Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet Review
Middle of the road performance, but at a jaw-droppingly low price.
Though touched off by HP abandoning the Touch Pad early on, the price point race to the bottom among tablets has a new frontrunner: the Kindle Fire. If the Kindle Fire takes off, it will put its competitors in an interesting bind; because Amazon is in a unique position to recoup their losses on the tablet itself with the huge numbers of new Amazon Prime memberships ($70USD per year), how will other companies adapt to compete?
While on paper, the Fire is nothing special: it doesn't offer huge advantages in really any measure aside from the cloud-processing browser, and its hardware is roughly average for what it's competing against. By offering even somewhat similar performance at a drastically slashed price, the Fire offers the best value on the market so far, even if it doesn't really touch the performance of the best Android and iOS tablets.
The battery life of the Amazon Kindle Fire is fair, but definitely not on the same level as the most expensive tablets out there. That being said, for the $200 price point, it's the current king of the hill in this category, but that's mostly because the only tablets that it competes with at its own price point are really terrible.
As a pure competitor to the high-end tablets, the Amazon Kindle Fire simply cannot match the iPad 2 or Xoom, but it does have an unusually good contrast performance. After that, it is forced to use several advanced features to make the most of its somewhat limited hardware, but it does a fairly good job of handling web browsing and streaming content. If you are a streaming junkie who is on a tight budget, the Amazon Kindle Fire is a absolutely great pickup, and is matched in that regard only by far more expensive tablets. Though the investment of Amazon Prime is necessary to really turn this tablet loose, it's still the best buy on the market so far.
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