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I thought it might make sense to have a thread where we could put all of the Kindle Fire reviews, including those from professionals and from WTM boardies. It seems that the professional reviewers received their Kindle Fires last week and the reviews are starting to happen.

 

For reference, here is a link to the Kindle Fire Main Page. Also, here is Amazon's Getting Started with Kindle Fire page.

 

If you want to see what apps are available for Kindle Fire, you can see them in the Amazon Appstore for Android. Amazon has even enabled it so that you can run many of the apps found there right on your PC! That way you can try them before you purchase them. You will find a different free app there each day.

 

It looks like users are starting to write reviews on the Amazon review page for the Kindle Fire.

 

Here are reviews by WTM members:

 

Frontier Mom

 

Munchkins_mama and 2

 

MaMa2005

 

Parker Martin reports that the Kindle Fire did not come in a plain, unmarked Amazon box!

 

edelweiss

 

BetterthanIdeserve

 

Halcyon

 

theAmbitiousHousewife

 

Laurel

 

RegGuheert and 2

 

NoNo

 

Scrapmom3

 

ChristusG

 

Here are some professional reviews:

 

PC Magazine: The Best Kindle Fire Apps: A Starter Kit

 

MSNBC: Kindle Fire review: Yes, it's that good

 

PC Magazine: Kindle Fire Review & Ratings

 

Gizmodo: Kindle Fire Review: The iPad Finally has Serious Competition

 

Washington Post: Kindle Fire review: Changing the landscape of the tablet game

 

Fox News: Kindle Fire Review: Good Tablet Despite Sacrifices

 

Huffington Post: Amazon Kindle Fire Review: Not Identical to the Playbook, but Close

 

Engadget: Amazon Kindle Fire review

 

Best eReader Reviews: Amazon Kindle Fire Review

 

PC World: Kindle Fire Has a Secret Ingredient: Amazon Prime

 

CNET: Amazon Kindle Fire Review

 

CNET: Help! Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet?

 

 

 

Wall Street Journal: Kindle Fire, a Grown-Up E-Reader With Tablet Spark

 

Information Week: Kindle Fire: Early Reviews Roundup

 

Mashable: Yes, You Can Install the Nook App on the Kindle Fire

 

Wired: Is This Really the Tablet Everyone's Talking About?

 

PC World: Amazon Kindle Fire Misfires

 

Extreme Tech: Kindle Fire Silk web browser speed tested: It's slow

 

ZDNet: 7 reasons the Kindle Fire is better than the iPad

 

ZDNet: 12 things that kinda suck about the Kindle Fire written by the same guy as the one above!

 

AppleInsider: Amazon's new Kindle Fire tablet: an in-depth review

Edited by RegGuheert
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After reading the reviews I'm stilling leaning towards a second iPad instead of the fire. It looks like it's going to be a great device for non-iPad owners but I'm not sure we can live with the limitations after using the iPad. Based on the reviews, I can away with a list of limitations that would be an issue for us.

 

1) screen size - I was already concerned about this and one of the reviews mentioned that magazines and other content looked small. We played with the galaxy tab before deciding in the iPad and it just seemed a bit small for us. We do a lot of math & Latin PDF worksheets on the iPad and it works well because it's almost actual size.

 

2) limit on types of books you can load - if I understood one of the reviews correctly you can only load kindle/amazon formatted books. We have lots of books in lots of different formats so I would want more flexibility.

 

3) limited access to android market - I currently have a phone with limited android market access and it seems like anytime I hear about a cool android app and try to get it I'm not allowed to on my phone. I wonder how much the limitation will affect some of the educational apps listed here.

 

4) battery life- we travel a lot so the longer a battery lasts the better.

 

None of these are huge issues but the combination is probably enough to make me spend the extra $200 for the refurbished iPad for dd.

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I think I'm with you. I have a Kindle, which I still use, as I like the e-ink reader style. I also have an iPad 2, which I like for the apps, etc. While I can read my Kindle books on the iPad, I prefer the e-ink. I also like the larger screen size of the iPad. I do wish, however, that my Kindle had a touch-screen. My dc laugh as I try to turn the pages of my Kindle with a finger-slide on the screen! :)

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I don't know if I'd like the Fire or iPad. I don't need either. I have a laptop and a Kindle. I really do like the Pearl e-ink of a Kindle and don't want to read on a backlit screen. But I'd love to do all the other things that either of those can do. The Fire is certainly more affordable, but you give up a lot of features. I don't think it can be compared with either the iPad or the Nook Color. It seems to be a cross between the two. Anyway, it would be fun to have, but to me is completely unnecessary.

 

As an aside, I pre-ordered the Kindle Touch for ds, and it was supposed to arrive next week. I got an email from Amazon this morning saying that they're shipping early (so is the Fire from what I've read), and will be here this Thursday. Yay! No more sharing my Kindle! I love my Kindle Keyboard (formerly known as the K3), and don't feel the need for a new one for myself. If I had one of the older models, I'd probably replace it.

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None of these are huge issues but the combination is probably enough to make me spend the extra $200 for the refurbished iPad for dd.
Exactly the decision we made. The kids are getting $400.00 refurbished iPad 1s for Christmas.

 

OTOH, MomsintheGarden does NOT want an iPad. She finds them too large and too heavy for her. The reviews here make me think the content-centric world of the Kindle Fire instead of the App-centric one of the iPads will appeal to her. One concern is that she wants a full-featured email capability and this tablet does not have it. I'm wondering if using gMail's web interface will suffice.

 

One other disappointment from the PC Magazine review: They clocked web page loads at 14 seconds versus 7 seconds for the iPad! :confused: I'll have to test that here when we get it, since we have slow (satellite) internet. I suspect the cloud browser will benefit us more, but perhaps not.

 

Me? I love the iPad and probably will stick with that unless the browser on the Kindle Fire is much better.

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Exactly the decision we made. The kids are getting $400.00 refurbished iPad 1s for Christmas.

 

I know because you bought them all:)

 

One other disappointment from the PC Magazine review: They clocked web page loads at 14 seconds versus 7 seconds for the iPad! :confused: I'll have to test that here when we get it, since we have slow (satellite) internet. I suspect the cloud browser will benefit us more, but perhaps not.

 

.

 

I didn't remember the part about the slower load times. That woud bug me too. The iPad runs my work software faster & more efficienty than my laptop. I'm finding myself becoming more and more impatient with load times on my laptop. A full conversion to Mac may be in our future plans.

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Well, I got the Kindle Fire for my 77 year old father for Christmas. This will be the most technologically advanced he's ever been (he only has a PC), so I doubt he'll notice anything amiss. :lol: Plus, he's a voracious reader, so I chose the Kindle mainly for that. I think he'll enjoy it. For me? I see an Ipad over a Fire in my future. :D

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I won't get a Kindle Fire or even another Kindle.

 

My kindle died after less than 2 years. No fix for it. It was such a pain to find the number on the website to get someone to talk to me. When I did they were usually in a foreign country and it was a very difficult conversation.

 

We have an iPad 2 plus several Apple computers. When there is an issue I go the Apple website, book an appointment and talk to a real live person face to face. The Apple store is less than 15 minutes from my house.

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I have an iPad and a Kindle and love them both. They are perfect for me. However, I don't want to spend the amount I spent on my iPad for each of my kids. So, I ordered 2 Kindle Fires for them. They have shipped already! :hurray: I really hope that I like them. If I don't, I'll return them and order the two iPads instead. :glare:

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I have added quite a few more links to reviews in the first post in this thread. Interestingly, there are already a bunch of customer reviews on the Amazon site, so I added a link to that, as well. You will also find a link to a Kindle Fire unboxing from the LA Times.

 

Enjoy!

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I've added a few more professional reviews to the OP of the thread. Some may want to note the article by Mashable in which they loaded the Nook app on the Kindle Fire.

 

Does anyone have your Fire yet and want to tell us your first impressions?

 

Got mine today!! I had a couple of meetings so I couldn't wait to get home and open the box. I have set up my email, fb and other accounts quickly and easily. I love the feel of it!! It is a little heavier than I thought but I have never used a tablet before. It isn't heavy though, just heavier than my 2nd generation Kindle.

 

I love the display and love how my books and other things are instantly there from Amazon. I have bought two things: Quickoffice Pro so I can edit Word and Excel documents and purchased the $.99 Angry Birds, of course!

 

I am still playing around but very impressed so far. Wish my case had come in today too though as it has a stand.

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Got mine today!! I had a couple of meetings so I couldn't wait to get home and open the box. I have set up my email, fb and other accounts quickly and easily. I love the feel of it!! It is a little heavier than I thought but I have never used a tablet before. It isn't heavy though, just heavier than my 2nd generation Kindle.

 

I love the display and love how my books and other things are instantly there from Amazon. I have bought two things: Quickoffice Pro so I can edit Word and Excel documents and purchased the $.99 Angry Birds, of course!

 

I am still playing around but very impressed so far. Wish my case had come in today too though as it has a stand.

 

Lucky you! My son's is coming on Wednesday...he has saved for it by doing extra work for my husband at his office and yucky jobs at home, and been socking his money away since the moment it was announced...he is so so excited.

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I pre-ordered mine from Staples and got it this morning. I haven't have much time to play with it yet, but I did get it out for a few minutes. I really like the vividness of the screen, and the responsiveness of the touch screen. Now, you should know that I am incredibly un-picky about my electronics. :) I loaded my books onto it in less than 5 seconds per book. The Streaming for Prime loads fairly quickly and plays beautifully. I checked Facebook easily, and set up my Words With Friends account first thing.

 

I think it's going to be a great little toy. I don't see it replacing my regular Kindle because it is quite bright and I like the e-ink. It will be great for the kids to play with and as another reader. Although, I'm actually considering getting the $79 Kindle for DD so she can read all the classics I've downloaded for free without her taking mine. :)

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Can any of you who have the Fire in hand say whether or not Flash does indeed run on it? That's one of my must know deals before handing over the money.

 

Also, I read the review about the choppy loading of web pages in a WIRED article linked on the OP. Are you finding that choppiness to be true? If so, how annoying is it? My hope is that this wouldn't be that annoying to the non-tech connoisseur (i.e. me).

 

Thanks!

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Can any of you who have the Fire in hand say whether or not Flash does indeed run on it?
Well, it's one of the featured specifications for the product:
Ultra-fast web browsing - Amazon Silk

Amazon Silk is a revolutionary, cloud-accelerated browser that uses a "split browser" architecture to leverage the computing speed and power of the Amazon Web Services cloud. Supports Adobe® Flash® Player. Learn why it's so fast.

OTOH, it appears from the reviews that they may not be delivering on the "ultra-fast browsing" right now. Still, Adobe has been maintaining a full-featured, up-to-date version of Flash Player for Android for a couple of years now, so I cannot imagine Flash not working on the Kindle Fire.
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Thanks, RegGuheert. I've heard Apple doesn't support it, so I wondered about Nook and Fire.

 

About the browsing, I also just read (doing lots of research on this subject today!) that the Fire's Silk browser is supposed to "learn from the collective habits of the users" over time, so the assumption is that it will get better with time. Hmmm, I hope it's a fast learner so I can hear about improved browsing experiences and make my decision soon. The reps at my B&N store are raving about the Nook Tablet's browsing capability vs the Fire's. My gut tells me that since I'm an avid Amazon user already, I'd appreciate the Fire more, but I must admit I am worried about the initial browsing reports from Fire testers so far.

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I'm still on the fence, but this article lists the top 16 apps for the Fire. I'm going to see if there are enough good ones to push me over to the Fire rather than the iPad.
Thanks for the article! It will be a good read for those not familiar with Android. I'll add it to the OP for others to easily find!
Reg (OP), should we have a thread on apps for Fire or leave it here?
Here is fine with me. I'll also add the 'android apps' tag to this thread so that people can find it that way.
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I got mine this morning. DS actually ran and met the UPS man at the top of driveway because he knows with my new Fire he gets my old Kindle :lol:

 

Haven't had much time to play with it, but I like what I see. DH ordered mine as a surprise gift :001_wub: so I am going to love it for no other reason than that one. The color is cool and I love that I can see the cover of the book versus just a list of book titles.

 

I am a voracious reader so if I use it for nothing more than that, I will be happy. :001_smile:

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For those worried about putting their iTunes music on Amazon's cloud, it can be done. I'm also hearing that the rooting has already begun.

 

A friend of mine got hers yesterday and is loving it. The also have an iPad (don't know if it's 1 or 2), and she was aware that the Fire is not just a cheaper iPad.

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My hubby ordered the Kindle Fire as a surprise for me. I was hoping he'd get me a tablet as a Christmas and birthday gift and was thrilled to open it up last night. We've had a lot of fun with it today. I've emailed several word documents that have our poems for memory work, AWANA verses, and Spanish vocab lists. I'm really looking forward to having it do work on the go.

 

I have to say, I was a bit disappointed with the educational apps. I was really hoping for some that I had seen on my SIL's iPad. The experts say that there should be a dramatic increase in the number of Amazon Apps in the next year. I'm trying to focus on that instead and enjoy my surprise. iPads are really outside our price range (my hubby did marketing research surveys and saved his "allowance" to get me one - isn't he wonderful!).

 

That said, I really like the size of the Fire. It will easily slide in my purse and it is easy to hold. My DD6 says it is so much better than the laptop for Starfall - she really enjoys holding it in her lap. She already knows how to find her memory work in the DOCS. We don't use the camera on the laptop, so that is not something for me to miss. And at this price point, I really am comfortable with my young children using it on a limited basis. DD6 is using Starfall to teach DS3 a few of his letters as I type this. I certainly understand the advantages of a bigger screen with an iPad, but I really think the Fire size suits us better for now.

 

I did have a problem with some web pages loading slowly, but honestly it may have been our internet connection - we had a service outage yesterday and it seems that there are still some intermittent issues. Facebook, YouVersion, AngryBirds and a few other apps all loaded very easily.

 

I did look for SOTW and was surprised to only find volume 1 available thru the Kindle store. I'm really hoping the other volumes became available. I'd like to buy vol 2 for the Fire next summer.

 

I have to say I wasn't very impressed with the Kindle Lending Library - I guess my expectations were too high. I'm glad that so many classics are available, there's plenty available to keep me occupied that way. My local library doesn't have Kindle books available (or won't soon because of a change), so I'm planning on checking out another library system in my metro area. I really hope that will be an option. I don't buy many books - I make extensive use of our library. Unfortunately I've spent $75 at the LIBRARY in the last 6 weeks, which is making me want to stop going (several long stories add up in lost, damaged, and late fees -ouch!).

 

Overall, I am thrilled to have my new toy! Sure, it doesn't have everything, but at this price range, you get a fantastic deal! My hubby isn't going to hear anything but gratitude from me. It's going to be great to have it on the go and I am looking forward to using it on our upcoming vacation. For those that know they want all the bells and whistles, and don't want to wait for the apps that are already available for the iPad, then you better plan on spending quite a bit more.

Edited by BetterthanIdeserve
gotta fix my spelling
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In case anyone needs this information, our Kindle Fire just arrived in a box that says "kindlefire" on it. It did not come in a regular Amazon box.
We ordered two and there was no marking on the outer box. But the inner boxes did say "kindlefire", as you say. Did they really send it without an outer box? That's not so discrete!
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How is the sound on the Fire? I have a nookcolor and I'm disappointed in the volume of the speaker. The only way I can hear audiobooks is if everyone is silent and I have the nook close to my ear.:001_huh: Youtube videos and Pandora aren't much better.

 

I'm really hoping to get a Fire with our tax return. I want to be able to watch movies and I think Amazon has much better prices on their ebooks.

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Okay, so older has opened his box and gotten started playing. He is beyond thrilled. He has watched part of a show on Netflix, played Angry Birds and is browsing the lending library. Right now, my Kindle e-reader is on MY account, and his Fire is on DH's account, so we need to resolve that so they're both on mine.

 

Okay, he just found the free Comics app.....I wonder if I'm going to be able to get him to bed on time!

 

ETA: The volume is good, not great. Definitely loud enough to hear the movie.

I will post back once I've had time to play on it (after they go to bed hehehe)

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Did they really send it without an outer box? That's not so discrete!

 

They really did. If you're giving this as a gift, DON'T pull the little strip. This IS the Kindle Fire box.

 

Me? I'll be giving a previously opened gift this year. :sad:

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Got mine this afternoon - loving it so far! It easily did all that I wanted it to do internet wise (including playing Netflix for DS1. Now he can watch something while I make dinner and not have it disturb his brother's nap!) I really like the size of it - ipads always felt so clunky to me.

 

So far I'm very pleased with it. Of course, I'd like to play with it for more than 30 minutes. I may have made the mistake of showing DS1 the free finger painting app I downloaded for him.

 

One thing I have noticed is that it runs better/downloads faster than our xbox or computers do during this time of day

Edited by theAmbitiousHousewife
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I have to say, I was a bit disappointed with the educational apps. I was really hoping for some that I had seen on my SIL's Ipad. The experts say that there should be a dramatic increase in the number of Amazon Apps in the next year. I'm trying to focus on that instead and enjoy my surprise. Ipads are really outside our price range (my hubby did marketing research surveys and saved his "allowance" to get me one - isn't he wonderful!).
I've read several articles recently saying that many developers are currently targeting the Kindle Fire. Perhaps you've seen the same ones. It makes sense. There are about to be 5 million of these things in use with a dearth of apps. Now is the time to get in and make some money.

 

At the same time, I do not expect to ever see as many educational apps as are found on the iPad. Apple has always excelled in the education space.

 

Thanks for the nice review!

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I have to say I wasn't very impressed with the Kindle Lending Library - I guess my expectations were too high. I'm glad that so many classics are available, there's plenty available to keep me occupied that way. My local library doesn't have Kindle books available (or won't soon because of a change), so I'm planning on checking out another library system in my metro area. I really hope that will be an option.

 

Could you please clarify what you mean by Kindle Lending Library? Do you mean the free lending library available to amazon prime members?

 

I've been lucky that my local library system offers kindle ebooks. It's saved me some money on bestsellers. Hopefully you will be able to get a library card for a different library sytem.

 

Checked my account and our kindle Fire should be delivered tomorrow! Will have to get our schoolwork done early so we can play with it! lol

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Could you please clarify what you mean by Kindle Lending Library? Do you mean the free lending library available to amazon prime members?

 

 

Yes, that is what I was talking about. You get 1 free month of Amazon Prime (I believe that is only for those who haven't used Prime before) when purchasing the Kindle Fire. I think the Kindle's Lending Library showed 5000 some titles and you have to wait one month to check out your next book.

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DP got his today and has been playing with it. DP is a tech-y guy who likes big screens and really fast internet. He doesn't read much, but watches a lot of movies. His review:

 

Picture quality is great. He has watched things on both Netflix and Hulu+ and was impressed with the picture quality. He watched something from Amazon Prime streaming for about 30 seconds, and said that was fine too. (Still waiting for better selection with that.) The screen is smaller than he would like, but we knew that would be the case.

 

The internet hasn't been choppy for him at all. I don't know if he's tried accessing any sites with Flash yet. I will have him check that out later.

 

He was also very impressed with the ability to read books directly from Cloud, and loves being able to stream things rather than download them to the device.

 

He hasn't played around much with the apps, so we will have more on that later. He also wants to see how the backlight/glare is in the sun, for reading, but that will have to wait until there is actually some sun (in Maine).

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I've read several articles recently saying that many developers are currently targeting the Kindle Fire. Perhaps you've seen the same ones. It makes sense. There are about to be 5 million of these things in use with a dearth of apps. Now is the time to get in and make some money.

 

At the same time, I do not expect to ever see as many educational apps as are found on the iPad. Apple has always excelled in the education space.

 

Thanks for the nice review!

 

I think I read the same article just a few minutes ago. But why wouldn't there be as many educational apps for the Fire? I feel like I'm on a roller coaster rider - one minute it's the Fire, for sure, and the next I'm checking out refurbished iPads.

 

My decision would really depend on educational apps. For example, iStart has an app for learning Chinese, Spanish, and German, but will Amazon have a similar one (very, very soon)?

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My guess is there will be an EXPLOSION of apps for the Fire in the next few months. We can wait. There are some math apps, a fun spanish app...i don't want my kids on it that often anyway. You can view Khan Academy videos on it and I think brain pop vids, and that's important. Plus being able to stream educational movies on Netflix and send DS to his room to watch them while I work with younger...priceless :)

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