Thoughts on the Kindle Fire

Many have probably already heard about the new line of kindles.  I am not going to give a full description, but just comments on them.

Kindle Fire

The Fire has received most of the attention.  It is a 7 inch tablet.  It has an LCD screen and is running a customized version of Android.  It should be great for video, music and magazines.  Amazon has its own streaming video service (similar to Netflix) that will be available on the Kindle.

I have not used many 7 inch tablets.  It is a bit on the small side for web browsing, but is large enough for personal video and probably better for reading than the 8.9 inch screen of the iPad.  The screen resolution is as good as the iPad (widescreen instead of 4:3).

The web browser is getting a lot of attention and since that is mostly what people are doing on tablet, I think Amazon is likely really making good decisions about where to focus its development time.

It is not going to be as fast as the 2nd Generation iPad, but it is $199, less than half the price of the iPad.  It does not seem to be positioned to complete against the iPad as much as dominate all the other Android tablets.  But for the price, if I did not have an iPad, I would seriously consider getting this.  The big issue is the apps.  Amazon has a good android app store, but in general android apps are just not as good as iPad apps.  That may change once more people have android tablets, but right now, it is still the case.

If you want a tablet and would also like to read, I would seriously consider looking at this.  If you primarily want to read and are not interesting in web browsing, video and other features of a tablet, I would get the Kindle Touch.  I strongly prefer reading on an eink screen (much easier on the eyes, more like reading a paperback book).

You can pre-order it now, but the Kindle Fire will not be delivered until Nov 15th.  My guess is that it will probably start shipping around Nov 1st, because Amazon tends to under promise and over deliver.

If you do not have a Kindle account already (and don’t have a bunch of kindle books) you might want to wait until Barnes and Nobel announces its Nook Color 2 in another week or so.  Both will probably ship around the same time, but my guess is that the Nook Color may have more features (but not access to the Amazon store, video, online storage and other content).  The Nook Color 2 will also likely be forced to match the Kindle Fire price, or it will be dead on arrival.

You may also be interested in my Thoughts on the Kindle Touch and Thoughts on the $79 Kindle Basic

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