Apple's iPad 2 and Amazon's Kindle Fire have hogged the limelight for quite some time with appealing features at affordable prices. However, as more and more comparisons emerge between the two, some startling revelations have surfaced.
These two most sought-after tablets have drawn flak for repeatedly troublesome traits that have frequently bogged down users. Fixya, the leading product Q&A source on the Internet, has documented, in the FixYa Tablet Index, a number of issues for each product.
"Product call centers are the closest thing to consumer hell, making the Web the new owner's manual," said FixYa CEO Yaniv Bensadon.
"We see this first hand and have experienced an explosion in consumer issues with tablets, mainly the variety of devices running Android software. Despite Apple's god-like status with consumers, it is no stranger to consumer issues, as noted in today's report," he adds.
Despite the fact that Amazon's Kindle Fire has outsold other Android tablets and the iPad, it must be noted it has its own set of woes. The Seattle-based company reportedly sold over four million Kindle Fire devices in the fourth quarter last year; more, in fact, than rivals Samsung, mostly as a result of its cheap price tag of $200 and the strategic marketing skills of Amazon.
Meanwhile, the Cupertino, California-based Apple shipped 15.4 million iPads during the same quarter last year and its share of the tablet market fell to 57 percent from 64 percent a year earlier, according to IHS iSuppli reports.
The latest FixYa report reveals that both tablets have one significant problem in common - Wi-Fi connection Issues. In fact, as many as 35 percent of iPad 2 users participating in the survey have chosen this problem as the most prominent trait of the device. Meanwhile, 25 percent of the Kindle Fire sample users complained that the"Kindle Fire's Wi-Fi has been plagued with significant issues from the start," with numerous FixYa users wary of "faulty connections, getting kicked off in the middle of browsing, and being unable to connect to the Internet at all."
Check out the top 5 issues with both tablets...
Kindle Fire - Top 5 Hot Issues
One-Click Shopping- This feature enables quick and easy shopping. However, it also has a negative trait crippling the tablet's potential considerably.
FIxYA reveals about 30 percent of the consumers complain they find the absence of password authorization feature in Amazon's tablet creating a security issue leading to accidental purchases and increased chances of credit card information theft. While Amazon has indicated they are working on a solution, FixYa experts suggest setting up a Wi-Fi password in the meantime.
Wi-Fi Connection Issues- The second most complained about issue (25 percent) with the Kindle Fire is its Wi-Fi connection. The Amazon tablet has reportedly had this problem since its launch but as the tablet does not support 3G connections, the user had to connect through Wi-Fi to browse the Internet. The users apparently often have problems with faulty connections, leading to being kicked off the Internet in the middle of browsing and being unable to connect to the Internet for extended periods.
FixYa provides three solutions for this problem - firstly, upgrade to Kindle's 6.1 or 6.2 version, which is likely to solve the problem. The second solution is to reset the home router before logging in. The final solution is to set a static IP address for the Kindle tablet.
No Parental Controls - Nearly 15 percent of FixYa users complained about Kindle Fire's lack of parental controls for children safety. FixYa advises Kindle Fire owners to set a Wi-Fi password to solve this problem for Web browsing.
Touch-Screen Precision- Another major issue plaguing the Kindle Fire is a hardware problem with the touch-screen interface. It is quite unfortunate that FixYa does not elaborate on this and fails to offer a solution.
Computer Does Not Recognize Kindle Fire (USB Issue) - This problem constitutes 10 percent of all major complaints reported by users. According to Kindle tablet users, the computer often fails to recognize the device. As the Amazon tablet lacks considerable storage capacity, users are forced to offload content from their tablets to computer but cannot to do so as computers fail to recognize their tablet.
FixYA suggests unplugging Kindle Fire from the USB and then trying to connect to another USB port on the computer as a workaround for this problem.
iPad 2 - Top 5 User Complaints
Wi-Fi Connection Issues: 35 percent of the complaints that came from iPad 2 users referred to Wi-Fi connectivity. iPad 2 (without 3G) owners often complain they are unable to connect to the Internet through the Wi-Fi service... if they do, they say they get kicked off instantly after logging on.
FixYa recommends a few fixes for this issue such as turning the Wi-Fi toggle on and off, renewing the DHCP lease and resetting the Wi-Fi network settings.
LED Display Issue: This constitutes about 15 percent of iPad 2 issues. The problems include prominent splotchy light patches around the edges of the device when the screens display dark graphics or pages.
FixYa experts suggest adjusting the device's screen brightness can reduce the display issue somewhat but insist that a full fix is difficult as it is a hardware issue.
Microphone Quality -15 percent of issues regarding the iPad 2 relate to microphone sound quality issues. The 3G-enabled iPad 2 is often criticized for its poor sound quality. The 3G + Wi-Fi models come with a plastic mic port while on Wi-Fi only models the mic is surrounded by aluminum and that results in poor sound quality.
USB Issues -10 percent of iPad users face Kindle Fire-like issues with computers failing to recognize the iPad 2. iTunes is often unable to recognize iPad 2 and thus transferring files between the tablet and the computer becomes impossible.
Screen Issues -10 percent of users complained about the screen resolution of the iPad 2. Apple enthusiasts, who were eagerly waiting for the introduction of Retina Display with the Apple tablet, were disappointed with receiving the same resolution as that of the original iPad. The resolution problem, however, might be addressed with the launch of iPad 3, believe Apple lovers.
Click here to check out the FixYa report.