Eric Mack, AND’s exec news editor, and I broke the Amazon Kindle Fire story in July. We were the first to write about it and its planned bargain-basement price of $200. Amazon seems out to outgun the Barnes & Noble Nook and the Apple iPad with this, and we thought it might have a decent shot at making a big splash, but now that it’s out, I’m disappointed. My biggest problem: The display.
Ray Soneira, CEO of Displaymate and one of the world’s leading experts at comparing display technology, is about to release his comparison of the displays on the Barnes & Noble Nook Color, the Apple iPad 2 and the Amazon Kindle Fire.
For now, he tells me the Kindle Fire’s display was the worst of the bunch.
“The Amazon Kindle Fire came in decidedly in last place behind the Nook Color Tablet and iPad 2,” Soneira told me after completing the shootout between the three displays. “All three were winners and losers in some categories. Both the Kindle Fire and the (Barnes & Noble) Nook Color tablet are going to need lots of fixes and tweaks. It’s possible that some of the display issues could be improved in future software updates.”
Screen, chunky size and clunky UI be damned — those are my three main problems with it — Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced today the Kindle Fire is selling like crazy.
“Kindle Fire is the most successful product we’ve ever launched — it’s the bestselling product across all of Amazon for 11 straight weeks, we’ve already sold millions of units, and w’re building millions more to meet the high demand,” said Amazon Kindle VP Dave Limp.
Amazon told The New York Times earlier this week it would have a software update for the much-anticipated tablet in two weeks.
Aside from my own biggest problems (UI, clunkiness, display) with the Kindle Fire, which I’ve been using regularly for three weeks now, there are reports on Amazon’s customer support page regarding performance of its Silk browser, that its performance seems far slower than the Apple iPad’s and scrolling, some users report, is bumpy and jumpy.
Regarding the lackluster Kindle Fire display, I asked Soneira why they differed — given the Apple iPad 2, B&N Nook and Kindle Fire all use IPS LCD tech from Lucky Goldstar (LG), a so-called “premium” technology. “There are big differences in performance between them because, like cars, there are lots of options and variables,” Soneira told me.
Watch for our Ray Soneira’s in-depth tablet shootout soon. In the meantime, I’m sending my two Kindle Fires to our John C. Dvorak and Jerry Pournelle. And then I’m waiting for the two new Kindle Fire units to debut in early 2012. Maybe time will heal my current Kindle Fire wounds, which are myriad.