“The Kindle Fire is much less capable and versatile than the entry-level $499 iPad 2,” Walter S. Mossberg reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“It has a fraction of the apps, a smaller screen, much weaker battery life, a slower Web browser, half the internal storage and no cameras or microphone,” Mossberg reports. “It also has a rigid and somewhat frustrating user interface far less fluid than Apple’s.”

Mossberg reports, “But the Fire has some big things going for it. First, the $199 price, though the Fire’s seven-inch screen is less than half the surface area of the iPad’s display.”

MacDailyNews Take: See, it’s a “big thing” the Kindle Fire has going for it that it costs less than half the price because it has less than half the screen of the iPad. With that limited real estate and the user interface problems it introduces, but doesn’t solve, not to mention all of its other problems, the Kindle Fire is actually wildly overpriced.

An aside: We know what we’re going to see in a Mossberg review now before we read them. That’s not a good thing.

Mossberg reports, “Second, the Amazon and Kindle brands, already known and loved for e-readers and more.”

MacDailyNews Take: See, because people have heard the names Amazon and Kindle before, this is another “big thing” the Fire has going for it. Only in Walt’s world – where concocted “positives” equal balanced reviews – does this make any sense whatsoever.

Mossberg reports, “Third, Amazon is the only major tablet maker other than Apple with a large, famous, easy-to-use content ecosystem that sells music, video, books and periodicals.”

MacDailyNews Take: See, it’s “famous.” Also, Amazon’s idea of “easy-to-use” is something Apple wouldn’t ever release. And, what about the Kindle Fire’s AppLack™, Walt, did you forget about that already?

Now that Walt’s listed all of the “big things” Kindle Fire has going for it. Let’s read on…

Mossberg reports, “While the Fire has a decent Web browser and a rudimentary email program, it lacks basic built-in apps, such as a calendar, notepad or maps. However, for people primarily interested in reading books and periodicals, the Fire may seem too heavy and costly when compared with a low-end Kindle or Nook… [which] appears to offer even fewer apps than Amazon does (Barnes & Noble doesn’t provide a number.)”

“The Fire’s hardware is plain and clunky,” Mossberg reports. “It’s a thick black box with zero style. There isn’t even a volume control or a physical home button, and the on/off button is a small thing hidden inconveniently on the bottom edge. In the quest to meet the $199 price point, Amazon omitted many features common on other tablets. There are no cameras or microphone, no GPS for determining your location, no Bluetooth for headsets or wireless speakers and no included earbuds. The Fire is Wi-Fi only—it has no built-in cellular connectivity. There isn’t even an included cable for connecting to a computer, something you may want to do to get photos into the Fire, since Amazon lacks an online photo service. There is just 8 gigabytes of memory, half the total of the base iPad or the Nook Tablet, and only about 6 gigabytes of that is available to store content. If you want to download movies, you won’t be able to fit many into the Fire.”

MacDailyNews Take: Like we said up in Walt’s concocted positives section above, the Kindle Fire is actually wildly overpriced.

Mossberg reports, “I became frustrated with the interface. There’s something off with the touch calibration on the top shelf, or Carousel, which scrolls through a seemingly endless stream of items. It can be difficult to get it to stop on the item you want and it takes more pressure than it should to open the selection… In my tests, the Fire’s Silk browser was noticeably slower than the iPad 2′s browser. This pattern was consistent over scores of Web pages, and on four Wi-Fi networks and two different Fire devices… I found magazines and newspapers looked better on the iPad, mostly due to the larger screen… In my standard tablet battery test, playing back to back videos with the wireless turned on and the screen at 75% brightness, the Fire lasted 5 hours, 47 minutes, or less than 60% of the iPad 2′s performance on the same test.”

MacDailyNews Take: Now get this, here’s how Mossberg wraps up his review: “At $199, and with Amazon’s content ecosystem behind it, the Fire is an attractive alternative for many people who might otherwise have bought an iPad or another Android device, especially if their principal interest is content consumption.”

Did Walt fall, hit his head, and then get back up and finish off his review? Sheesh.

The fact of the matter is that, if you’re on a budget, you’d do far better for yourself by getting a refurbed original iPad than by wasting your money on a Kindle Fire.

Full review here.

MacDailyNews Take: Alert, if you are a logical person, you run the risk of having your head explode by reading further:

Walt Mossberg concludes that Amazon’s Kindle Fire “is an attractive alternative for many people who might otherwise have bought an iPad” after reporting that the Kindle Fire:

• is much less capable and versatile than the entry-level iPad
• has a fraction of the apps
• has a smaller screen; less than half the surface area of the iPad’s display
• lacks basic built-in apps such as a calendar, notepad or maps
• for those who don’t care about the above built-in apps, the Fire may seem too heavy and costly (meaning every potential customer is now excluded)
• has hardware that’s plain and clunky with with zero style
• has inconveniently located or no essential physical buttons or controls (home, volume)
• has no cameras or microphone
• has no GPS
• has no Bluetooth for headsets or wireless speakers
• has no included earbuds
• has no built-in cellular connectivity
• has no included cable for connecting to a computer
• has limited memory for storing content such as movies
• has a frustrating interface
• has a problem with its touch calibration
• is difficult to stop scrolling on the desired item
• requires more pressure than it should to open selections
• browses noticeably slower than an iPad
• has inferior display of magazines and newspapers compared to iPad
• has only 60% of iPad’s battery life

Boca, Walt. Boca. Hand over the keys to Katie*. It’s well past time.

*As along as you didn’t teach her to concoct “positives” in order to feign “balance.”

Related articles:
Wired reviews Amazon’s tiny-screen Kindle Fire: Web browsing sucks, emotionally draining, makes reading a chore – November 14, 2011
NY Times’ Pogue reviews Amazon’s tiny-screen Kindle Fire: Sluggish, ornery, unpolished – November 14, 2011
The Verge reviews Amazon’s tiny-screen Kindle Fire: Uninspired, confusing, incredibly unoriginal – November 14, 2011
Engadget reviews Amazon’s tiny-screen Kindle Fire: Sluggish, clunky, too limiting and restricted – November 14, 2011

PC Magazine reviews Apple iOS 5: The best phone and tablet OS, Editors’ Choice – October 15, 2011
The Guardian reviews Apple iPad 2: Ahead of the pack – March 25, 2011
The Telegraph reviews Apple iPad 2: Does everything better; now’s the perfect time to join the iPad club – March 25, 2011
Computerworld reviews Apple’s iPad 2: ‘The Holy Grail of computing’ – March 16, 2011
Ars Technica reviews Apple iPad 2: Big performance gains in a slimmer package
Associated Press reviews Apple iPad 2: Apple pulls further ahead – March 10, 2011
PC Mag reviews Apple iPad 2: The tablet to get; Editors’ Choice – March 10, 2011
Associated Press reviews Apple iPad 2: Apple pulls further ahead – March 10, 2011
PC Mag reviews Apple iPad 2: The tablet to get; Editors’ Choice – March 10, 2011
Pogue reviews Apple iPad 2: Thinner, lighter, and faster transforms the experience – March 10, 2011
Baig reviews Apple iPad 2: Second to none – March 10, 2011