My First Impressions on the Kindle Fire

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This here is my first impressions fo the Kindle Fire after using for approximately 6 hours straight. The form factor (the  7inch tablet) feels nice in one hand. It is very akin to holding a classic Kindle device. I can easily hold the device for longer periods without the weight of my iPad (1st Gen device). However, there’s a stark difference between the two devices with the iPad being an 9.7 inch screen. Within minutes of powering on the device (after installing the latest firmware update) I quickly started connecting to stuff I already had in the Cloud. Not only was I able to retrieve content such as books, music, videos, and magazines stored in Amazon’s Cloud, I was able to access my other cloud storage services like DropBox, SugarSync, Box, and GoogleDocs using the QuickOffice (free version) app that’s equipped with the device.

The Silk browser seems very reminiscent of the tab browsing on Safari for the iPad. Pages loaded quickly however in my comparisons the Kindle Fire loaded slightly slower than my 1st Gen iPad. This is likely the result of Flash animations loading in the background on the Kindle. It’s important to note that iOS devices do render Flash in their browsers. Yet, the Kindle Fire is no slouch when it comes to browsing the Web. And since I mentioned the iPad, I must admit the Kindle Fire meets many of my tablet needs however it’s not an iPad killer nor a replacement for my current iPad.

Here’s why. The Kindle Fire is that ereader that you wish could browse a website at whim, check your email on occasion or read a magazine or book in color.  Very much like an iPad but because of the 7 inch lends it self to very menial tasks. For instance, reading pdf articles is something I do on a daily basis however reading pdfs and magazines to that matter on the Kindle Fire requires a lot of zooming in and out in many situations; something that is very jarring when you’re trying to comprehend a passage of text on the fire. It’s doable for short pdf articles but reading dissertations and long research articles is a bit of a challenge because of the smaller screen.

The lack of availability of apps for the Kindle Fire is another thing I hope will change with time. Currently, the Amazon App Store has approximately 10,000 apps and many of them aren’t even compatible for the Kindle Fire in my experience with searching for apps (Amazon App Store tells you which device can or cannot install a particular app via the web). I was happy to see QuickOffice installed and Netflix available in the store but was very disappointed to find the SpringPad and Speedtest app wasn’t available for the Kindle Fire. Another thing that I find very annoying are apps like Facebook and Twitter which are basically bookmarks to the mobile version of their website.

Overall, as a power user I’m very satisfied with my purchase. This device was meant to serve a specific purpose where I find the iPad too big and heavy to carry around. The $199 price point ($50 for me after using my Best Buy Reward Zone points) and 7 inch screen size makes this device an excellent stocking stuffer. Not to mention, the vast majority of people will mainly use this device to read books and magazines, or check the web. And because it fits nicely in my coat pocket or small tote bag, It’s the device I will use when traveling about and at my bedside. It's a wonder buy and good entry into the tablet market device for many people.
 
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