I am an early adopter of the Amazon Kindle who later became an avid iPad user. Currently, I split my reading time between iBooks and the Kindle so I was quick to preorder an Amazon Kindle Fire when I first got the chance. If anything, my Android experience has mostly been about trying out the Android phones owned by my friends and colleagues plus reading articles about the OS. While I have my personal favorites, ultimately I try to be platform agnostic so picking up a Kindle Fire is my first official introduction into Android (even if it is running a highly customized version of it).
The Kindle Fire is by no means an iPad Killer but it ‘s a wonderful media consumption device with merits all of its own. All of the articles written that set the iPad and the Kindle Fire against each other all seem to be written in pursuit of page views or by IT journalists that need to get out of the coffee shop and see how tablets are really used in the enterprise and in various vertical markets. The Kindle Fire is an eReader with some tablet qualities and runs a version of Android and definitely not in the same weight class as an iPad.
The Kindle Fire setup went very smoothly for me. While I know many people rave about the 7” tablet size, I favor the 10” size of my iPad at least for a business device. The Kindle Fire while made of plastic feels like a very solid device when you pick it up in your hand. While I am eventually going to get a case for the device, I doubt my new Kindle Fire is going to see much if any road time so the weight and form factor of the device don’t have as much of an impact on me as they might on others.
While the Kindle Fire is primarily a reading device, it does enable you to download apps from the Amazon Android App Store. Since the Kindle Fire is destined to become a coffee table device at least in the beginning, I downloaded:
- Evernote so I can access my Evernote notebooks
- Acrobat Reader so I can read PDFs
- LinkedIn for keeping up with my connections and industry news.
- Indeed for job hunting purposes (my current government contract isn’t look very healthy right now)
- Seesmic for keeping up with Twitter (Happy that I can capture tweets into Evernote because I enjoy that feature in the iOS version very much)
You’ll notice that their is no task list mentioned because that job is best left to OmniFocus and I just plain don”t see the Kindle Fire even as much as I like it stepping up
The Kindle Cloud Reader is actually a good preview model of how the Kindle Fire treats books do I glad I checked out the reader previously on my iPad. New users and users of older model Kindles may not first get the cloud/local storage of book content on the Kindle Fire.
Page turning is quite responsive on the Kindle Fire and seems much speedier than my other Kindles. This will definitely get the Kindle Fire a go to spot in my house as a reader.
I currently don’t subscribe to any magazines via the Kindle (or even the iPad for that matter) so I am not in a position to write anything worthwhile about magazine content on the Kindle Fire except that much like books, I see the tablet playing an increasingly larger in the future of magazines.
The Amazon cloud is definitely a big part of the device and I did test out the video playback from an Amazon movie I purchased a while back. While I didn’t watch the whole movie, there was no appreciable stutter like I’ve read about in previous Kindle Fire reviews. Then again, since the Kindle Fire is WiFi only with just a 7” inch screen I don’t expect to be watching much video content on it. Outside of the some video podcasts, I rarely watch video content on my iPad’s 10” screen.
I do keep some of music in the Amazon Cloud being the good early adopter I am so one of the attractions of the Kindle Fire for me is its integration with the Amazon Cloud. While I am far from an audiophile, the music playback is good if you are like me and do the bulk of your music listening through either an iOS device or your computer. While I have my own issues with the iTunes application, it holds the bulk of my music library and I have no need to move to Amazon for all of my music listening.
If you are a Kindle user and want to upgrade from an older model, I definitely recommend the Kindle Fire unless you need 3G access. It’s also a great entry level tablet device if you aren’t ready to pony up and get an iPad. In the end though, the Kindle Fire should hopefully stir up both the high and low ranges of the tablet market and drive competition which is good for the market.
Have you bought a Kindle Fire?