If you’re serious about purchasing a new piece of technology, do yourself a favor and try before you buy. Because relying on reviews, especially from just one or two people, is tantamount to gambling your money on one person’s opinion.
We’ve all looked at reviews online. We even write them here at Techerator. And they can make for fun reading, and writing. But their worth is up for debate. The thing which a lot of people seem to forget is that reviews are really nothing but opinion. Whether the product being reviewed is a website, an album, a video game, a movie, or a piece of consumer technology, that fact remains present and correct.
Kindle Fire Reviews
The Kindle Fire has garnered the most diverse range of opinions aimed that I have ever seen for a piece of consumer technology. You can read 10 reviews of the new Amazon tablet online and I guarantee none of them will agree with each other. On one end of the scale will be unmitigated praise, on the other, damning admonishment. And in-between are the more sensible, down-to-earth approaches which state the good and the bad in equal measure.
The best demonstration of this is on ZDNet, where the same writer, David Gewirtz, has been able to find seven reasons why the Kindle Fire is better than the iPad, and 12 things about the Kindle Fire which kinda suck. And even these facts are open to interpretation. If the cost of something isn’t an issue, then the low price of the Kindle Fire would not be an advantage. If you wouldn’t dream of adding a keyboard to a tablet then the Kindle Fire’s lack of Bluetooth support isn’t a downside in the slightest.
If that is a good example of looking at a product objectively then Marco Arment’s review of the Kindle Fire is a good example of ranting and raving against a product without looking at it in context. Arment is the creator of Instapaper, so his review spread virally across the interwebs. It was eventually lapped up by Apple fanboys extraordinaire such as John Gruber and MG Siegler. The question is why has Arment’s opinion been treated with higher regard than someone who isn’t well-known within the industry? Is his opinion worth more? Is it more likely to be correct?
The Kindle Fire isn’t an iPad. Amazon has never suggested it is. But the Kindle Fire is a $199 tablet which does many of the same things a $499 iPad does, and for that reason it will sell. If you can afford an iPad then get one of those. If not then the Kindle Fire is a good product at a good price.
As for reviews, they’re certainly better than buying blind, but take everything with a liberal pinch of salt. And also read a variety of opinions from across the spectrum of writers and reviewers. Amazon is always a good starting point, as these are ordinary consumers not spoiled by having reviewed every product on the market.