Kindle Fire Review

Author: Steve Martin

For Christmas our family got a Kindle Fire. I only have limited experience with other tablets of any kind and this is probably the first device I have really had the chance to use that is based on the Google Android Software. We certainly have been having fun with it (Check out my I’m Watching you post to see how much fun).

In general, the Kindle Fire feels very solidly built and is a quality device. There are a lot of apps available for it. Our favorites so far are “Plant vs. Zombies”, Where’s My Water”, angry birds, and some other bird game where you have a bird cage and you take care of birds but I don’t remember the name of it. I understand that Amazon acts as a middleman for the apps and will only allow certain apps in. I don’t really like this but I haven’t run into anything that they aren’t letting in that I feel I’m missing. Apple does the same thing with the iPad. Amazon has basically taken the Google Android software and customized it with their own interface. The interface is very intuitive and easy to navigate. I don’t have experience with Android outside of the Fire so I don’t really have anything to compare it with besides the iPad. It does not have a camera which might be fun to play around with but I don’t care all that much about a camera. Perhaps a future Kindle Fire will have a camera.

I have played with the iPad a bit and I wouldn’t say it is any better than the Fire in playing games or accessing the web. Most apps that are on the iPad that I have wanted are also available on the Fire. The iPad does have a forward and backward facing camera though. The iPad also has a much larger screen. Going from 7 inches to 10 is a big jump in screen size. I kind of like the smaller size though too. I could fit the Fire in a larger pocket and take it to church or something.

I do have to say this about pretty much all of the tablets whether they are from Apple or run Android, they are not productivity devices. If you think that you need one to help your productivity, you are mistaken. They are mostly toys. They help you goof off and waste time. Oh I’m sure there are some custom apps that are used in certain cases that may allow some work to be done but they really are not for productivity. Tablets are good for consuming media whether that be videos, music, websites, or books. Just try to type out a few paragraphs and you’ll see just how annoying it can be to create content. Anyone who says they “need” an iPad or a Kindle Fire is full of it. Nobody needs one. But, they are fun. There are tons of games available for them. Some are better than others. Most are really cheap, like $1. I think tablets will put an end to Nintendo DS gaming systems as games cost $30 each and aren’t as good as many of the games you can get for $1 on the Fire or iPad.

The price is where the Fire really shines. I have always felt that all these tabletsĀ are way over priced. If I had $500 to spend on some computing device, I would want something that can be productive so I would probably buy a laptop where I could type about 100 times faster than on any tablet. But $200 is a lot easier to swallow for a device that I’m going to use to simply access my media. I think it was money well spent and we have been having a blast on it. I think I echo my children in recommending the Kindle. Good job Amazon on a great product.

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