There are plenty of product reviews for the Kindle Fire for techie people out there. This is not one of them. I’m writing to people like me who have never used a smart phone or a tablet, whether Apple or Android, and who want to know if it’s easy to use Amazon’s Kindle Fire e-reader tablet out of the box.
In the video below I start by saying that I love the Kindle, and I hate it. Here is why:
I bought Amazon’s latest Kindle because I wanted an iPad and couldn’t afford one. I also didn’t really need an iPad. I mainly wanted an e-reader, web browser, and something that would run a cool finger-painting application.
What I like about the Kindle Fire
–I LOVE having a self-lit reading surface. I was one of those die-hard book readers who swore she would never exchange an electronic device for a real book. Well, one page into the novel I downloaded, and I’m sold on e-readers. No more having to sit where the light is; no more having to hold the book at the right angle to get the best light; no more muscle cramps from sitting in the same curled-up position for 5 chapters; no more straining my eyes because the print is too small. I can read on the Kindle under the covers and without reading glasses if I want! Everyone, I think, should have an e-reader.
–I love the SketchBook app for drawing, painting, making cards, entertaining my mother, etc.
–I like being able to listen to Pandora while drawing or reading. You can do this if you download the Pandora app (it’s free), open it, and then switch over to whatever other app you want to use (you cannot listen to Pandora on the web and do anything else. That’s what the app is for).
–I like the keyboard. It’s nice and big and understands your fingertips.
–I think the sound from the two built-in speakers is pretty good, and I can always plug a set of computer speakers into the headphone jack or use headphones.
What I don’t like about the Kindle Fire
–BEWARE OF BUTT BUYING. Buying things on Amazon with the Kindle Fire is SO easy, it occurred to me that if you are logged on and leave the tablet lying around, someone may sit on it and accidentally buy the entire Amazon library. You should either opt out of “one click buying,” or remember to log off your Amazon account before you leave the Kindle sitting on the table where small curious fingers can find it and spend all your money.
–I had to use Amazon’s Kindle help center to figure out why a book I purchased did not download onto the tablet. We exchanged about six lines in the space of half and hour. Very slow response. Either they are extremely busy helping everyone else who is having problems with the Kindle Fire, or … I don’t know. On the good side, I found out that most problems can be resolved by “hard resetting” the tablet. To do that, just hold the on/off button down for 20 seconds and restart the tablet.
–I will not be using the Kindle Fire to watch movies. Youtubes, yes. Full-length movies, nah. I could see using a small screen to watch a movie while on a camping trip, but the Kindle Fire is Wi-Fi only, so you can’t watch streaming movies unless you’re close to a hot spot (the 8 Gig memory is too small to store a library of videos on, and there is no memory expansion slot).
–There’s no camera on the Kindle Fire, and you can’t use all the Android apps on it–only the Android apps in the Amazon library.
Buy a Kindle or a Nook or any other e-reader for a wonderful book-reading experience. But wait until you can afford a bigger, smarter tablet for anything beyond that.