Kindle Fire First Impressions

I finally got to put my hands on a Kindle Fire today. I only used it in a store for a few minutes, but my immediate impression was that it wasn’t as awful as I’d expected, but that I couldn’t imagine buying one to use.

Immediate takeaways:

  • I’ve seen 7” tablets before, but it still seems crazy small. Why is the tendency in the non-iOS world towards huge phones and tiny tablets? Is this something consumers want or is it something they’re being given?
  • It took 2-4 touches for most things on the home screen to register correctly.
  • The carousel is a terrible UI metaphor for finding anything. I can’t imagine it being the main way I interact with the device and not being frustrated.
  • It would be better to have not shipped magazine reading as a feature than to have it the way it is.
  • Miscellaneous visual glitches were frequent.

I also noticed some positive things:

  • It seemed totally acceptable for playing the preloaded games. Cut The Rope seemed about the same as on iOS.
  • Although tapping on the home screen was pretty non-responsive, swiping around the carousel was OK lagginess-wise. Better than I expected for sure.
  • From a purely visual standpoint, the software and the device both weren’t as ugly as other Android based things I’ve tried. That has nothing, however, to do with actually using it.

Collin Donnell @collin