Instead of going into the details, I thought I would just give my thoughts regarding the Kindle Fire from a user perspective. Namely, me being said user. The reference to smoke above is basically what I consider a lot of reviews to be. Far too many people are reviewing the Fire as a competitor to Apple's iPad. I specifically bought the Fire to replace my iPad.
Why did I end up passing on my iPad to my girlfriend? Basically because I have a Macbook Air with 11" screen. It's almost silly to travel with both that laptop and an iPad. At the same time, the iPad alone was often not enough, especially when you want to write some longer mails or blog posts. What I wanted was a device to use for reading. I had originally had the second generation Kindle. That was handed off to my sister (noticing a trend here?) I replaced that device thinking I wanted the Kindle I originally had to do more. Yet, the iPad I bought to replace it ended up being overkill. Enter Kindle Fire! What is the Kindle Fire? A perfect transportable reading device which allows you to now and again jump over into the browser or mail app to catch up there. I won't be "working" with the Fire. Yet, while reading, I can easily check mails or websites to see what's up. Further, I can lay on my back in bed and read using one hand to hold the device. Sure, you can't do this all night long but people, some books are heavier than the Fire. No shit that holding even those for a longer period of time will put strain on your arm. Further, there are some cool apps already available for the Fire like Pulse which allow me to read RSS feeds just fine. That's enough. The Fire doesn't have to do anything more. For 200 bucks it's perfect.
Does it have any drawbacks? Well, there are some quirks. I find battery life to be ok but it's nowhere near what a regular Kindle is capable of. I believe even an iPad may have a bit more battery life yet I didn't do any parallel testing. Further, I'm not a video guy. If I watch a movie, I want it to be on a big screen. The screen on this device is a bit small yet in a plane, sure, one movie is fine. I won't be doing any marathon movie nights on this thing though. I also find the button on the bottom just plain dumb. I keep hitting it and turning the device off. This was plain stupid design. The screen, just like the iPad, gets muffed up with fingerprints real quick. You definitely need one of those Power Support screen protectors to keep the screen from gunking up. Finally, and this is really dumb of Amazon, is the charger. It's a one piece, non-usb charger. (You probably will have a country specific plug on it depending on where you buy and yes, I had to go out and buy a Micro-USB B to USB cable to charge the device.) Why isn't this USB cable included. Sure, everything is supposed to go over-the-air but why would I want to carry ANOTHER charger with the Fire? 99% of the people will switch to a charger with a USB plug (which Amazon surely wants you to order via their site) and this doesn't make sense to me.