Tuesday, February 12, 2013

More random thoughts about Kindle Fire

In no particular order ...

  • The best thing about it is its design. It has turned a small screen into a clear and versatile navigation system. Quite impressive.
  • It is heavier than the reader but can still be held in one hand. That is essential for me.
  • Although it does everything the reader does, the reader still is better for a few things. The screen is better, esp outdoors. Fire has a glass screen with the usual glare. Works fine but outdoors might be an issue. Haven't tried it yet. Reading is about the same on both, maybe a tad more glamorous on Fire, but note taking is definitely easier on the reader. 
  • The claim to fame of Fire is video, hands down. It is tremendous -- I am talking about the low end model! I watched a 2 hr doc without a single glitch on our home network. Great color. Size actually is about the same as our TV when I watch it across the room. I am going to pig out on old movies and old TV shows, all free, hours and hours of delight ahead.
  • Music is a close second. I especially liked browsing world radio stations. The audio universe, too, is a bit overwhelming.
  • Email is a snap on Fire, a bit cumbersome on the reader. One tap gets you there. 
  • The browser is not great but it beats the reader. Not close to Chrome or Firefox on a computer, though. But Fire has a "read later" app, which helps.
  • Apps, too, are overwhelming. You can turn the Fire into a flashlight and a dog whistle with an app! My word.
  • I haven't tried any serious writing on it yet. The keyboard is fine. It did take me a while to figure out the best way to tap/touch the screen, etc, having never done it before, but it comes.
  • Some of the menus are hidden. Took me a few hours to figure out how to adjust the general volume ... ends up you flick down the screen at the top to expose a series of menus! Also, holding on an icon exposes a menu. Lots of tricks like that and the user guide isn't very organized in telling you about them.
  • I would recommend the Fire to anyone who wants to do what it does. It doesn't replace a netbook for many computer tasks. But it is well worth it, to me, for the video and music.
  • I see no advantage to go HD on such a small screen, even expanded to 9 inches. 
  • When I was fantasizing some time ago about my ideal hand held, expanding the power of the reader, well, the Fire 7 inch comes damn close. I am delighted.

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