Amazon’s new $199 tablet gets tepid reviews

SAN FRANCISCO, Wed Sep 12, 2012 – Amazon.com Inc.’s latest $199 tablet computer got tepid reviews from some closely watched gadget reviewers, a potential hiccup for the world’s largest Internet retailer as it tries to grab a bigger share of one of the hottest technology sectors this holiday season.

David Pogue of The New York Times said the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD has no camera on the back, no GPS navigation, no speech recognition, and trails Apple Inc.’s more-expensive iPad in thickness, screen size, screen sharpness, Web speed, software polish and application availability.

Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal said the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD is not as “polished, fluid or versatile” as the iPad. After prolonged use, some apps and content took longer to launch and web pages loaded more slowly through the new Wi-Fi technology, compared to the iPad, he added.

Ads “assault” users every time they start the device or resume using it, Mossberg also noted. Amazon said this weekend that customers can turn ads off for $15.