it’s not an ipad, but it’s not bad at all.

So Tamara brought her Kindle Fire along when she came up to Upper Cryogenica to house-sit. I got to play with it for a while (and watch an episode of Archer on it), and I was fairly impressed with the little thing. It’s handier than the iPad, and it does most of what I do with the iPad on a regular basis—browse the web, read e-books, do Facebook and Twitter, listen to music, and watch movies.

(My main bookreader isn’t the iPad, but the basic Kindle with the e-ink display. I prefer the look of e-ink to text on an LCD, and the readability in sunlight is kind of a big deal when you often take your e-reader along to the playground.)

The iPad is more capable, and the interface feels faster and more responsive, but I’d seriously consider a Kindle Fire if we didn’t already have an iPad. It’s definitely more portable, and covers 80% of the iPad’s functionality for most users. If there’s anything I dislike about it, it’s the shiny plastic bezel that picks up fingerprints like mad (and makes the device feel a bit cheap), and the limited storage space. Cloud or not, I want to have the option of putting a bit more than a few playlists of music and two or three movies onto my portable media tablet, especially when I travel to locations where Wi-Fi coverage may be spotty or expensive. Also, the 8-hour charge is a bit on the short side. On the whole, though, it’s a neat device and a perfectly cromulent budget tablet at less than half the price tag of an iPad. Only our ownership of an iPad is keeping me from buying one to supplement the e-ink Kindle.

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7 thoughts on “it’s not an ipad, but it’s not bad at all.

  1. sevesteen says:

    I looked at tablets including the Fire for Wife’s Xmas gift. I wound up with the Nook Tablet, largely because it accepts micro SD cards for additional storage. I haven’t used it much, but she’s extremely happy with it.

  2. moparnj says:

    Well, if it makes it easier to justify, every so often Amazon puts the certified refurbs on sale for $139 in their “Deal Of The Day”. Got one for Cheryl that way, and she loves it. Looked brand new and comes with the same warranty the new one does.

  3. ILTim says:

    I sold my Kindle Fire and acquired an iPad instead. I found the fire to be so laggy, slow, and quirky that it was fairly intolerable. Scrolling, clicking on links, etc were often problematic. Plus, the iPad meshes with my iPhone very nicely.

    I’d rather spend the extra on a refurb ipad vs the fire, but its hard to argue with the price.

  4. freddyboomboom says:

    I got Nook Tablet last Christmas. I picked that over the Kindle Fire mostly for the micro SD slot.

    I returned it because it was an OK tablet, but not so good e-reader, which was my big reason for it.

    I got the Kindle Touch for the e-reader duties, and am very happy.

    Here in the next couple of months, Google is expected to put out the Google Tablet (7″ sized), running an unmodified version of Android (unlike the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet). It’s expected to be meet the $200 price point of the Fire. It’s also rumored to be a cheapened version of the Asus MeMO 370T that they announced at CES.

    Asus may still put out a 7″ tablet, but we’re just going to have to wait and see.

    Samsung just put out their Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, which is a 7″ Android tablet with pretty nice specs, for the $250 price point. It’s been tempting me but it’s only got a dual core proc instead of the quad core that the Google Tablet is rumored to have and MeMO 370T was shown at CES with.

    The reason I’ve been looking at the 7″ tablets is similar to yours, the form factor is much more portable than my wife’s iPad, and still performs the web browsing, email, simple game, media consumption functions reasonably well.

  5. Les Jones says:

    I like the iPad better for its responsiveness and iOS apps, and the bigger screen is better for Web browsing.

    I like the Kindle Fire better for portability, Amazon Prime integration and video watching, and the low price that makes me not worry so much about the kids destroying it. We had an incident a couple weekends ago where the neighbor kids took it outside and left it on a picnic table. Luckily we noticed it was missing right before a rainstorm hit.

  6. Tam says:

    I mostly use mine for reading (and occasional emailing from bed.) While I keep a few dozen songs and a movie or a couple-three Archer eps stored on the unit, I rarely plan to be out of WiFi range of The Cloud for more than a few hours at a time.

    Heck, even on a roadtrip, all you’d need to do is pull into a Krystal’s drive-thru and by the time you pulled up to the window to get your gut grenades, you could have downloaded some fresh movies from your Amazon cloud acc’t…

  7. Jake says:

    My Nook Color, running Android 4.0 (ICS) from the SD card, has been enough for me so far. There’s not a lot that I do with it anyway (ebooks, web browsing, email, and a few games, mostly), and it does everything I really need out of a tablet, and anything it can’t do is probably better done on a real computer anyway.

    I do expect that the Nook Tablet, or a regular Android Tablet, would run a little better and smoother, but it is getting a little long in the tooth for a portable electronic device. I’m not really sure if I’m interested in upgrading or not right now.

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