Most helpful critical review
4,296 of 4,691 people found the following review helpful
Great product but they get you with the ads and missing accessories
on September 17, 2012
My 7 year old son has the 1st gen Kindle Fire, and we've been very happy with it. He mostly plays games on it now, but we plan to purchase more movies and books for it in the future. My 5 year old wanted one too, so we just purchased the 2nd gen Kindle Fire for her. She had been saving her allowance and birthday money this whole year for it. We purchased one the day they were announced!
We've had it now for 3 days... and while it's still the same great product, we were disappointed to find (after receiving the device) that the 2nd generation Fire comes WITHOUT a wall charger (which the first gen Fire had) and has a whole mess of ads loaded onto it. My 5 year old can't read very well yet - she couldn't figure out how to get rid of the ads, and was constantly yelling for me to come help her. Also, some of the ads featured more mature themes (ads for sexy prime time tv shows, for example) that I would not want to expose my young child to.
To purchase the wall charger, it cost us an extra $20, and it cost us $15 to have the ads turned off. So now we're up to $194 for the Kindle Fire that we thought we were getting for $159, plus a whole bunch of time wasted trying to figure out how to turn off the ads, and waiting for the wall charger to arrive.
I am normally a HUGE Amazon fan, but this one leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Would have given the device 4-5 stars on its own, but with the extra expenses and hassle, I have to take it down a couple stars.
***Update Oct 10, 2012*** Interesting that many folks have taken my review as an opportunity to comment on my parenting skills. While I'm sure folks are "well intentioned" (sarcasm), I don't recall asking for parenting advice. Many have said it's ridiculous to buy an eReader for a child who can't read. Yet the FIRE is marketed as a competitor to a tablet device, not an eReader. The Fire does everything the iPad can do (except take pictures and videos). My children prefer to read books on paper. Instead, they use the Fire almost exclusively as a gaming device as there are hundreds of free (or super cheap) game apps for kids - including educational apps. They also listen to music and watch videos on it. I looked at it as a replacement for my daughter's leapster (which she is aging out of) and as an alternative to a portable DVD player and/or iPod. Several devices in one. As we are getting ready to take the kids on a cross-country trip, I will be thrilled not to have to lug around several devices that come with DVDs and expensive game cartridges that are easily lost. We will pack one device. Done.
***Update Oct 22, 2012*** Sorry, me again. First, wanted to THANK those who offered support and told me to ignore the negative nellies who suggested I was an indulgent parent raising the spoiled rotten brats of the future. Secondly, wanted to respond to some questions I've repeatedly received. The ads appear primarily on the lock screen. When unlocked, they disappear. For adult users who are used to dealing with ads in free apps, this might be something you'd be willing to contend with to save a few bucks. But this was a confusing concept for my 5 year old - and I repeat that the ads I saw were too mature for a young audience. Even after I paid the $15 to have the ads removed, my daughter's Kindle still received an ad to "Vote for Obama". It appears as a banner at the top of every screen and I have not been able to get rid of it. I am extremely irritated with this, as it seems some ads will get thru regardless.
Others have commented that it's cheap to buy a wall charger, and to quit complaining about it. OK, I see your point - but if it's so cheap, then Amazon should provide it. I find it absolutely unacceptable that Amazon would not provide a wall charger. I realize Amazon loses money on the device, but they do so anticipating they will more than make up for that loss in profit from the apps, books, and movie purchases. As far as I can tell, Amazon doesn't seem to be hurting. So come on, Amazon, throw in the darned wall charger already!!
Finally, since I purchased this item on Day One of its release, I see that Amazon has updated its product description so it's more obvious as to what the device does - and doesn't - come with. Additionally, the product title now includes the words "with special offers" (IMHO, a deceptive way of saying it comes loaded up with ads) - But I'm glad Amazon added it - now people can be more informed than I was about what they are getting themselves into.
I'm an Amazon Prime member - so have invested pretty heavily in Amazon. If I weren't a Prime member, I would have considered other brands over Amazon's Kindle.