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Kindle Fire's Silk browser doesn't fare well in tests

Comprehensive HTML5 and accelerated browser test on Kindle Fire reveals less than optimal results

When the Kindle Fire was first announced back in September, Amazon placed emphasis on the included Silk browser, claiming that it would improve browsing speeds by splitting the load between the tablet and Amazon’s servers. Unfortunately, the real world performance of the browser doesn’t appear to be delivering on Amazon’s promises, or at least that’s what HTML5 development tools vendor, Sencha, has to say. 

According to the company’s comprehensive test, the Kindle Fire’s Silk browser (which is powered by a 240-teraflop supercomputer on Amazon’s end) doesn’t seem designed to run HTML5 apps as a primary goal” but “does a good job of displaying ordinary web pages.  The browser also only managed a 95/100 on the popular Acid3 test; a score that is lower than the iPad2 and Blackberry PlayBook, but is apparently due to Gingerbread rather than any fault of Amazon. More importantly, in testing Amazon’s accelerated browsing, a Kindle Fire with acceleration turned off managed to load pages faster in some cases than the accelerated version, which casts doubts on Amazon's assisted browsing.

All in all, the test reveals that Amazon’s Silk browser does perform well in some cases, but faces some performance issues and difficulty in loading HTML5 applications. 

For more details check out the full review in the source links, or view some of the testing in the embedded video.


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Omar Qudsi, 2011-11-20 (Update: 2012-05-26)