Archive for December 20th, 2011

December 20th, 2011

Playing with (the) Fire

by Gwen


I know, the book world is all ablaze with the “Amazon is evil” theme right now and I am indeed playing with fire by raising my hand to tell you that I bought a Kindle Fire. (Well, really, it was a gift, but I asked specifically for it, so same difference)

There were many reasons for me choosing the Fire and continuing my relationship with Amazon.

  • I already had a Kindle Keyboard that I loved and therefore, the books bought for that one would transfer easily.
  • I have an iPod touch that I use often and really wanted something like that, but with a bigger screen.
  • I already had Amazon Prime because I like my McCann’s Oatmeal by the case. Now I can watch free streaming movies and TV shows on the Fire.
  • To say that my budget is limited is an understatement.
  • There aren’t any independent bookstores near me. There are a couple used ones that I do go to once in a blue moon. Sure, I could drive the half hour to Barnes & Noble, pay for parking, and all that, but I don’t go into town that often for anything.

The Fire fulfills a need that I had, for a price that I could justify and seamlessly meshes with what I already own.

The Review

The Fire is a great entry-level tablet with the added customer support that all of the other low-priced tablets can’t even begin to match. While the low amount of onboard storage space concerns me a tad, the reality is that I just don’t need all of my books, videos, and music on a portable device at one time. (Even my Kindle Keyboard got sluggish when I had it loaded to the gills, so I have learned that less is better)

So far, it has been able to do everything that my Touch could do and more. That is what I wanted and needed. The Amazon App store is still a bit limited, but I can sideload apps from other places easily.

The reader app itself is the only thing that I think needs a bit of improvement. Since the Fire isn’t a 100% dedicated reader, the experience is more like using the reader apps that you may already have on your phone, PC, or iPod. It isn’t as full featured as my actual Kindle Keyboard.

Many have whined that it doesn’t have parental controls and therefore it is easy for Betty Sue or Billy Bob to buy books and videos that aren’t age appropriate, or for that matter to buy anything to their hearts content. I don’t have kids, so this isn’t an issue. However, I would feel comfortable handing this over to my step-grandkids without a problem. Since they aren’t genetically related to me, they are smart and know that when they click a button that says “buy” they are buying something.

So, have you made the jump to a tablet/iPad? What are your thoughts? Have any questions for me? Want to rant at me for supporting Amazon? Want to know why McCann’s oatmeal is the best?