So a few weeks ago I received an early Christmas present to myself. I held off on reviewing it here because I wanted to make sure I really liked it as much as I did when I opened up the box and tried desperately not to slobber all over it.
I got a Kindle Fire.
Now, I know my dad will undoubtedly comment and malign the Kindle Fire because it doesn’t have an “i” in front of it. He drinks the Apple koolaid. I, however, do not.
I have a regular Kindle that I won in October 2010 by making a comment on a blog I read. At first I didn’t know if I was ready to make the switch to an e-reader, but it didn’t take long for me to decide that ebooks were perfect for me.
When Amazon announced it would be releasing a tablet for those that didn’t want an iPad, it sounded interesting. After reading up on it, I decided to give it a chance and put in my pre-order on Amazon.
Upon arrival, I began messing around with it and decided that I like it a lot. There’s only one thing I’d change, and I’m sure the next version will incorporate that change and it’ll become the perfect little tablet.
First of all, the good. If you want an e-reader combined with the ability to watch movies, check email, listen to music, play games, and surf the net. This will do that just as well as the iPad. Not only does the Fire support the Netflix app, but it also makes available 100,000 movies for free if you have an Amazon Prime membership. I do, and so for $79 a year I not only enjoy free shipping regardless of how much I spend, but I also have access to those movies. Not only that, but their proprietary Amazon Cloud will hold up to 5GB of content on my behalf. So I can upload a bunch of music, that I own, to my Amazon Cloud, and listen to it through my Kindle Fire.
Two major limitations: only 8GB of space on the Fire, and no 3G network. But really, the low space isn’t an issue since Amazon wants people to save their stuff on the Cloud or stream it directly from Amazon. As for the 3G network, that’s the one item that I can see being a dealbreaker for some people. But it’s not for me. I don’t mind being limited in where I can use the Fire. It’s not like I take that many long-distance car trips that I need a 3G network. Having said that, there IS a workaround for this. If you have an unlimited 3G data plan on your smartphone, you can use that network to do the streaming on the Kindle Fire. So there are workarounds. At the moment I do NOT carry a data plan of any kind on my phone, but should I upgrade my phone in the future, I’ll most definitely be getting an unlimited data plan on the 3G (or 4G) network and implement this idea.
Other things that Kindle Fire doesn’t have include GPS, a camera, videochatting capabilities, and document processing. But then, with a 7″ screen, not many Powerpoint presentations are going to created on this thing.
As I said, I know the iFreaks are screaming that it’s not nearly as good as their beloved iPad. And they are right. But that’s not the point. The point is that Amazon built the Kindle Fire for a specific audience – those who want the opportunity to play games, read books, listen to music and stream movies, but at a significantly cheaper price point.
I love my Kindle Fire. It basically does everything I want it to do. And that’s all I can ask for, really.