You no doubt have seen stories in both the tech and the mainstream media about how Amazon is going to somehow correct the problems with its Kindle Fire tablet/e-reader. At the risk of Amazon proving me wrong about Fire a second time (more on the first time in a bit), I suggest that Fire, in its current form, can't be fixed. For instance, Amazon can't send out external volume control buttons to every Fire buyer. They can't move the bottom sleep switch so you don't keep hitting it accidentally while just balancing it in your hand. But to me, these are niggling issues. What Amazon won't be able to fix is the heightened expectations it raised in the months prior to anyone actually getting their hands on a Fire — especially in its supposed "revolutionary" Silk mobile Web browser, which turns out to be as revolutionary as a silk hankie.
One of the major selling points for the Kindle Fire is its Amazon Silk Web browser — a cloud-accelerated browser that turbo boosts page load times with Amazon's supercomputers. Turns out the speed boosts aren't really much to boast about.
I just received my Kindle Fire. It's in this box. Just to be clear, this Fire is my Fire: it's money out of my own pocket. This isn't a unit Amazon gave DVICE for review. Like many, I tossed my name in early for a Kindle Fire pre-order. I was at the unveiling, and got just as excited by the prospect of a $200 tablet as anyone else. That's an amazing price point (and one that's punishing Amazon, at least up front), and even now the temptation is there to tear open this box and play with Fire. But I won't. By the time you read this, the Fire will already be on its way back to Amazon's returns department.
Amazon's Silk browser, which will come loaded on the upcoming Kindle Fire tablet, promises to be super speedy thanks to the fact that Amazon's servers will route any pages you view through them, doing all the heavy lifting. Which is great for speed, and terrible for privacy.
Amazon talked a lot of game today about being different with the Kindle Fire. We're going to have to play with it more before we can decide, but one feature really stands out: Amazon Silk, the Fire's speedy cloud-powered Web browser.