Top critical review
Beware! Think VERY hard before you decide to buy this tablet!
Reviewed in the United States on February 22, 2016
Since my wife and daughter were on our iPad all the time, I wanted another tablet for myself. The Kindle Fire looked interesting, had some good reviews, and since I already had a Kindle Keyboard for reading that was still working well, I figured it was a pretty safe bet. And it was...for awhile.
The pros: the screen is amazingly clear. Pictures and videos are sharp as a knife. I watched a lot of my Netflix on the Kindle Fire. The sound coming through the speakers was great, both with and without headphones. The Silk browser took some getting used to but it's largely intuitive and I figured it out fairly quickly. I used my Kindle Fire everyday for over a year-and-a-half with only a few minor glitches that were easily resolved.
And now the bad news. A few days ago, the tablet crashed and froze and is now stuck on the title screen and is unable to boot up. A hard reset failed, so I contacted customer service for help. The rep walked me through an attempt to restore the Kindle Fire to its factory settings, which would wipe out everything on it but should get it working again. When this also failed, the rep said there was nothing more to be done. And since I was well past the expiration date of my warranty, my nearly $400 tablet was now a complete loss. After less than 2 years. I should like to add that the Kindle Fire never left my house - I did not drop it, spill water on it, play catch with it, or damage it in any way. My only recourse was to buy a brand new tablet, although, the rep informed me, I would receive a modest discount to ease the burden on my wallet.
I have since learned, to my great chagrin and increasing outrage, that this was not an isolated incident. Dozens and dozens of others have encountered the same problem and received the same answer. "Electronic devices break down sometimes, don't really know why, not much we can do - why don't you buy our latest model? New and improved!" I've been an Amazon customer since 2002 and this is the first time I've really been disappointed in their service. There is obviously a huge problem with one of their flagship products but they have not come up with a software patch or offered to fix it or replace it. Maybe some people can afford to buy the latest tech gadgets every year or two but I am not one of them.
You should know that I'm writing this review on the very same iPad I owned (for over a year!) before I bought the Kindle Fire, and it is still going strong. If Amazon hopes to maintain their share of the tablet market it will need to extend their shelf life, or risk losing that share altogether. Poorly-made products do not speak well of you, Amazon. I still enjoy my Kindle e-reader but I will never buy another Kindle Fire.