Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kindle Fire: Perfect Media Consumption Device

Let me disclose upfront that I am a regular Kindle fan. Even though I now have a Kindle Fire, I refuse to give up my old Kindle, so don’t anyone ask if I’m willing to sell it. I love its compact size, it’s simplicity in use, and it’s no glare display. About the only thing about the old Kindle I struggled with was the fact that I had to use an external light to read. Of course the Kindle Fire’s display takes care of that problem. This device reinforces once more why I love Amazon’s e-reader devices. If I were to make some early observations about the Kindle Fire, here they are.
  • The Kindle Fire is almost the exact same dimensions of my older Kindle. (See picture below.) It is just a bit heavier and thicker, but it still fits right in my single hand, small enough to curl up with. No doubt, Amazon’s Kindle designers had that in mind when they designed the device. It’s dimensions, thickness and weight still make it easy to hold when reading.
  • The Kindle Fire display is perfect for the e-reader and for the light media and app-user. While I know there’s a great deal of talk about this device encroaching on iPad’s domain, I’m not sure I would go that far yet. However, if you only use your iPad for e-reading, media consuming, social media, and email, then I would say that perhaps you would be happy with the Kindle Fire. It easily does all of those things. It is a media consumption device only, not a media production device. If you want to create media too, then get another tablet device. If you only want to read, listen, view, or use apps, then get a Kindle Fire. Why buy a device that takes pictures or records audio if all you’re going to do is consume media anyway?
  • The E-Reading app on the Kindle Fire captures all the features of the iPad Kindle app that are useful. Highlighting text and taking notes works just as it does on the iPad Kindle app. You can also control the background color of the page, text size, margins, and choose your font. The folks at Amazon did not sacrifice a thing for those of us who use these devices primarily for e-reading.
  • The Apps available for the Kindle Fire include some favorite desktop and iPad apps. There’s Seesmic for Twitter users. There’s also Evernote for those of us who rely heavily on the note taking application. For Angry Birds enthusiasts, you’ll find your favorite versions too. I noticed that the Amazon app store is also offering apps like Quickoffice too. I am sure Amazon’s app store will only expand with demand for additional apps.
  • The Kindle Fire’s high definition display makes watching video pleasurable on a small device. Honestly, when I want to watch a high definition movie, nothing beats my Samsung 60” LED TV. But, watching video on the Kindle Fire is pleasurable as well. It’s high definition screen made watching some of the pilot episode of Lost enjoyable.

Kindle Fire's Compact Size

In my opinion, whether or not to purchase a Kindle Fire depends entirely upon what you want to do with the device. If you want to be able to consume and create media, then an iPad or other tablet device is your best bet. If all you’re going to do is read, get an older Kindle, especially now that you can purchase one for less than $100. But if you want to be able to do these three things:
  • read, listen and watch media
  • check email and engage in social media like Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn
  • use and access your favorite online apps like Evernote
then get a Kindle Fire. It does these three things as well as any tablet.

The Kindle Fire effectively combines the perfect size and simplicity of the old Kindle with the features we love about all tablets, and gives users a perfect media consumption device.

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