tablets

Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet Review

Middle of the road performance, but at a jaw-droppingly low price.

November 14, 2011
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Controls

Aside from the sole button on the bottom of the tablet, the Amazon Kindle Fire 's interface is purely operated through the capacitive touchscreen. All the controls are intuitive and easy to perform, and there are only intermittent issues; nothing that will crash your applications or make you accidentally key in a bad command unlike many other tablets this size. It appears that Amazon makes the Kindle Fire err on the side of caution here, but not overly so.

Connectivity

If you are worried about Amazon sacrificing WiFi performance for a lower cost, fear not: the onboard 802.11/n wireless card enables its users to download and upload quite quickly. At the lab, we observed this car topping out at near 1 MB/sec. While users desiring Bluetooth compatibility will be disappointed, for most users streaming content on this tablet, the WiFi will be enough. There are no extra bells and whistles on this budget tablet.

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Battery Life

Overall, the battery life of the Amazon Kindle Fire falls far short of competing with the big kids on the block, but it's hard to complain for the price point. With WiFi turned off and the backlight cranked to maximum, the Kindle Fire will give you about 6 hours and 53 minutes of video playback (assuming all other programs are closed), and about 5 hours, 53 minutes of eBook reading. While this type of battery life is a little on the low side for the major players, it is encouraging that it will give you far more time playing media than your average laptop, enabling it to go on longer journeys. Still, it lags one to two full hours behind the market leaders, so if you want better battery life, get ready to pay several hundred dollars more.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Product Tour
  3. Screen
  4. Battery & Controls
  5. eReader
  6. Music & Audio
  7. Movies & Video
  8. Email & Web Browsing
  9. Internet Apps
  10. Apple iPad 2 Wi-fi & 3G / AT&T / 16 GB Comparison
  11. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Comparison
  12. Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet Comparison
  13. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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