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What's So Great About A Kindle Fire?

Updated on July 1, 2012

Have you seen this at Amazon?

The Kindle Fire is Amazon's Pride And Joy
The Kindle Fire is Amazon's Pride And Joy | Source

E-Books Before Kindle

The Kindle Fire is a full color kindle reader with many of the features of tablet PCs such as the iPad or the Galaxy Tab, but my fascination with gadgets started long before Kindles or Nooks existed.

For years I've had an obsession with technical gadgets. My first encounter with e-books came when I had a variety of old Psion handhelds and I found that there were a wide variety of classics available to be downloaded and read. I spend hours reading these and since I'm not a great fan of paper, I loved the idea.

With the advent of the Kindle and Nook readers, this idea of e-books became a craze, which continuously increases in popularity. Just about everywhere you go you see people with their nose buried in a tablet. (and who said no one reads anymore.)

With the release of the iPad small laptops for all but replaced with portable Tablet PCs. Of course if you go to a place like Starbucks you will still see table upon table with at least one laptop on it, but you will also see a great number of tablets where netbooks had once dappled the scene.

How doe the Kindle Fire Fit In Here

The Kindle Fire is a melding of both worlds, being a Kindle reader which manifests at least some of the qualities of the finer Tablet PCs. Since its release on November 15, 2011 the Kindle fire has become one of the best-selling items on Amazon.

What is made it such a hit, is a great number of features and support that it offers for price of $199. It is somewhat affected the face of the tablet market, since there have been several other tablets released such as the Le Pan II at more competitive prices.

"Whats Under The Hood"

So let's look at what it has to offer. It has a 7 inch screen which is roughly half the size of the Apple iPad II, but unlike earlier Kindle readers, the Kindle fire offers vibrant colors on the screen as opposed to the traditional black and white for a Kindle reader. You can easily browse the web quickly and easily with the aid of Amazon silk, check your e-mail, watch a movie or read a book or magazine in brilliant color.

It is extremely durable, as it screen has been chemically strengthened to be stronger and 30 times harder than plastic. This durable screen has a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels and 169 ppi producing 16 million colors.

Since it seamlessly connects with Amazon's massive library in the android app store there is a tremendous amount of data accessible to the Kindle Fire. There are 100,000 movies and TV shows that can be downloaded with the push of a button, and over 1 million books, 800,000 of which are less than $10.00 and of course my favorites the 2 million free pre-1923 classics (and some not so classic).

While its internal memory is only a 8 GB and two of that is taken up by the operating system, Amazon offers unlimited cloud storage for the movies and books that you get through them. This also includes the access to over 19 million songs from the Amazon MP3 store, so there's bound to be something there that you would like.

It is true that the Kindle fire is actually no match for the iPad 2 when it comes to technical specifications, but on the other hand it is less than half the price. In today's economy that actually is a fairly big factor below is a comparison chart comparing the Kindle fire to the Apple iPad to and the Barnes & Noble Nook:


Comparisons

 
Amazon Kindle Fire
Apple iPad 2
Price
$199
$499-829
Content Source
Amazon
iTunes
App Store
Amazon App Store
iOS App Store
Apps Available
15,000+
90,000+ for iPad
Screen Size (inches)
7
9.7
Screen Resolution
1,024×600
1,024×768
Screen Pixels Per Inch
169
132
Size (inches)
7.5 x 4.7 x .45
9.5 x 7.31 x .34
Weight
14.6 ounces
21.28 ounces
OS
Custom Android
iOS
Capacity
8GB
16-64GB
Expandable Storage
No
No
3G
No
Optional
Wi-Fi
802.11 b/g/n
802.11 b/g/n
Processor
Dual-core TI OMAP4
Dual-core A5
Camera
-No
Front and Rear
GPS
No
On 3G Models
Browser
Amazon Silk
Mobile Safari

As you can see from the above, the Kindle and the Nook are much more comparable with each other than either one is with the Apple, but when you look at what you get for the money, the Kindle seems to be the winner. I'm sure that there might be some argument on that point, but it's just what I see.

I'm sure there is a cult following for each that could debate forever on Nook vs Kindle and which is better, but that happens in every area from power tools to automobiles and I won't get off into that just yet.

In closing I can say the following:

The good: The Kindle Fire is a 7-inch tablet that links seamlessly with Amazon's impressive collection of digital music, video, magazine, and book services in one easy-to-use package. It boasts a great Web browser, and its curated Android app store includes most of the big must-have apps (such as Netflix, Pandora, and Hulu). The Fire has an ultra-affordable price tag, and the screen quality is exceptional for the price.

The bad: The budget price means no premium features (3G wireless, cameras, microphone, GPS, and location services are absent), but the biggest issues are its paltry storage (only 8GB of storage--with no expansion slot), lack of Bluetooth, and limited parental controls. Screen brightness could be better, and the app selection doesn't match Apple's or Google's (at least for now). Also, you'll need an Amazon Prime subscription to take advantage of some of the more-unique features.

The bottom line: Though it lacks the tech specs found on more-expensive Apple and Android tablets, the $199 Kindle Fire is an outstanding entertainment value that prizes simplicity over techno-wizardry.


Comments

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    • GreenMathDr profile imageAUTHOR

      GreenMathDr 

      6 years ago

      Yes I'm familiar with the Nexus. I've written a few things about it at other locations. It was anounced just last month I believe. Now Microsoft is getting into the mix with their windows 8 tablet. I can't wait to see what is next.

    • iefox5 profile image

      iefox5 

      6 years ago

      Amazon quality and competitive price make Kindle Fire a great android tablet. But Google just release 7 inch Google Nexus tablet, a quad core tablet at $199.

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