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What I think about the Kindle Fire.

Written By: Gary on March 14, 2012 No Comment

It’s a Kindle. That’s the number one point, Amazon seems to have the eReader market and I believe they’ll have it long term. And in case I’m wrong, I’ve got the Nook eReader App on it too (with several other eBook readers, Kobo, etc.). I think the price of this is subsidized on the fact that they hope to sell you movies, music and books.

Kindle Fire, Full Color 7That said: This Apple FanBoy says the Kindle Fire is an AWESOME product. It’s a killer product for $200.

The number one thing for you to understand: The Fire is a LCD display, it is NOT eInk (the black and white viewable in sunlight display). The Kindle Fire has the same kind of glare as an iPad would have outside (have you seen the add with the guy and girl at the pool?). This display is backlit and can get washed out in bright light and uses lots of power (I’m not saying it’s not usable, I’m just saying it’s not a B&W Kindle), see the video below.

This ad that makes fun of the iPad glare is the same issue for the Kindle Fire,
you will have glare.

Flashback to (non-published) thoughts I had when I ordered it in September:

I don’t think it’ll be competition to the iPad – it’s not even close to being able to stand up and compare features one-to-one.
But, I think some people will get it and it’ll be “enough” for them to get by (and NOT purchase an iPad).

First off, I’ll say I was wrong with the first thought. I said over and over that this should NOT be compared to the iPad. But now that I have it, it should be totally compared, but compare it to the iPad 1 (since the iPad 2 has cameras). Think of it as the 7 inch iPad, but with only 8 GB of storage but Apple would charge $300-$400 for it.

Second item, that’s part of why I bought it, to hold me off from the iPad for another year, to get me to the iPad 4.

They do need to polish their eBook reader app on the Kindle, it’s not as nice as the black and white models (folders and sorting are missing). The reading experience is the same though. It’s actually not as nice as the iPad or iPhone Kindle reader (which just recently got some more upgrades).

It’s an excellent first try it feels like it’s the second or third tablet Amazon has tried, but they’re building on Android so I think that’s part of it feeling like it’s very complete.

This is great for e-mail, newsreader (RSS feeds), eBook reading, weather apps, Pandora, Zinio, The Economist, Scrabble, Overdrive, Mint, Stitcher, DropBox (for photos), YouTube videos and everything. I think it’s an amazing device. If you check your mail while you have WiFi, it’s accessible when you leave the WiFi area, you can even reply and it sends it when you reconnect.

But unlike the eInk Kindle, all the other applications were a distraction, I’d check my mail or the news or the web or Facebook. I didn’t read as much as I could have…

The biggest limiting factor: Amazon locking US out of the Android Marketplace and blocking many Apps from being loaded on the device. It’s inconvenient to work around to get other apps on the device.

2nd biggest limiting factor: They really need to work on the Kindle app some more to make it more like the EInk versions. Folders and syncing really needs to work better.

From a hardware standpoint it’s great, I wish they had a model with more memory or had an SD slot, but since the eInk Kindles don’t have an SD slot, I won’t hold my breath. I wish it had a mic, just for some VOIP or Skyping.

But it wasn’t an iPad, and I am an Apple / iOS fan, I’ve got iPhone apps and iPad apps I bought when on sale. I spent birthday money on pre-ordering the Kindle Fire in September (it didn’t ship until late November), in January I sent it back; combining the September refund with some Christmas money, I ordered the iPad 3 last week. I do fear the iPad will be too large, I really liked the form factor of the Kindle Fire. While the iPad 3 isn’t that large, the screen is almost the same size as my tiny MacBook Air laptop screen (just an inch or two along the long edge of the small MacBook Air).

Don’t let this change your mind, it’s a great device. I loved reading at night with no lights on, I think it helped me to fall asleep sometimes. And it’s only $200.

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