These days kids are very much in touch with the internet. My son will often be found talking to his friends via wifi, taking advantage of video calling. For them the internet is very much a big part of life, gone are the days when it took ages to dial in and if someone used the phone the connection was lost. The problem is that children take tablets and phones very much for granted. They don’t seem to realise that these devices can be expensive and leave them lying around. Recently Currys PC World sent me an Amazon Fire, 7″ to try out. This tablet costs £50 (or if you buy five you get one free) and I thought it would make an ideal device for my son to use.
Amazon Fire Specifications
The Amazon Fire is thin and light with rounded edges. It feels reasonably chunky in the hand and is comfortable to hold. The back is smooth plastic and the tablet feels sturdy, as if it could take a knock or two. The tablet comes with a plug and a USB cable. The on button is on the top as well as the buttons for volume control and the port for the USB. This means that you tend to hold the tablet in landscape mode which is more suitable when viewing media.
The seven inch display is 1024 x 600 which is certainly clear and bright enough for most uses. The device has a 1.3GHz quad core processor which makes it reasonably fast and comes with 8GB storage space. This can be expanded with a microSD card to 128 GB. Free unlimited cloud storage is also available for Amazon content and photos taken with the device. The Amazon Fire has wi-fi and bluetooth connectivity allowing you to get online easily. There is also a front and rear facing camera.
Setting up the Amazon Fire tablet is easy. Charge it up, switch it on and you are taking into setup mode. Choose a few settings like language and timezone and you are good to go. If you are not sure how to use the Amazon Fire you are then given access to a tutorial which shows you how to navigate around it.
The Amazon Fire tablet is tied to Amazon so to access the media you do need an amazon account. This gives you access to your books and media. You also get access to Amazon’s app store which allows you to download apps.The home sceen is very much designed to allow you to browse Amazon easily with shop Amazon, Amazon video and offers prominently shown. Sliding to the right you get access to other Amazon content such as books, videos, games, online shopping, apps, music, audio books and magazines/newspapers. If you do not have an Amazon prime account it may be worth considering to enable access to the videos. The Prime subscription costs £79 per year, and you get unlimited access to Amazon’s TV, movie and music streaming platforms, as well as the Kindle free e-book lending library.
I quite like having access to my books and audio books easily like this. The speakers are reasonable quality, sufficient for listening to books. You also have access to the Silk browser, calendar, email and file manager apps allowing you to browse the internet, send email and schedule your appointments. While the Amazon app store does not have the same range as the Google play store, I managed to find all the apps I wanted.
The Amazon Fire tablet has both front and rear facing cameras which are 5MP. The options for taking shots are limited with very few special effects to choose from. The camera performed adequately but to be honest I rarely use the camera on a tablet, much preferring my phone. The quality is adequate for video calls via skype which is what my son would use it for.
While the performance does not match that of an ipad it is more than adequate. The performance is consistent and you are rarely left watching the screen waiting for long. The internet browser runs smoothly and books can be read without having to wait for the page to move. The battery life is reasonable as well, it lasted around six hours which was more than adequate.
Whilst it is an entry level tablet the Amazon Fire certainly provides everything you need to browse the internet and access multimedia. It seems to be reasonably sturdy and the performance and battery life are adequate. You do need an Amazon account to access all the features but if you don’t mind this then the Amazon Fire is the perfect tablet. I would be quite happy letting my son use this and I know that he would enjoy watching videos and listening to music on it. It is a good tablet for the price.