Monday, November 28, 2011

In Honor of Cyber Monday: FC's Review of The Kindle Fire

In a rare case of self- indulgence, I pre-ordered the Kindle Fire back in October, almost as soon as I heard about it.
I did go to the Amazon site and read about it of course. I'm not completely impulsive.

What allowed me to click the "submit purchase" button so quickly was the fact that I had already talked myself into buying the "new" Kindle Touch and was close to ordering when the press release about the Fire came out.

Let's see, I was already to buy a $139 Kindle Touch and suddenly, Amazon says, "Hey, if you can wait until November 15th, we are going to release the Kindle Fire with all of these whiz bang features ... blah, blah, blah, etc."

So, for $60 bucks more, I can get this sports car E-reader?
I was there.

Now, of course, the regular Kindles have dropped in price and they are a great reader at a great price, but it was too late for me, I was hooked on Fire.

I've had it for about 2 weeks now and let me tell you, I love it.

For those of you who may be trying to decide whether to buy one on this ubercyber shopping day, here are my thoughts:

The Kindle Fire is super easy to use, I never looked at the digital manual until last night, and that was just a case of browsing ... "Oh, hey, look, there are instructions!" 
For the record, the digital manual that is preloaded on your Fire is clear and easy to use.

The button on the right is the On/Off button.
The center slot is for charging it. The fire comes with an A/C charger of course.
The far left hole is for plugging in your ear buds or little speaker.
There are no other physical buttons, switches, or toggley thingies.
All other controls are on the touch screen.
The reading pages are bright, clear, and easy to read.
You could really see the difference when I held it up to my sister-n-law's Kindle Touch.
This one is definitely brighter.
Web browsing is very smooth and fast, even at my remote location with quick, but not super fast Hughesnet satellite broadband.
Somehow, the Fire mysteriously knows when I have tilted it from the vertical to the horizontal ... AND IT ADJUSTS FOR ME!
How do it know?

I swear, it's like living on board the Enterprise.
The view above is a full web page viewed on the vertical. A little spreading of the fingers against the screen enlarges things for easier reading.
I didn't take a shot of the digital keyboard that pops up at the bottom of the screen when you need to type something, but it is big, clear, and my big fingers don't hit the Q when I am aiming for the W.
I find it super easy to use.

 Above: Sound Check.
Buying music or apps is easy peasy seamless with Amazon, especially if you are Prime member. Prime membership gives you free 2 day shipping, cloud storage, and tons of digital content, much of it "free".

I watched "24" for the first time last week by streaming it for free on the Fire, while simultaneously texting my kids  ... and composing a PF post on the laptop.

It was a connected moment.

I don't usually reread fiction books, so I like the green aspect of digital content, plus, I like the price of digital texts.
With my simple, "nonsmart" phone, I haven't done much in the way of Apps in the past, but now I see my Kindle Fire as a repository for all kinds of useful Apps and nonfiction "DIY" style books that I do return to over and over again for advice.

Maybe some Angry Birds will find their way in there too.

So, in summary:
  • Yes, I think the Kindle Fire is great.
  • No, I do not miss the "feel of a paper book". I can just imagine people thousands of years ago, in Egypt when papyrus first replaced clay tablets.  " Well, I don't know, Imhotep, I just like the feel of damp clay and a reed stylus in my hand."
  • No, it's not a  little squished computer like an Ipad. It's a color E-reader with WIFI connectivity and some neat bells and whistles. It's also not $600, and with WIFI, not 3G, I don't have yet another data plan to fund.
  • Yes, the screen is bigger and brighter than the Kindle Touch,. It's big enough for reading, email, and web browsing. I do not plan to write my novel on it. That's what laptops/desktops are for.
So there ya' go. Make up your own mind if you were thinking about which E-reader to buy today. I have no doubt that the Nook is a good reader too, but I'm a Fireman.

*Disclaimer: This is all just my personal opinion and experience with 2 whole weeks under Fire. I have no relationship with Amazon, except that I am a customer and a fan.

Now, quit cybershopping on the job and get back to work!


Denise Barrett Olson said...

It's been Kindle World for the last week on this side of the state too. Here's a link on my site with links to the public domain (free) libraries -

Your Kindle has its own email address and you can email free books and other documents to it - and other Kindles if you're on their authorized email list. Yeah, life in Kindle World is good.

Miz S said...

Yes, I want a Kindle. But I'm very distracted at the moment by your new banner with all the cool Snake Man pictures.

Marilyn Kircus said...

I want a reader but found I couldn't read free library e-books on a Kindle. AND some of what I want to read is not available via it. And I can't afford the cost of books for it at the rate I read - 3- 5 books most weeks.

And surely, someday, it will read a book to you while you drive so you only need one device to read and hear books.

LibraryGirl62 said...

I LOVE mine too!!!! I have only downloaded free apps and free books...and I have more games than I can play and I have read some really good books! I took to my leadership meeting today and took notes and I showed my tutoring kids a video on summarizing. I made shopping lists and propped in the cart and checked things off as I shopped. It is really fast and I liked it best because it is NOT an iPad. The iPad was too big for me-I can't hold it in one hand like I do the Fire. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!

LibraryGirl62 said...

and Marilyn, you can get them with Overdrive from the public library.

Dani said...

Love the new blog look!

Thunder Dave said...

I'll make sure Lightnin checks this out before she purchases a Kindle like apparatus.

robin andrea said...

What a great review. I had no idea that the Kindle was more than a reader. Uh-oh... I think I'm going to have to buy one, and I didn't even know I wanted one until now!

Anonymous said...

Your sisters in laws was a Kindle not kindle touch.


Floridacracker said...

That is great info!

Miz S,
I know, snakes distract me too!

I love audio books and while I have not downloaded one for the kindle yet, I believe it has that functionality.
I did the whole Harry Potter series by ear.

Library Girl,
True true! Just the right size and fast. Thanks for that Overdrive info!

I tried to get one of my own pics to be the big background, but never got the sizing right I guess.

Yes, deep in the woods, uberreader will need a digital stash!

Oh no! That means I'm officially an AD Man.

Thanks for the correction. I wasn't sure and gambled that it was the other.

Julie Zickefoose said...

. I have looked deep into my soul and have yet to find a lust for an electronic reader or an iPad. There's one of the latter in the house and I never disturb it. I guess my laptop has wonders enough for me, and I have this weird theory about lit screens making it hard to fall asleep. So i always go to a paper book before bedtime. I do love your quip about the mud and the stylus!

Thanks for the product placement, FC. I've been talking you up on Facebook.

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