User Review: Amazon Kindle Fire reviewed by maryhb

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The Kindle Fire is a very understated tablet. The design is sensible (with the exception of the placement of the power button on the bottom edge - what?), the software is fairly stark and utilitarian. Pretty much every element of the tablet is just enough. It's not much to write home about, but there's really nothing to complain about either. Strong points are the bright IPS display and the Amazon content library. Weaker are the speaker placement and the design of the tablet. There are two speakers on the top of the tablet. This is fine for listening to music, but when watching a movie in landscape format, the placement results in the sound coming from only one side. It's a small detail, but I found it to be fairly irritating. Finally, the design, while certainly not bad, is just boring. Everything is squared off, and it makes the Fire look and feel thicker than it needs to. A little bit of taper on the sides would make it sleeker in the hand. I like a lot of things about the hardware, don't get me wrong, but a little bit of the flash implied by the name would make it more lively. But the way the tablet looks doesn't really affect the experience a whole lot, and Amazon has definitely put together a tablet that is polished, that is pleasant to use, and that takes excellent advantage of Amazon's very healthy ecosystem.

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