Tomorrow I will be joining the growing mass of former Kindle Fire owners. I've had it for almost 2 weeks now and I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't do any of the core Amazon features better than my other Android tablets.
Amazon pitched the Kindle Fire as being a great media device. It would bring together Kindle ebooks, Amazon mp3, Instant Video, and all the other content sold by Amazon. When you throw in the Android apps, I am heavily invested in 4 different types of content sold by Amazon. You'd think that I would be the perfect user for the KF, but I don't see how it's any better than any of my other Android tablets.
And yes, I am comparing the KF to each of my 7" and 10" Android tablets, including my eeePad Transformer. That might not be a strictly fair comparison but I do feel that since I have the eeePad I do not need the Kindle Fire. They fill many of the same needs, and that means I don't need both. I had been open to the idea of adding another device to my gear bag, assuming that it added value. But the KF doesn't.
I'm also returning the KF because the software feels rushed and buggy. The interface is overly sensitive, and while it looks neat to flip a cover or icon sideways it is actually quite hard to select the item you want to open.
The buggyness also extends to the video player. I have an Amazon Prime membership, so I was looking forward to the free Prime Instant Video. Unfortunately, while I can watch a video just fine on my laptop the KF struggles to play it. In the first 4 or 5 seconds of a video the KF will pause multiple times to load it. Several videos have failed to load because of the repeated pauses. Now, I know the problem isn't my internet connection; it's almost never below 200KBS. That's more than enough to do any type of video streaming, including Netflix, Youtube, and Amazon. But the KF still struggles.
And then there is the app situation. I've already posted that Amazon took a leaf from Apple's playbook and blocked their competitor's reading apps. No one besides me cared all that much, but I feel it's a major strike against the device. Right now the Amazon Appstore is less useful on the KF than on competing tablets. Fine by me; if the best value is found elsewhere that's where I'll go.
In spite of the many apps I got via Amazon, the many Kindle ebooks I have, and the many Amazon mp3 I have, I just don't see the point of adding another Amazon gadget to my stable. I had planned to add the KF to my gear bag and take it on trips. I really did expect that integrating the various content into one device would be useful, but I don't feel that I've gained anything.
By all means, get the KF; the hardware specs make it a decent value. Just don't expect it to be anything other than one of the many Android tablets on the market.
What can I say, it didn't live up to the hype.