Amazon shipping Kindle Fire today, one day early

Faith Merino · November 14, 2011 · Short URL:

Is it to head off pre-order cancellations following bad reviews?

The verdict is in on the Kindle Fire, and it’s not pretty… Reviews hit the Web Monday and they all seem to say the same thing: if you’re solely interested in content, the Kindle Fire does an adequate job.  But if you’re looking for performance, get thee to Apple.  Despite the less than enthusiastic media response, Amazon announced Monday that it has bumped up the Kindle Fire release date by one day and will begin shipping the tablet today.

The massive “letdown” experience so many early reviewers are reporting does seem a little obvious.  What was everyone expecting?  A $200 iPad?  Of course it wasn’t going to stack up to its higher-priced competitor—that’s why it’s a low-cost tablet.  You get what you pay for. 

But reviewers are disappointed nonetheless.  David Pogue of the New York Times writes: “the Fire is not nearly as versatile as a real tablet. It is designed almost exclusively for consuming stuff, particularly material you buy from Amazon, like books, newspapers and video. It has no camera, microphone, GPS function, Bluetooth or memory-card slot… Animations are sluggish and jerky — even the page turns that you’d think would be the pride of the Kindle team. Taps sometimes don’t register.”

Similarly, Mashable’s Lance Ulanoff writes: “Sometimes the accelerometer gets stuck and the page you’re looking at remains upside down... Wi-Fi was easy to set-up, but was often slow to return after sleep. The device also does its own minicrashes. It does not shut down, but simply drops you out of what you were doing — reading a book or magazine, or looking at the home screen. The latter sometimes blanked out and reappeared.”

So…the Kindle Fire is looking less and less like an iPad killer.  But hey, $200, remember? 

As if sensing the impending disappointment, Amazon has jumped the gun and surprised all those who have already pre-ordered their Kindle Fire by shipping the tablet today instead of tomorrow, as originally planned (perhaps to head off any pre-order cancellations?).  Additionally, the new Kindle Touch and Kindle 3G tomorrow, November 15—a full six days ahead of the original release date. 

Since Amazon unveiled the new Kindle Fire in September, it has become the bestselling item across all of  

Barnes & Noble will be shipping its new Nook Tablet this Thursday, so we'll see how the two tablets compare.  Barnes & Noble already has a lead on the Kindle Fire based on the specs alone, but will an extra $50 help it or hurt it in the low-cost tablet market?


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