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  • Kindle Fire Review

    Posted by Dan from Madison on November 29th, 2011 (All posts by )

    Below the fold, a review of the Kindle Fire ($199), if you are interested.

    I have had the Kindle Fire for two weeks or so now and I think I have formed a pretty good idea on how I will be using this tool.

    My initial hope was that this would replace my laptop. That will not be the case. It can still get my email and surf the net on the Fire, but the touch keypad has limitations. I just can’t type fast enough nor accurate enough with it.

    Also, when looking at certain sites, the places where you need to push things, such as to access comments are very tiny and hard to “push”. My hands are pretty large – I can palm a basketball so this is an issue for me.

    Even in Amazon’s search box I have hit the wrong thing a million times. I am surprised they didn’t include a stylus with the device. I will probably get one, or use a pen or something in the future.

    All of that said, I really like the device. The screen and colors are very clear. I think that in the future if I decide to purchase a book (I already bought books from Amazon anyway) it will be through this device. I felt comfortable reading with it laying down, sitting, etc. It is a tad heavier than I would like.

    Some titles you can’t buy for the Kindle yet – those, if I am inclined, I will still buy dead tree copies of. But almost every new book is available for Kindle.

    I am amazed at the unbelievable amount of free content for the Kindle. I immediately downloaded thirty or so books (all classics) that I need to either read, or re-read. Everything from Mark Twain to the Federalist Papers to The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. There are literally tens of thousands of works that are free.

    For me, this device will replace the actual buying of books, if they are available for the device.

    I don’t have any experience with any of the other tablets, but I can tell you I am pretty happy with this one. And my kids like playing Angry Birds on it.

     

    17 Responses to “Kindle Fire Review”

    1. DHardt Says:

      http://www.gutenberg.org/
      The Gutenberg Project hooked up with Kindle quite some time ago. They have been by far my source for free reading material.

    2. Shannon Love Says:

      I am amazed at the unbelievable amount of free content for the Kindle.

      It is unbelievable. I have an app on my iPad that has 80 great work of literature all nicely laid out and formatted (and of course I have the kindle app.) Basically, almost any literature now in the public domain is easily available on almost any platform. I can easily carry around severalhundred books around with me at all times even without an internet connection.

      It feels positively decadent.

      Now all I need is time to read them.

    3. david foster Says:

      There is also a lot of ALMOST-free material for Kindle. After reading Isabel Paterson’s “God of the Machine,” which cost $1.99, I thought I’d check out one of her novels, and got “The Magpie’s Nest” for $.99. Liked it enough that I invested another $.99 for her “The Shadow Riders.”

    4. setbit Says:

      Amazon has kindly posted the source code for the device here.

      You’re not the first one to have problems with the Kindle Fire’s interface responsiveness, Dan, but if you get cracking, you could be the first one to fix it. ;-)

    5. setbit Says:

      I’d be interested in anyone’s Top 20 list of free books. There is so much out there it’s hard to decide where to start.

    6. Lexington Green Says:

      Google books has everything before 1923 for free.

      It is staggering how much good stuff there is.

    7. Jason In LA Says:

      Question for all who have e-readers: Do you prefer the dead tree version or the e-reader version? And why?

      FYI: I do not have an e-reader, yet.

    8. PenGun Says:

      I run the Android Kindle app on my Samsung GS2. The 4.3″ screen held sideways is just fine for me. I am short sighted so I can focus close without my glasses and I have read 4 complete books and some magazine content on it. I have Kindle on my desktop too and it’s fine reading on my monitor. The Sammy gets more use though. Full time portable bathroom reading for one. ;)

    9. Mike Doughty Says:

      Jason, here are some thoughts….I have an iPad and use the Kindle app for most of my reading. The biggest advantage for me is the fact that I don’t accumulate more books. I have a couple thousand hard-copy books and simply am running out of space for more. I like the back-lit screen, as I often read in bed and don’t have to have a light on, which makes my wife happy. I rarely read outside, so the glare factor which is a problem when you do, doesn’t affect me. The number of free books is staggering, as others have stated. Also, it’s great for travel, as I don’t have to lug a number of books around or limit what I take. I also like the fact that as I’m reading, if I run across something that I want to get more information on, I can just immediately go online on the device and find it, then go right back to reading. I had early versions of “E-readers” that had no capability to do this and so I really appreciate this improvement.

      The negative is that I can’t really lend books to others to read.

    10. chuck Says:

      Jason,

      I second Mike’s points, and add that as my eyes age I find it easier to read a kindle screen than a book, not least because I can adjust the font size.

    11. Jason In LA Says:

      Mike & Chuck,

      Thanks for the input.

      I’m glad to see Dan’s post as I’m considering a Kindle Fire for my 17 year old daughter. As for myself, there’s just something so astro-turfy about an e-reader. But I’m sure I’ll hop on board in due time. The democratic qualities of all that free literature and knowledge can’t be denied.

      Regards

    12. Dan from Madison Says:

      Jason – I should note that you don’t have to go “all in” with the Fire, you can get the cheapo Kindle for $79. It is a true reader, without some of the internet surfing and other stuff, but if you are after just reading that is a better deal. I wanted the color screen and email and all that garbage.

      One other thing I though of is that this thing might be obsolete in a few years, but for the $199 I will more than get enough value out of it by then.

    13. tyouth Says:

      I imagine the Kindle fire could be enhanced by a separate desktop-like keyboard for page navigation (arrow, pg down/up, tab) and typing. Is it offered?

    14. Dan from Madison Says:

      Good question Tyouth and an accessory I would certainly think about buying if priced properly (i.e. I am cheap).

    15. Jeff the Bobcat Says:

      My wife has had the Nook for a couple of years and loves it for many of the reasons listed above. I got her the Nook over the Kindle because you could “lend” books to other Nook owners. I think that function is now available for the Kindle. She also likes the ease in holding the Nook versus a real book, no need to hold the book open to your page, just rest the Nook on a pillow as you read in bed. Very helpful when you fall asleep while reading.

      I got her the Nook tablet for Christmas and plan on claiming her old one for myself. The ability to get hard to find books instantly is very attractive. I just downloaded free version of “The Story of a Soldier’s Life” volumes 1 & 2 by Garnet Wolseley, since getting a real book version was going to be expensive or difficult to find.

    16. Jeff the Bobcat Says:

      Also, we like the Nook since it is a Barnes & Noble product and they can help with tech support in person at their stores if needed. They helped me set up the Nook when I bought it.

    17. Jim Miller Says:

      If I were buying one only for reading text, I would buy one of the cheaper black-and-white versions, probably one from Barnes and Noble. They are quite easy to read, even in bright light, as well as being cheaper.