Thursday, 1 November 2012

Kindle Fire...Not too bright.

Much heavier than the this tablet is also physically bigger than its no-frills sibling. With its colour touchscreen, Android operating system and webcam, it looks just like your average tablet. Call me cynical, but it appears very much to be a clever ploy to enourage the purchasing of content and apps, in a less subtle way than rival tablet, as the first thing you enounter is the Shop option, and at the end you will find Offers. You can also see all your purchased eBooks in a more in-your-face way than the Apple iBooks are displayed on their device. Like on the Amazon web site, you are offered suggestions based on your recent purchases. They don't miss a trick! When it comes to actually reading an eBook on the Kindle Fire, the screen looks sharp and it's easy and comfortable to read, although I actually prefer it on the because it's much smaller and lighter to hold and to carry in public. Then again, there is the option on this one to purchase audiobooks too which has its uses. It's also different from previous incarnations in that you simply swipe the screen to "turn" pages, as opposed to there being a physical button as there was before. The News Stand app is good, allowing you to subscribe to and download newspapers and magazines, although it's worth noting that these don't come in HTML format so it's rather visually boring. Lovefilm, Amazon's acquired movie rental/streaming service, is enabled too, allowing access to films and also to TV shows. You can also upload your own videos to the device to watch if you so choose. It seems a bit slow when trying video playback, and this was rather frustrating. The picture quality wasn't as clear as expected. Amazon have attempted to cover all media formats, allowing you to sync with your Cloud account and listen to all your downloaded tracks. The speakers are louder than I had expected, although the sound quality isn't as good as it could be. I think maybe they're trying to do too much with this tablet at the detriment of the quality of its features.