you're looking for a full-fledged tablet that you can read legal documents on and do calculations for work, the Kindle Fire is not the right product for you. However, if you are looking for a small, light product that can fit in your bag or purse to be taken with you as a multi-media device on the go, the Kindle Fire is the perfect device.
Related Article: Kindle Fire Complaints: Top 11 Problems With Amazon's Tablet
Related Article: How-To Get The Most Out of Your Kindle Fire: Top 10 Tips And Tricks