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Reviews => Device and Accessory Reviews => Kindle Fire reviews => Topic started by: Ann in Arlington on November 16, 2011, 01:01:32 pm

Title: Kindle Fire Review -- compared to eInk Kindles and Xoom
Post by: Ann in Arlington on November 16, 2011, 01:01:32 pm
O.K.  So, it really doesn't compare to either of those. . .but I say that so people have an idea of where I'm coming from.  I've had a Kindle since the K1 and have had a Xoom for about a year and a half.

First impressions:  I've had it just about 24 hours so far and I am happy with it.  It is dense :D -- I don't say heavy because, objectively it's not compared to the Xoom or some other android tablet, but it is compared to an eInk Kindle.  It's the size of the Kindle and (not quite) the weight of the Xoom.  But basically solidly built.  It arrived about half charged and I plugged it in and turned it on. I had to tell it about our Wifi as our SSID is not broadcast, but once I did it was fine; downloaded the update and knew who it was.

I'm not excited about the carousel. . . .I don't need to have all 1300 books plus everything else always there. . . .but I have put some favorites on the shelves so mostly use those to select things as well as the categories -- books, music, etc.  The trial magazines I'd gotten were there in the cloud.  My daily Washington Post gets delivered to my K4 but it's there on the Newsstand as well if I want to read it on the Fire.

I had purchased some music from Amazon . . .mostly free stuff. . .and played a piece or two.  The sound is o.k.  I'll probably look for some comfortable earbuds. . . .I'll probably put my son on that job. . .he loves to spend my money. :)

Haven't done much with video yet. . . .heck, I've been here herding the cats in the new Fire Talk board . . . .but I did stream an old cartoon -- Mr Magoo's Christmas Carol. Considering it wasn't even digital when it was made, the picture was decent.  Sound, again, was only o.k.  I anticipate some more modern videos will look better.

I've had android devices for a while so have a bunch of Apps from Amazon that I picked up over the last few months free.  Not all of them were sitting there in the Apps area -- went to the website and it turns out some aren't compatible with the Fire.  Some require the camera function, so that makes sense, but, for instance, Graffiti isn't compatible.  I'm hoping that, at some point, they'll get updated so I can use them.

I did some playing with sending documents to the Fire. . .it works just like the Kindle. . .the email address is not assigned until the first time you connect via WiFi and it phones home.  They assign you something based on the email address you have on file with Amazon, but you can then easily change it.  Documents I sent for conversion look at least as good on the Fire as they do on the Kindle. . . .PDF's with odd formatting are still not great, but the good news is that they display decently as PDF and the pan and zoom is way easier to do with the touch screen.

For reading Kindle books, there are some options that aren't there with the eInk devices.  There are still 8 size choices and you can vary the line spacing and margins.  But rather than just 3 typefaces, there are actually 8 to choose from, including good ol' Courier, Times New Roman, and Ariel. :)  It uses Georgia as the default. . .I've switch to Caecilia.  Also, as is to be expected with a color screen, you have a color mode option.  black text on white, black text on sepia, or white text on black.  This is similar to the way the Kindle app for Android works.

The email app is sufficient.  I didn't have any problem setting up accounts for Gmail as well as my account with Comcast and Network solutions.  You need to know your outgoing SMTP.  It loads email quick -- quicker than on the Xoom -- up to 25 messages at a time.  I've not yet figure out if there's a way to set rules so some silly stuff can be dumped immediately and to put other stuff directly into folders.  Don't think there is, but there are some alternate email clients I might try later.  It sends stuff, at least. . .at least, it does from home. ::)

Pulse was an app I was not familiar with but it's pretty cool. . .kind of a quick blog reader. . .short articles pushed daily and you can go read the whole thing if you want.  Not sure how much I'll really use it. . .I've set up some things and will see. . .

So, for long reading I'll probably still use an eInk Kindle. . . .but the Fire will definitely do if I can only carry one device with me. . . .the sync works nicely between it an my K4.  I wish my subscribed blogs could be delivered to it. . .I guess they figure we can get the RSS feed via the cloud. . .

I haven't decided exactly how it compares to the Xoom. . .obviously lighter and smaller. . . I haven't picked the Xoom up since the Fire came, but I don't consider that proof of anything. :) There are certainly some apps I have and use on Xoom that won't work with the Fire. . .skype, for instance.  I guess we'll see!

Questions?  Comments?  Anyone?  Beuhler?
Title: Re: Kindle Fire Review -- compared to eInk Kindles and Xoom
Post by: kwajkat on November 19, 2011, 11:45:38 pm
Thanks for the imput. I have been holding off on getting the Fire. Went to BB Friday to look at and considered picking one up. Then I found out that you can't use the av/video enhanced kindle books on it and  think they missed the mark by just giving it 8GB memory with no sd card slot. I thought that was real strange. Bottom line I ended up walking out with the new Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0. I am really impressed with it and love the 5 inch screen and 6 oz weight, although I am not a real big android fan. Have an iphone and ipad but find the iphone screen just too small for my old eyes and the ipad too big to really tote along. The samsung really fits the in between just right. I am hoping that they make some adjustments to the Fire especially in function and memory (was really hoping Amazon would take the hint from B&N with the 16GB and a sd card slot. I really miss that sd card slot from my K1. In the mean time I will keep my apples and K3 plus my new 5.0 toy for now.
Title: Re: Kindle Fire Review -- compared to eInk Kindles and Xoom
Post by: kwmccabe on August 23, 2012, 09:46:59 am
I've been thinking about Kindle Fire. It looks awesome and all the reviews have been good so far, but I don't have regular access to the internet. I'm thinking I might wait until Kindle Fire has 3g---does anyone think that's likely to happen?