Those who listen to TDL Mobile regularly might recall that I had pre-ordered the Amazon Kindle Fire when we talked about the announcement on episode 88. Well, the Fire arrived ahead of schedule and though I know there are tons of unboxings already out there, I couldn’t help but do one for the TDL crowd. Talk about no frills packaging! The Fire comes in Amazon’s own frustration free packaging and the only other thing accompanying it is a Micro-USB wall charger. Check out the pictures and video below for a quick tour around the hardware and a glance at the interface.
As many have already pointed out, the hardware is almost identical to the BlackBerry Playbook. The only button present is the power button along the bottom of the Fire, which has already caused me some grief by putting it to sleep or display a shutdown prompt simply because I set the bottom of the fire on a table. The screen is vibrant and although I have not had a chance to watch video on it yet, I could see myself enjoying a 30 minute show without issue. Setup was a breeze as it only required me to enter my Amazon e-mail login and password. Much has been made about the Fire being pre-registered for the owner, although as you can see in the video, mine was not registered at all and required me to complete that step manually.
Since the Fire came almost fully charged I decided to hit my favorite sushi joint and take the Fire for a spin in public. The lack of mobile broadband made it immediately evident that this will be an around-the-house device for me since it’s all about content consumption. Luckily, I had pre-loaded an eBook to read. Although the screen is crisp and bright, I really began to miss my e-ink based Nook Touch not only for the easy to ready text, but also the extra weight of the Fire became noticeable after only a few minutes. Once back home, I decided to take the browser for a test run and while I did appreciate the quick loading times, I felt that moving about a webpage was a bit jagged. I will say that navigating through the bookshelfs presented as the Fire’s main interface was extremely smooth as can be seen in the unboxing video. At this point, I’m not ready to make a call on the Fire since it didn’t blow me away no do I feel let down. I’m going to give it a couple of weeks to make a final judgement.