Kindle Fire | A First Hand Look

The Kindle Fire has been out for a few months now and reviews have been coming in pretty consistently. Mainly saying that this is a mediocre device. Here is a good recap of what several of the online tech blogs thought of the Kindle Fire.

Regardless of the reviews, there is an awful lot of excitement around this device. I for one, am one of the excited ones. I’ve had the Fire for a few weeks and for what its meant to do, it does it great. In my mind, that means it makes it easy to read. Some people call it a tablet – wrong, others say its a media consumption device – close. But from what I’m looking at, its a full fledged reader. Its hand held (can’t do that with an iPad, two hands only please) and it allows you to easily read books, blogs, magazines, email, newsletters, RSS feeds etc…you name it and you can read it.

It also give you the ability (as a bonus) to browse the web, play games, watch videos – although aside from someone traveling, who would want to watch a movie from their Kindle Fire OR iPad(7 inches or 10 inches, why not watch it on 40 inches!)?

Lets talk about screensize for a sec. Admittedly, I was skeptical of the screen size. Is 7 big enough? Yes. Its actually a great size. If you’re like me, you want a tablet to use on the couch while watching TV or in bed reading or just keeping you occupied while traveling. The 7 inch size is perfect for that. Its small enough to carry around in one hand. You can watch the game, have a drink in one hand and have your website up at the same time in your other hand. The screen is perfect for reading a book or magazine. And If you’re on the web, most sites work great but you can always pinch and zoom. Also, the digital keyboard is a good size in portrait or landscape, so if you need to crank out an email you can. More likely, your tweets, facebook posts and notes are all easy to make.

You can do everything on here – except call people that you can do on your phone, its just a little bigger and easier (its also easier to get your content to read) you can do the same stuff your going to do on your laptop, its just a little harder to do a lot of typing or data entry (spreadsheets). its not meant to do everything but it still allows you to do them if you’re in a pinch.

Its a great device with the right mindset. Its not an iPad – nor is it trying to be. Its not a laptop and its not acting like one. One of the great aspects of the Kindle is that it makes it so easy to do what you want. Its easy to get online, its easy to read a book, its easy to read a magazine and its super easy to read your RSS feed or even check out a YouTube video. Its easy and simple. Amazon took what Apple is famous for and made this device simple, user friendly and focused. There is no need for a user manual, when you turn it on, you know what you can do, how to do it and what you want to do is right in front of you.

So whats wrong with it? Here are a few items that I find annoying:

  • You can’t hook the kindle up to your TV and watch Amazon videos through you’re TV. This is annoying for me because I don’t have a TV or device that streams Amazon videos.
  • Not all Android apps are avaialble for download. Specifically I’m thinking of Google apps, like Google Plus. You can go to the android app store, but you can’t always download those apps. The Amazon app store is slightly smaller. This is annoying but you can always just go to the website.
  • There is no desktop. There actually is a ‘desktop’ but its not a traditional desktop. Its not really something I don’t like but its definitly something that I am trying to get used to. Mainly because THIS IS NOT A COMPUTER. Its a reader or if you want, its a media device. You’re not supposed to do all of the same things you do on your computer.

All in all, this is a great device. If you’re expecting a laptop, you won’t like this. If you want a suped up Kindle that will let you do whatever you want, you’ll love it.

About David Starkweather

David Starkweather lives in the Kansas City metro area, working as a business analyst for a web development agency. He is a technology enthusiast and an avid reader.

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