Kindle Fire

Bought the wife a Kindle Fire (pre-order) the day they went up for sale, 8 September 2011. It arrived yesterday.

I played with it a bit at night after work.

First big complaint: The Kindle Fire doesn’t get loud enough. I was watching Ip Man via Amazon Prime on it and I couldn’t get the volume high enough. Same was true watching a couple YouTube videos about RC helicopters, which are plenty loud enough on my MacBook Air and iPad 2. This is a big problem. I didn’t point it out to my wife.

Also, I really miss having a physical home button.

I also miss having physical volume buttons. How the hell do you change the volume while playing Angry Birds? (My wife was playing, I don’t find Angry Birds very interesting to play for more than about a minute a month.) This volume thing sucks.

Web browsing is okay. Even my wife remarked that page loads are disappointingly slow. I’d seen a video comparing iPad to Fire page loading yesterday and the Kindle loaded pages in 14 seconds that the iPad 2 loaded in 4, so I was prepared for slow page loads. Hopefully this is just a DNS thing and I’ll be able to change the Fire over to using Google DNS without screwing with any of the Silk browser’s cloud-based web browsing acceleration magic. We’ll see.

The list of huge (pretty) icons of the last-used apps and such is annoying in that you can’t delete items from first position — you have to push them down in the deck by running other apps. I opened the pre-installed Pulse app to see what it was. I don’t remember what it was now, the morning after, but I do remember that I wanted that stupid thing out of my face.

Address Book: What does this sync to? I want to sync my address book to my wife’s Google Contacts so they in sync with her Blackberry. How do I do this? Is this possible at all with the Kindle Fire?

What’s Good

The price. $200 makes up for a lot of disappointment.

The Kindle Fire’s size is nice for one-handed holding. Nice for watching a movie while holding our five week old daughter. I like that. Though I couldn’t hear the videos I wanted to watch, which was a shame.

28 November 2011 update: Fire still sucks. But wife wants to keep it, even though she agrees that it’s pretty bad.