Monday, January 9, 2012

Kindle Fire Review

I've been meaning to post this review for a while now. I've had the Fire for almost 2 months now and have had ample time to play around with its features and I have to say that I love it.

First the reason that I decided on getting the tablet in the first place. I wanted something to play around with. I didn't have a real reason to pick it up besides the fact that it is a new gadget at a great price. ($199) So after playing around with it, I am glad I picked it up, but for a reason that I didn't think I would use it for.

The home screen is easy to use and intuitive. I like the carousel feature as it makes it easy to get to recently used items, and with the newest update you can remove things from it so navigating through it is much easier. The favorite bookshelf beneath the carousel is a nice feature and is easy to organize and click through.

The book reading function of this is what you would expect from a Kindle product. It is LCD and no Eink, but it is still usable and I especially like the way that it syncs to multiple readers if you have them. I do find it a bit hard to read in direct sunlight, but living in Oregon, there isn't a ton of that here anyway.

The video section is primarily Amazon's store, so I don't have much use for it with Hulu+ and Netflix, but during the 30-day trial of Prime, I did find myself enjoying the service and it worked well. But honestly, those of you have have Netflix and Hulu+ wouldn't find anything worth keeping Prime, unless you are a big shopper of Amazon, which I'm not a big enough one to justify the cost.

Now the most important thing for a tablet is the apps for it. The great thing that I love about the Kindle Fire is the variety of apps and how they give you a free one daily. I like to grab those and just getting them for free is a big bonus for me because I can't always buy them and usually just rely on free apps anyway. The store itself is easy to access, as I don't have a lot of use of the Ipad under my belt, I can't say which has better stores, but I didn't find myself lacking any of the apps that I would need to use on the device. I found Netflix, Hulu+, and many others, all easy to navigate to and purchase.

The device itself is pretty well built. It's sturdy, and fits well in my hand. My kids, especially my three year old can work it with ease.The device fits inside my jacket pocket without bulging and I can take it places that I don't know that I would take an iPad to because of the small form factor. The smallness of the device also is what makes it so portable, and the primary reason I got the device was for my kids to play with something on long car rides. Now it is only Wifi, so some of the feature's can't be used in the car unless you have a mobile hotspot on your phone or get lucky and find free wifi while driving, but if you store it with enough things, I don't think you would have any issues.

Now in this two months of use, I have to be honest and mention that I haven't tried to load things onto it that didn't come from the market and that might change this review a bit. The storage of the device is only 8GB's which is enough for storing the apps and such on it. Now if I load it with movies that size would be cumbersome, however, it does have the Amazon Cloud Server and things you buy from Amazon don't use any of the Cloud storage, which pretty much gives you unlimited storage.

So in all, for what I need this device is perfect. I don't need something to do work on, but have used it to jot notes down for story ideas when they occur to me. This device is pretty much as advertised, a media consumption device. If you have any specific questions, you can post a comment or email me and I will try it out and answer them to the best of my knowledge.

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