It looks like the Amazon Kindle Fire is shipping a little early, and a bunch of reviews have already crossed the wire today. The most tantalizing things about the Amazon Kindle Fire is that it manages to provide 1.2 GHz of dual-core goodness for only $200, but after skimming some of the reviews, it’s readily apparent that the bigger story here is that the tablet is really about selling stuff. Amazon apparently does a great job providing seamless links to buying material goods, apps, books, music, and movies, making the whole thing more like a solidified, condensed Amazon store than a proper consumer gadget. It’s an interesting strategy, and one that I’m tempted to think might work for those that don’t need everything the iPad 2 has to offer.
Personally, I’m not too interested in being continually pitched to buy crap on my mobile device. Sure, it’s a key element of the iPad and iPhone, but I don’t use them either for the same reason. In any case, here’s a smattering of verdicts from across the web. If you find any more high-quality reviews of the Kindle Fire online, drop a link, or if you happen to get your hands on one, let us know what you think! Our review is forthcoming.
Gizmodo: “Simply, the Fire is a wonderful IRL compliment to Amazon’s digital abundance. It’s a terrific, compact little friend, and—is this even saying anything?—the best Android tablet to date.”
Engadget: “The Kindle Fire is great value and perhaps the best, tightest integration of digital content acquisition into a mobile device that we’ve yet seen.”
CNET: “Though it lacks the tech specs found on more-expensive Apple and Android tablets, the $199 Kindle Fire is an outstanding entertainment value that prizes simplicity over techno-wizardry.”
Mashable: “A consistent, well-thought out marriage of hardware and services that offer an almost frictionless environment for app purchase and content consumption.”
Laptop Magazine: “The Fire can be slow to respond at times–and the Silk browser will take time to live up to its potential–but overall we highly recommend this slate for shoppers on a budget.”
New York Times: “If you’re used to an iPad or ‘real’ Android tablet, its software gremlins will drive you nuts.”
Consumer Reports: “The display is smaller than the iPad’s, and the app market is more limited, but for $200 you’re getting a full-featured tablet that performs well.”
Wired: “Small screen size and insufficient processing power. Crap browser performance. Near useless as a magazine reader, and roundly trumped by superb e-ink Kindles as a book reader.”
MSNBC: “The Kindle Fire can handle about 80 percent of what I want to do on an iPad, for 40 percent of the price.”
ZDNet: “Amazon isn’t annoying with the shopping pitches, but the ecosystem is all about e-commerce. With the Kindle Fire you’re in Amazon’s world.”