Amazon Kindle Fire — First Look

Just received my Kindle Fire and three things are readily apparent. First, it is as simple as an iPad. Second, it is not as fully capable as an iPad. Third, filling it with content with content and using it will be great fun.

At $199 the Kindle Fire is less than half the price of the cheapest iPad. Yet it can perform about 80% of the tasks that an iPad can perform. You must have a wireless router or be in an area that gets a good Wi-Fi connection. That’s all you need. You can be up and running in less than five minutes with no computer needed for the setup.

The Fire is an Android tablet, but you would never know it when using it. Amazon has given the Fire a very specialized interface. This interface doesn’t give you as many options for customization as the pure Android interface, but I have found it very easy to use and very effective. Like the iPad, it is has a color touch screen, but the screen¬† is only 7″ so the whole device is much smaller than the iPad with its 10″ screen. Actually if you think of it being a size midway between an iPad and a smart phone, you would be pretty accurate in sizing it up.

The size has its pluses and minuses. Carrying it around with you is sure to be easier than lugging a larger tablet, but movies won’t be as large. Like the Apple devices with the Apple iTunes store, Amazon has an entire ecosystem for the Fire to use. You can very easily use Amazon’s resources to buy books, movies, and music. You can also use Amazon’s Cloud Drive to get your own books, movies and music onto the device, as long as they are not copy-protected. If you are already using Amazon Prime for Instant Movies or Amazon Kindle books or the Amazon Cloud for music,¬† pictures, or documents, accessing your content on the Fire is a no-brainer — easier than using iTunes.

The Fire has only a little more than 6 GB of usable storage space. While this is a little skimpy, the Fire does have a very easy way for you to access the data that you have stored in the Amazon cloud, so you don’t have to use up your storage space for books, music, or other data.

I’ll be posting a full review when I’ve had more time to use the Fire, but I can already say that you get a lot for the price.



Joyce Molinsky 17-11-2011, 08:22

Will the Amazon Kindle Fire be able to download library books? Thanks

Sandy Berger 17-11-2011, 08:46

Amazon has opened their own lending library. You can borrow one book a month with no specific due date. You must be an Amazon Prime member to use this library. You get one month free Prime membership with the Fire. After that it costs $79 a year. Prime membership also includes free two-day shipping from Amazon and free instant movies that you can play on the Fire.

Many local libraries are already set up to lend Kindle books. Or they will be soon. Check with your local library for details.

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