I have had my Kindle Fire for several weeks now, so I thought I would update you on what I think. The timing was perfect, I received the Fire just a few days before I went on a 10 day trip for Thanksgiving. This really allowed me to put it through its paces.
The Kindle Fire is easy to use. It is perfect for the reason most people will buy it (and why I bought it) consumption of music, movies, books, games, etc.
I was happy with the Fire when I got it, I remain happy with it now. It is exactly what it promised to be, and I actually have found it more useful than I expected. I was able to let my niece and nephew play games on it, I read several books on it, watched movies on the plane, and found some cool games.
The quality of the device is excellent. Battery power seems to be the 7-8 hours promised, and the size is perfect for reading books.
Given that my niece and nephew played with the Fire, by the way, I should add that the screen and body remained unscratched and in perfect condition. So it is clearly well built.
I even took the Fire to a meeting and used it to take notes. Something I never expected to do. So it turned out to be a useful business tool, even though that isn’t why I purchased it.
The memory is much too small. Part of the reason the memory is small is to save money so Amazon can sell the Fire for $199. But they could have put a slot for a memory card. I imagine Amazon wants the users to use its cloud service, which is ok, but the problem is since the device only has wi-fi, when I was away from wi-fi I was out of luck. I could only load a couple of movies, a small number of songs, a lot of books and a lot of apps. I wanted more movies and more songs for my trip.
Amazon’s app store is too limited. Again, I know Amazon wants us to use its store since the device really just exists to get us to consume what Amazon is selling. Still, it is frustrating. The included browser doesn’t work very well and I wanted to use something different.
Some people are upset the Fire doesn’t have a camera, I could care less. I have a camera on my phone, I don’t see holding up something the size of the Fire to take pictures. As a result, I would rather have the lower price.
Some people don’t like the size. It is considerably smaller than an iPad. I was, however, attracted to the smaller size because it is easy to hold in my hand for reading.
Fix for the app store
It is possible to defeat the app store issue by sideloading applications. The only limit here is that for Google apps anything that requires the user to sign in will not work. As a result I was able to load most of the apps I wanted to use, including a far superior browser called Dolphin. I almost never use the included Amazon web browser.
For directions on sideloading read this article.
I am extremely happy with my Kindle Fire. The main changes I would make would be the addition of a slot for a memory card and the ability to use the Android app store. Otherwise I like what I got for the amount of money I spent.