The business and culture of our digital lives,
from the L.A. Times

« Previous Post | Technology Home | Next Post »

Amazon Kindle Fire unboxed, first look [Video]

November 15, 2011 |  8:23 am

Amazon Kindle Fire tablet

As the Amazon Kindle Fire arrived on Monday, one day early for many who pre-ordered the tablet, a review unit from the Seattle company also arrived at the Los Angeles Times.

My review of the Kindle Fire won't be up on the Technology blog until Saturday, but given the anticipation around this device (many believe Amazon could sell 5 million tablets before year's end) I thought a quick hands-on video was in order. 

But before we could show you what the device looks like, we had to take it out of the box. And so, below you'll find our first unboxing video.

Unboxing is a bit of a peculiar phenomena online. Thousands of gadget unboxing videos can be found across the Web, but it's not typical for a news organization to present an unboxing video. So please feel free to sound off in the comments on whether or not you like the idea of us producing such a clip.

One note, in the video below, you'll see Amazon included a $30 "Kindle Fire Zip Sleeve" that doesn't come as a standard accessory with the $199 Fire itself. The sleeve is a really nice one, but it will cost you extra.

Here are a few first impressions ahead of our full review:

The Kindle Fire looks and feels a lot like Research In Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, which was reportedly produced by many of the same suppliers and assembler in China. But the PlayBook is slightly smaller while maintaining the same 7-inch touch screen.

The Fire runs a "forked" version of Google's Android operating system -- Amazon took Android and modified it to the point of it being largely unrecognizable as Android. The software, so far, is a bit finicky and doesn't always respond as I'd expect to the touch.

If you're an Amazon Prime subscriber or if you buy music, movies, TV shows, books and/or Android apps from Amazon, then you'll probably feel right at home on the Kindle. It's easy to navigate and everything I've seen so far is focused on consuming content from Amazon and not nearly as much on creating content of your own. So far, this seems to me to be a tablet for play, not necessarily work.

Feel free to throw any questions at me about the Fire in the comments section below -- I'll try to answer them there or in our review here Saturday.


Amazon Kindle Fire tablets arrive a day early

Amazon Kindle Fire tablet: $199, 7-inch screen, ships Nov. 15

Amazon to produce 5 million Kindle Fire tablets this year, report says

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Photo: The Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, fresh out of the box. Credit: Armand Emamdjomeh / Los Angeles Times