Kindle Fire Review aka I Am In Love

Date Sat, April 28 2012

Amazon Kindle fire

Amazon Kindle fire

I really try not to gush over reviews. I like to think that by being critical, you guys take my recommendations seriously. So, here goes. I love my Kindle Fire and almost every complaint I’ve seen about this decide has been so ridiculous or unfounded that I want to choke a bitch. Drastic, I know, but if you want a sleek eReader that offers perks, you really can’t go wrong. I have so much to say about this device that I want to break it down. Bear with me.

Purchasing Decision

When I realized I had some extra cash, it didn’t take long to settle on the Kindle Fire. I did take the time to consider some similar items, namely the Nook Tablet. I decided to check out both in person before going with the Fire. As it turns out, the Nook Tablet still uses a plastic screen, which makes it feel incredibly cheap. For exactly the same price, why wouldn’t I go for the Kindle Fire with its Gorilla Glass Screen? So I did.

Tech Specs

I don’t want to focus on this for too long because the tech blogs, so here’s the quick and dirty:

  • 1024 x 600 ( 169 ppi ) resolution
  • 7-inch screen
  • 8 GB memory
  • Dual-core CPU
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • WPA2, WEP, WPA
  • MPEG-4 and VP8 video support
  • AAC, WAV, OGG, MP3, MIDI audio support
  • AZW, PRC (Mobipocket), PDF, DOC, TXT, DOCX book/document support
  • 1 x Hi-Speed USB – 5 pin Micro-USB Type B
  • 1 x Headphones – Output – Mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm

The only reason I really considered the Nook Tablet was because this “only” have 8 gigabytes of space, which is more like 6, once you figure in the space needed for the operating system and default apps. This is a major complaint of some people, especially because there’s no removable storage option. However, this is not a tablet, guys. This should not replace your MP3 player completely, nor should you expect to use it as a desktop replacement. Yes, you can do more than reading on this but, first and foremost, you should consider this an electronic reader.

Reading

I’ve probably done more reading this year than the last two combined and much of that is due to the Kindle Fire. First, the 7-inch screen size is ideal for reading. It’s a little bigger than a standard fantasy book but not by much. I find that the slim profile of the Kindle Fire makes is so much easier for me to hold with my short fingers. In fact, I never realized how much I hate physical books before this. There’s no paper cuts and it’s so much more comfortable to read in bed.

The app itself works well, for books from Amazon and PDFs from the Internet. There are so many options in terms of text size and color, background color and even screen brightness. I don’t have to have a light on to read; I can simply adjust the brightness and color until it’s perfect. This makes it good for people with failing sight, too. With a little help to set it up initially, the books are going to be incredibly easy to read.

There’s no text-to-voice reading, which is another complaint. I guess other kindles have it; although the Fire doesn’t This is fine by me. I do well enough with the ability to bookmark and make notes about the book. Every function of the reader is so intuitive that you don’t even need a manual. In fact, there’s only a digital copy on the device itself, which is awesome. I wish my phone or computer were that easy to use.

I lovelovelove that I can lock the screen rotation, and I truly wish this feature was native to my phone. This makes reading while lying down so easy! Finally, I love that I can email PDFs to my device. I don’t like USB transfer and this allows me to wirelessly upload books and documents without Bluetooth.

Music on the Kindle fire

Music on the Kindle fire

Music

Music is the other thing I use my Kindle Fire for — every day, in fact. I downloaded Pandora to listen while showering. Amazon music comes preloaded and looks exactly like the version on my phone, which I already use. You’ll have to upload music to the cloud or transfer it with a USB cable which, oddly, isn’t included. For me, there was zero transition, which I love. Pandora doesn’t include a widget, because the home screen is set up like a bookshelf, or a lockscreen control. you can run it in the background and access it from the status bar, though. However, Amazon MP3 does incorporate the latter.

Apps

Because I already use the App Store, all the apps I’ve purchased or installed on my phone were waiting for me to install them to my Kindle. Well, almost all of them. Amazon analyzes every app before making it available to the Kindle Fire, so there’s not quite every aop. However, I quickly installed Twitter, Pandora eBuddy and a handful of other apps. I believe you can only use 1 GB of the hard drive for apps, so there’s a limit, but I find that I use it to supplement my phone, not replace it.

Noticeably missing are keyboard apps. You can side-load them but this version of Android won’t recognize it. I have Swype on there but can’t use it. The keyword isn’t horrible; it’s actually almost identical to the one on my iPod Touch. It just doesn’t work well for chatting or social networking. Furthermore, you can’t install or download from the Google Market, at least not yet. However, third-party apps sites will work if you just download and install the APK.

Annoyingly, the Facebook app is a link to the mobile site. I added the actually Facebook app from a third-party site, and it works fine. I can’t freeze the Facebook app, but this isn’t a deal breaker.

Video on Kindle Fire

Video on Kindle Fire

Amazon Prime

I love that I got a free month of Amazon Prime. It means I can purchase lots of goodies and have them shipped for free. It also gives me access to free movies and television shows on the Kindle. Although, I’ve seen everything I would be interested in and the selection is sparse. I’m not sure that I’ll renew my Prime membership when it expires, but I love that I can “borrow” some books from Amazon, one a month to be extra. I read Mockingjay this month. If you frequently buy books from Amazon or like the selection of the shows and movies, this is probably a good investment for you.

Android

Because the home screen is set up like a bookshelf, it doesn’t really look like Android. The only time I’m reminded that it’s Amazon is when I’m messing with the settings. Sure, if you want the openness of Android, you’ll be disappointed. Still, for an eReader with perks, the perks sure are damned good!

A few kinks

If there’s anything that I don’t necessarily love about my Kindle Fire, it’s how each section — books, docs, music, etc — is split into content that’s in the cloud or actually on the device. This is a good idea, but it seems like a lot of data winds up in both places but I can’t actually access the files in my cloud drive. I guess I don’t quite understand how the cloud works on this device and I don’t like having multiples of documents.

Also, as I mentioned, this charges via USB but there’s no included cable. The adapter plugs directly into the wall. I can charge my phone with it, which is nice, but having a USB cable to transfer files would be convenient.

There’s no Bluetooth, which I wouldn’t mind having. It’s not a deal breaker by any means.

Amazon’s Silk browser is supposed to be a selling point. It’s basically the Android browser with a prettier design. I’d love to use Opera on this, but I don’t browse on the Kindle as much as I do any other device that I own.

Some dislike the lack of physical volume buttons and the placement of the speakers is a little lackluster. However, I usually just keep mine on maximum volume, so this is rarely a problem. I do wish the power button were slightly further from the USB port, because it’s slightly hard to press while it’s charging.

Overall

Were I to give this a star rating, it would be something like 4.75 stars. I can’t help but be a fan and recommend this to everyone I know. It stands out from the crowd and is available at such an amazing price. If you have been thinking about a Kindle Fire, you should definitely get it!

3 Responses

  1. N. April 30 2012 @ 5:22 am

    You know, I was really not excited at all over the concept of Kindles when they first came out but the way you describe one makes me want one a little more. If it was just for reading I wouldn’t be but I just love the idea of having music and books on the same device. That would be awesome.

  2. Cole April 30 2012 @ 5:07 pm

    If you already use Amazon music, it’s a no-brainer.

  3. amanda August 15 2012 @ 12:08 pm

    i love my kindle fire

One Ping

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