Amazon Kindle Fire tablet (preview)
Amazon Kindle Fire preview: Amazon's Kindle Fire heats up the tablet market, but leaves Aussies out in the cold
- Extremely low price
- Reasonably powerful specifications
- Compact 7in design
- Lacks Android Market access
- Amazon content limited in Australia
- Not available outside the US initially
Amazon's Kindle Fire is an impressive looking 7in tablet that runs a customised version of Android, providing access to a wide selection of Amazon content including movies, TV shows, books, magazines and newspapers. However, it's only available in the US, at least initially.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
Rumours were flying around for months about Amazon launching a tablet and the US giant has finally delivered. The Kindle Fire is a 7in tablet running a customised version of Android and is Amazon's attempt at shaking up the Apple-dominated tablet market. Unfortunately, Australians are left out in the cold: the Amazon Kindle Fire will only be sold in the US, at least initially.
Read out guide to the best upcoming tablets in 2011.
The Amazon Kindle Fire will sell for just US$199, making it one of the cheapest tablets on the market. Amazon's strategy with the Kindle Fire is a pretty simply one: it is happy to make little profit on sales of actual hardware, but recoup the losses by selling content. In addition to over one million books and hundreds of magazines and newspapers, Kindle Fire owners can also stream, download, buy or rent over 100,000 movies and TV shows and over 17 million MP3 music tracks.
The Kindle Fire is an Android tablet, but the operating system has been heavily modified by Amazon. It will provide access to the Amazon Appstore, but not Google's Android Market or any other Google services like Google Search and Google Maps. However, the Amazon Appstore will offer a limited selection (around 10,000) of Android apps for Kindle Fire owners including popular titles like Angry Birds, Pulse News Reader, LinkedIn and Fruit Ninja.
For $199, the Amazon Kindle Fire certainly looks very compelling on paper. It boasts a 7in IPS display with a gorilla glass coating and 1024 x 600 pixel resolution, is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor, has 512MB of RAM, 8GB of internal memory and promises up to eight hours of battery life for continuous reading: provided you turn Wi-Fi off.
You're probably asking what the catch is at this price, but aside from a couple of missing features, the Kindle Fire stacks up pretty well. The lack of 3G connectivity is a downside, and there's also no camera: even though we'd argue a camera on a tablet is a pretty low priority. There's no memory card slot as Amazon is pushing the fact that its content can be stored in the cloud — we still think 8GB of internal memory is pretty low. There's also no external volume controls on the Kindle Fire, which may prove to be an annoyance for video and music playback.
The Amazon Kindle Fire also introduces a new Web browser called Silk. The company says the main focus of Silk is to take the processing load off of the Kindle Fire: it will speed up page load times by sending part of the processing to Amazon's cloud servers. Silk also promises to optimise pages for the Kindle Fire's exact hardware, and will also cache regular sites you visit to speed up loading times. If you're concerned with privacy, considering Amazon keeps a 30-day log of Web sites you visit, you can use the Silk browser in "off-cloud" mode.
The most disappointing aspect about the Amazon Kindle Fire is that it will only be sold in the US, at least initially. It will be released in the states on 15 November, and orders will be prioritised on a first come, first served basis. Amazon has not stated when or if the Kindle Fire will be made available for worldwide consumers.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Surface Pro 4
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 5 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- Cisco's Spark Board looks like an iPad -- and acts like one
- Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Tablet modules add features but limit functionality
- Slump continues as tablet markets records worst quarter since 2012
- Acer puts liquid cooling in its Switch Alpha 12 tablet
- Intel's tablet adventure looking more like its netbook disaster
GGG Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSenior Technical Consultant - SQLACT
- TPDigital Business Analyst | AgileQLD
- CCAgile CoachNSW
- TPFront End DeveloperWA
- CCDesktop SupportNSW
- TPICT Contracts Compliance ManagerWA
- CCSenior Project Coordinator - Banking/Financial ServicesNSW
- TPService Desk ManagerVIC
- CCTechnical Support AnalystACT
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer - Tivoli Storage SpecialistNSW
- TPSystem AdministratorVIC
- FTDynamics AX Functional ConsultantACT
- CCWindows AdministratorACT
- FTOnline Solutions AnalystNSW
- FTBI Developer l Microstrategy , HadoopNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Manufacturing and Trade & Logistics Modules)VIC
- CCInfrastructure Test AnalystACT
- TPProject Coordinator/Junior Project ManagerVIC
- CCTest AnalystQLD
- FTSAP BOBJ ConsultantACT
- CCSenior consultant/ Solution ArchitectNSW
- TPChange AnalystQLD
- TPSenior Java Developer - ContractQLD
- CCSenior Automation TesterQLD
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW