So I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas. In that time I’ve been playing with it for a lot of that time. I have not been disappointed by it but really that doesn’t tell you much about it. So I’m going to run down the major things in my book.
Reader Quality: I have nothing bad to say about this, admittedly, I’ve been using this app on my phone for a while so I’ve been used to it, most of what I’ve read has been A Clash of Kings, so really I can’t so much about poetry formatting and such. This may be the most important thing about the Kindle Fire.
Video Quality: It’s not the best, it’s good but it’s not great, if I had to make a guess I would say it’s just fine at SD quality. It will not supplant my computer as a video player but it will be great for time a bus or train. I’ll use it but my computer or Xbox 360 will still be the device of choice. I used Galaxy Express 999, Squid Girl, IT Crowd, How Beer Saved the World, and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic to test this with the Crunchyroll, Netflix, and Youtube. I will say that MLP had the best quality but it also is Flash animation. Of the two Crunchyroll was weaker than Netflix. These are just the Android apps that were listed in the Amazon App Store.
Kindle Comics Reader: So it was a big deal when Amazon and DC announced that graphic novels would be available exclusively on the Kindle Fire, my choice of books to read was Sandman vol. 1. I had wanted to read this before I got the Fire and so I tried to get the digital copy. Sadly, this was only available on the Fire. So yesterday I picked it up. This app was a bit of a letdown. It is very possible to read the entire page at time, however this may require some squinting and other books might make this more difficult. The zoom is not aggressive but it is not the good. You can zoom on a single panel and this will be plenty readable. However, the zoom doesn’t make it that much bigger.
Sound: My biggest problem here is that you really have to use the higher volumes, it isn’t particularly loud but this device isn’t meant to replace your stereo but it would be nice to have a bigger range of volumes.
App Selection: If there was one complaint I would like to make about this device is that lack of the Android Market, or the lack of Google Apps in the Amazon App Store. I would really have liked to have Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, etc. with an app on the Fire, sadly this was not to happen. I hope that in the future that these are added. I think that they wanted this device to be more for entertainment than business and communication. Also there is no official Twitter app, this is just sloppy really but there are 3rd party apps for Twitter (I went with TweetCaster).
Final Comments: The Kindle Fire is a fine machine for $200, it was not meant to beat the iPad but to be a different level of device. It serves the vast majority of my entertainment needs. Also I would like to note that I have not been in an area where I don’t have wifi since Christmas so I cannot say much about connectivity and such, this is a preliminary review and I will tell you more once I test more in my daily life.