The Kindle Fire is here! Well, not technically available in Ireland/Europe yet due to legal issues but you can still order it online from Amazon.com. My advice- don’t. This may seem to be blunt, cruel and dismissive, but truthfully it’s perfectly fair.
For anyone who is not familiar with the Kindle range- the Kindle is the biggest selling eBook reader on the market. The Kindle Fire is an advanced version of the original eReader, which as well as allowing users to read books, newspapers and magazines, is also browser enabled which essentially allows users to browse the web, watch movies etc. The Kindle Fire is therefore much more like a tablet device such as the iPad and in fact the Fire version was one of the front running devices tipped to rival the iPad in 2012.
However……in reality the iPad is in a league of its own. The Kindle Fire clearly doesn’t match the hardware capabilities of the iPad, but that’s something you’d be willing to accept since you’ve saved $300 by choosing the Fire over the iPad.
My biggest issue with the Fire however, is the browser speed. It is very difficult to put into words, just how slow it is for loading simple web pages. While using it, there was a moment of nostalgia as I remembered the days of dial up Internet connections. If you’re planning on browsing the web on a Kindle Fire on the way to work, you better make sure that your commute is a long one if you want to make use of the browsing functionality.
The size of the Kindle Fire makes it very portable (7″) and you could hold it in one hand, but it is a little clunky and pretty heavy. Also, there’s no camera or microphone, so unfortunately no ability to upload your photos to Bebo- oh wait that’s gone now….!
Not wanting to take an all-negative stance here, I’ve tried to come up with some positives to buying a Kindle Fire. As mentioned above, it is pretty reasonable in terms of price. There’s only 8GB of storage space on the actual device but you get unlimited storage space on Amazon (for Amazon specific content). Fire users will also have the entire Amazon store at their disposal which as well as books also includes millions of music tracks, hundreds of thousands of movies and a heap of TV shows to keep you happy. Also, the fact that it’s heavy will mean that you’ll get to give you arms a good work out while reading!