Amazon Kindle Fire tablet
A tablet that fails to impress, as either a tablet or as an e-reader
- Easy shopping for Amazon books, music, videos
- Smooth integration of cloud and local storage
- Sluggish performance
- Interface still has some bugs
- Not as flexible and versatile as other tablets
The 7in Android-based Amazon Fire will appeal to those who buy books, videos, and music at Amazon, but it will frustrate those looking for a more versatile slate.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
Amazon bills the battery life as lasting for up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, but those estimates are based on Wi-Fi being turned off. With Wi-Fi on, I found that my casual use of the tablet drained the battery surprisingly quickly. In about 3 hours, 45 minutes, the battery dropped from 56 per cent to zilch; I had brightness set to the default of three-quarters of maximum, and I used the tablet just for browsing the Web a bit, reading email, downloading several apps, and streaming a handful of tunes and a few minutes of video. Stay tuned for our full battery-life tests, which remain in progress.
The 7in IPS LCD screen carries a 1024x600pixel resolution, and bears an antireflective coating. The Fire also has a fairly obvious air gap between the screen's glass surface and the LCD panel itself. The Kindle Fire's screen was noticeably more reflective than the display of the Barnes & Noble Nook Colour when I compared the two side by side.
Amazon Kindle Fire: Conclusion
The Amazon Kindle Fire makes trade-offs to achieve a US$200 price. It's easy to dismiss some of the compromises and weaknesses of the Kindle Fire as the sacrifices necessary to achieve a price point, but the reality is that the Fire may not meet your expectations if you're looking for an Apple iPad 2-like tablet.
For those people who go in knowing what they're getting, and who want an inexpensive tablet that capably — though not spectacularly — handles their Amazon books, music, and video, the Kindle Fire's limitations may be acceptable. However, the Fire falls far short of providing a full and satisfying tablet experience.
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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.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
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