on 23 November 2012
Having fun with my Kindle Fire - Great for reading, watching films/TV and listening to music. Great media consumption device. Browsing the web is easy and quick. The whole thing is just great to have on the table. So many films and shows to watch (I love horror movies and have been catching up on the old Black and white B movies)....
I have had problems with magazines, the formatting poor for the titles I have tried, I guess they are trying to catch up with the 7"inch concept... maybe panel views would be better for this type of reading.
I have seen a lot of 1 star reviews and read them - seem most are complaining about not being able to buy the device at all due to where they live, or people who do not even own the device just touting other products. Not sure why such reviews are left up as they are not product reviews.
To address a few of the reviews that do seem to at least come from people who have bought one..
That it is flimsy: The Kindle fire is anything but flimsy, it is solid and has a bit of weight to it making it feel very sturdy/solid.
Takes ages to connect to wi-fi: When I switched on my K-Fire the first thing it asked was for my network password, it then connected, so from hitting the on switch to connecting to the wi-fi was around 40 seconds, after that it connects within seconds everytime you turn the device on.
Advertising is invasive: I have the model that has advertising - it is just a screensaver at the initial screen where you unlock the device, thats it - you see it for a few seconds, and its then gone.
Books take ages to download: Books download within seconds, video streaming is around a 8-10 second delay to start but then plays films with no buffering (hell my PC is custom built for gaming with fast cpu/graphics cards/wi-fi card - and it buffers on the same wi-fi that the kindle has no problems with). I think this is more to do with people having poor internet connections which is not the devices fault.
The only thing I am disapointed with is the fact I bought this a few weeks ago for £130.00 and today it's on sale for £99.00 as part of their Black Friday sale.... that's £30 worth of music/films/other items I could have gotten if I had held of for a bit (it's not as though the fire has been out for a while and we could expect to see the price fall).
with that said - at £130 this is a great device - at £99... seriously you should be buying it this instant.
on 28 November 2012
as i already had a kindle ,which i must admit i didn' t use much preferring a proper book ,I was a bit flummoxed when presented with my new kindle fire for my birthday, thinking this too would be a little used item. How wrong could i be ? I no longer have to fight with the rest of the family for use of the ipad as everything I could do on there I can do on the Kindle Fire and it's all mine! IT IS SO EASY TO USE - internet on the move, instant email, books at my fingertips - am absolutely thrilled to bits.
Just after I received it I flew to Australia and the battery lasted to halfway between Singapore and Oz! At such a fantastic price don' t think twice get one and ditch your old kindle for one of these you won' t be disappointed.
First impressions - the Kindle Fire is slightly heavier than I anticipated, but has a well made feel, with a smooth rubberised back and concealed on/off switch. The ereader has good resolution for static images, and vivid colours which make web browsing a pleasure. However, the default brightness setting was quite hard on my eyes and needed lowering when in an ebook, probably due to the amount of white on the page. Standard touchscreen pinch/spread function allows you to adjust the text size to your own requirements when web browsing. I assume this is adjustable in the ereader function too, though haven't worked out how just yet. Having watched a few film trailers and Youtubes I think if you are planning on using your Kindle for videos and films you might be better off with the HD version as moving images didn't seem quite as crisp as static web browsing.
Kindle Fire has an impressively quick response time with minimal lag as you scroll through web pages (though whether this remains the case as content is added we will have to wait and see). It's easy to open new tabs, bookmark pages etc, and all the sites I've visisted so far - BBC News, Facebook, MSN and so on - all nicely displayed/configured for this size of tablet.
I will say that I did struggle to get wifi connected initially (the format of the wifi password seems more important to Kindle than it did to my laptop or iphone, both of which happily accepted the short code on the router/modem. For the Kindle, I actually had to find the full code on my laptop control panel and enter it in that exact format for authentication to work). Once up and running I didn't find all the features of the Fire quite as intuitive to navigate as I might have expected - even as a long time iphone user used to touchscreen technology. For example it took me a couple of hours just to find the settings menu! A paper guide (other than the very basic one included that only tells you how to charge the thing) would be useful for a lot of us.
Not sure how applicable some of the features are to UK users right now - got all excited about 'Newstand', but then noticed most of the papers and magazines were American (even though I had UK settings selected). And furthermore, many are only available to read on Kindle if you have the paper subscription first.
There's no charger, which annoyed me - and the wording of the Amazon listing implies there is, because in the accessories list there is mention of a super duper high speed charger, which kind of suggests that the Fire comes with a a bog standard charger and you only need pay extra if you want to upgrade. In fact, what you get is a USB cable so you can charge through your computer, but this takes an absolute eternity (11 hours+) and I really would have liked something that would plug directly into the power supply on my train so I could use it on the way to and from work without draining power.
On the plus side, I linked into my Amazon account very easily indeed, and was immediately able to see books already purchased (which I'd been reading on my iphone Kindle App). However I couldn't actually access some of them due to`DRM', which is presumably some sort of royalties issue. I was instructed to redownload or repurchase, which was to say the least a bit frustrating. Also, my Kindle was set to the US store by default so I had to change to the UK store to get personalised recommendations and prices in £.
Overall, although the Kindle Fire has a fair few niggly annoyances, I'm pretty impressed with the general build quality and screen resolution, and see this as an affordable tablet, rather than just another ereader. I would recommend anyone making a purchase to seriously think about getting a case though, as I can't see the screen surviving too many knocks, and also the high speed charger, as the computer charge thingy is driving me nuts already. Or, if you have an iphone, I'm guessing the Kindle cable may well connect to the iphone charger. And, yes, it really should have had 3G too.
Update 3 days after purchase:-
There are now a number of UK magazines and papers available with UK pricing - I've taken free trial subscriptions to Vogue and Olive. There's also Marie Claire and Ideal Home, and blokey stuff like Classic Car and Health and Fitness. Papers include Le Monde and The Mail Plus (not that I'd touch the latter with a bargepole!). So the Newstand situation is improving.
Still quite impressed with this little gadget, despite the niggles outlined in my review. And have discovered it's much easier to read in bed at night than a book due to the illuminated screen. I reckon this is a 3.5 star item at the mo. Will be a 4 star one when the Newstand and Apps options are wider.
on 28 November 2012
I bought the Kindle Fire in the Black Friday sale. I got the ad-free version for £109.
Buyers remorse hit me after I clicked purchase but decided to give the device a chance, as friends with other versions of the Kindle could not speak highly enough of them.
I'm glad I kept it now. It is easy to set-up, responsive, has a good quality screen (I don't feel hard done by with not getting the HD) and has a great selection of apps for download. You can even 'side-load' .apk files from places other than Amazon should you wish to.
The one flaw with this is the battery life. If you do anything other than read books on the Kindle Fire the battery levels drops quicker than a lead balloon. For a mobile device the battery life is far too short, a half hour session of Angry Birds dropped the battery from 92% to 63% (and yes I had used the 'tricks' of lowering screen brightness and turning off the wi-fi).
As a ereader/tablet hybrid the Kindle Fire excels in every way, except the ability to allow you freedom from an electrical socket.
on 4 November 2012
My first thing to comment on was amazons excellent service, it arrived the next day with only standard super saver delivery used,stress free packaging lived up to it's name an excellent customer experience.
It is a well known fact that amazon sell these at near a loss, and you can see why as the build quality is excellent, it is as solid as a rock, with a lovely soft touch back and despite the slate like appearance, still managing to look rather good, you can see where corners have been cut eg. no volume rocker, but this is little more than an inconvenience than a serious flaw. the speed of the device, equally is pretty excellent despite the price, comparable with tegra 2 performance on other tablets. this is certainly a great deal, especially if you are on an extremely tight budget, it is not as fast or sleek as its big brother, the kindle fire hd, and it's not close to the nexus 7, but it is still a perfectly pleasant experience and still excellent value.
as I have said, it is not quite up to the the same standards as the kindle fire hd and nexus 7, but it still delivers a decent processor. the apps ran smoothly with little or not lag for the most part. occasionally the device would stutter and an app would crash, though this doesn't happen very often, and only really when you push it a little too hard. graphic intensive games ran smoothly, no lag during the game, it was in the app loading process (if any). being a bit of a devoted android user, I was a bit weary about the skinned user interface, but it actually delivered a novel and usable experience,it is oddly liberating, not having to worry about organisation. the device was a gift for my mother so it certainly suits her needs, being a slight technophobe. for hardcore android users, you can see a bit of native android showing through here and there but it is important to clarify that this still isn't really like anything that you would experience on android. better or worse? hard to say, personally I like the ability to customize on native android, but it falls to personal preference.
the screen is crisp, and clear and great to watch movies and videos, I can find no dedicated youtube viewing app but the website is still perfectly adequate,i player works well as does netflix and love film. WiFi connectivity is fast and painless. setup speed is faster than any native android device due to no need to customize. average sort of boot time for a tablet, for those who are new to tablets, it is much faster than a laptops boot time.
on 26 November 2012
Back lit screen and adjustable brightness allows for reading just about anywhere without disturbing anyone else. I can stream film and TV very easily when connected to my wifi at home and by tethering to my Samsung phone - set up as a portable wifi hotspot - sounds techie but it only took me 5 mins to work out!! Downloads take a matter of seconds and games are a joy to play on the HD screen which is a sharp as a pin and very vibrant. All the books from my other Kindle are available to me via the cloud and I have also downloaded my music collection which sounds very good through the rear speakers, the volume easily fills a room with sounnd. A real joy to use, you won't be dissapointed. Don't skimp though, go for the full HD model.
The Kindle Fire is not an Ipad - but then again it doesn't claim to be, what it is is a very handy little toy, that does what it says on the tin - and seems to do it very nicely. Already having a Kindle 4 (which I love), I wanted something that I could use for cookery and reference kindle books, browse a bit on the sofa without having to go to the PC, and take advantage of the apps and games to keep the kids amused on journeys - and it ticks all the boxes. I would suggest that if you are thinking of buying one, read up about it properly first, read the Kindle forums on Amazon and in other places, and make sure that it is what you are looking for. I put together a checklist of things that I would want to do when it arrived, and have had no problems. I do see people saying that things like Iplayer do not work - they do work, but you need to be sure in your head how to get them to work first - this is best done by reading up about it first.
When it arrived, I turned it on and it was set up and all ready to go within minutes - it found my wifi router, password was installed and off we went. We have since had no problems whatsoever hooking up to other wireless systems and got round the lack of 3G by tethering it to my windowsphone very easily.
First thing I wanted was BBC Iplayer - so found the app in the app store, downloaded and installed it with no problems and opened it up. When you open Iplayer for the first time you are directed to download BBC Mediaplayer - it is very simple to do and from that point on you can watch TV programmes on Iplayer with no problem at all (and no need to worry about lack of Flash). Point: If anyone is debating buying another tablet because of the lack of Flash on the fire, it is worth remembering that Adobe do not issue any licences for Flash any more, so whatever tablet you buy, you are not going to get Flash.
Next I tried the Silk browser and went on to Youtube, again just found a video I wanted to watch and had no problems at all = it just played!
Email (through gmail) was a doddle to set up and install - extremely intuitive.
Music that I already had in Amazon cloud was already there waiting for me to play - and, again, it just worked straightaway with no problems.
I do like the "carousel" and the way that all my previous kindle purchases are there for me to choose with the book covers on display - it really does make you feel as if you are looking at your own private library, more so than the Kindle 4. Although, I have to say, I prefer the e ink on the Kindle 4 to the screen on the Fire for long bouts of reading, although the images in cookery books do look so much better on the Fire. In addition, the normal Kindle is a lot lighter than the Fire, which can be a bit uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time if you are reading a book.
Yes, it will need charging up more than the Kindle 4 - which has spoiled me with its battery life - but it is easy enough to get used to charging it when I am at work. You get a USB cable in the box but no charger - I used the one that came with my Nokia phone with no problems at all.
The app store has enough apps to keep me and my kids happy - in fact my son had got Angry Birds (free) up and running within seconds with no problems at all and is very happy with the app and the way it runs on a Kindle. He has tried a few others and his feedback on those is excellent as well. I would like to say that I had tried them, but I don't seem to be able to prise it out of his hands to play on it myself.
Edit 27th November 2012: Having just returned from a trip abroad, would just like to say that the Kindle Fire also found and connected to other wireless networks with no problem whatsoever - was very fast to connect and browse. I did try and use it read outside in the sunshine but found it very hard with glare - and as I mentioned earlier, the e-ink on the Kindle 4 is much better for straightforward reading.
Edit February 2013: Well, we now have three of these in the family and all of us are extremely happy with them. We have apps for word processing, games, tv streaming and have even mastered the art of printing photos and documents from the Fire to our wireless printer.
It does everything we need it to do, and cannot think of anything that we would need to do, that we cannot do on it.
on 1 November 2012
I bought this item as a present and was very impressed by the portability, functionality and price (£129). A lite and compact e-reader with a colour and touch screen facility that compares with most branded android tablets.
The Kindle is ideal for holidays or travelling and easily stored in your handbag or holdall. I Didn't realise that you could use this for wi-fi web browsing until I had a chance to play with it. The Kindle Fire will download apps, books, photos and music. I couldn't believe the amount of free books available via Amazon and a lending library where users can share purchases. It has organiser/calender/contacts facilities for those who like to use the filofax/diary. Some teething issues with BBC iPlayer app which is currently being developed for the android market - this will soon become available for those who want to watch tv on your Kindle.
The sound quality wasn't too bad and I was able to play music via the Amazon store. There is an earphone jack input alebit headphones will need to be purchased seperately. I've not had chance to assess the sound quality through the headphones yet so cannot comment.
The Kindle Fire only has an 8GB memory but this is reflective in the price. Amazon offer a free 5GB icloud facility so that you can store your purchases and data on-line rather than use all the memory on the device. Alternatively, you can use other external storage devices.
Accessories don't come cheap but I would consider buying a case as I imagine the kindle could be easily scratched or damaged. I bought the Marware branded kindle fire leather CEO Hybrid case which was a great fit and looks smart. This retails around the £40 mark albeit can be purchased cheaper if you shop around. Don't get buying the cheaper un-branded versions that come with a free stylus pen and Screen protector (retail around £10). They look cheap and are poor quality. The Kindle is supplied with a USB lead for charging from a computer which is sometimes impracticle. That's why a mains charger would be useful as a separate purchase. I've seen these on Amazon for as little as £3.50.
The Kindle was quick to set up albeit instructions don't come in a paper booklet format. New starters will need to view the start up fuctions on the Kindle or alernatively view information via the internet. You'll also need to create an Amazon account and input bank/credit card details when registering the device. Unfortunately, you won't be able to download apps, books etc if you don't register - even the free items.
On the whole, a very impressive gadget and is a serious contender for the Xmas market. The Kindle Fire is smaller and lighter than the ipad albeit the ipad mini will be a strong contender when it's launched this month. The thing to consider is that the ipad mini starts at £269 albeit, this is a 16gb device with a slighter larger screen. The Kindle offers real value for money and the price speaks for itself.
on 31 July 2013
This is obviously a fantastic product and worth the money, so much available on this. It's a cheap version of an iPad and does the job. I bought this mainly for reading but wanted the extra facilities like love film games apps etc so I paid the extra. I would advise anyone to pay the extra £10 so that they get a chance to avoid all the adverts.
The features of this are very clear. Only downside is it takes a lot of playing around to understand what you can change and how to use it better, poor instructions and not impressed with not being able to put your own background image etc.
on 25 October 2012
My 11 yr old daughter pre-ordered this from her savings, but I got my paws on it first while she was at school, to activate child settings (my excuse). I'm still using my basic kindle, so this took a little getting used to. There is no paper manual enclosed with it, so I had to find the manual online. There was some sort of onscreen tutorial, but it didn't cover everything I wanted to know. I changed the device name via my Amazon account "Manage Your Device" settings.
Luckily I had already purchased a case/screen protector/stylus/charger on ebay (about £70 cheaper than those offered on Amazon at time of pre-order!) - because my stubby fingers found the stylus a much better control option. Just using fingers on the touchscreen proved a little frustrating, because I kept accidentally touching links I didn't want (some of the links were quite small, even when magnified). You do need to purchase a wall charger, because charging from a P.C via the USB lead (which is included in pack) is a very slow process.
No problem with Wi-Fi internet access, in fact one of the first options it came up with, was establishing my wi-fi link. Was also offered quick links to Facebook, and several other popular websites. Shame there's no 3G/4G option for watching movies/web browsing when you're travelling on the train etc. Really think they should be trying to add this to any future versions of the Kindle Fire.
Took me a while to get trial offer Lovefilm subscription streaming up and running, seemed to be some confusion as to whether Silverlight was required/enabled or whether movies would run off a special amazon app, after about 20 minutes of fiddling and tinkering I managed (by trial and error)to get it working. Video streaming and sound quality seemed good to me on the short film I watched. Selection of movies available for instant streaming seems to be rather limited (hardly any Disney or Pixar content for kids there).
Needless to say links to store content work just fine ! Downloaded a couple of freebie games apps, very quickly and easily, and they ran well. Would like to see a larger choice of Apps, Amazon UK doesn't yet offer the full range of Apps that are available on Amazon US. Hopefully the range will expand now the UK Kindle Fire has been released.
Not overly keen on "Carousel" display on opening screen, because it sometimes displays items from cloud that you've archived/removed from device and probably never want to see again. Also if you are a 2 kindle family (with both registered to same account), it will for instance display books from the parent's device, on the child's carousel display even though they are not actually on the child's "bookshelf".
As for the child controls, they seem to work pretty well (apart from the issue mentioned above). As soon as I clicked this option in settings, I was offered the opportunity to set a password that would prevent a child from making one-click-purchases. Further options were given to restrict other types of content access, and all my books (from my own kindle) were immediately moved from her device to the "cloud". Of course this does still mean she could access my books from the cloud, but personally I don't think she'd find anything of interest there (and certainly nothing offensive). Downloaded an illustrated kids book for my daughter, and it looked great, though for a dedicated reader like me, I still prefer e-paper & e-ink.
This is supposed to be the "without special offers" model (ie you pay extra to get rid of the ads), but I believe you have to phone Amazon to actually activate this option (update/amendment to this issue in comments).
All in all, my first impressions are pretty favourable, and I am quite tempted to add a Kindle Fire to my own Xmas wish list, but have a few reservations about limited availability of apps and movies, because you are tied into using Amazon products on this tablet, and I don't think you can use Netflix or Google Play items on it.