Kindle Fire Pros & Cons, Part I

Kindle Fire: Out of the Box

Image by Brian Sawyer via Flickr

I’ve decided that I need to understand the Kindle Fire. I’ve borrowed, dabbled and delayed. So far it hasn’t been love at first sight. Not like my bride’s iPad, for example. I love it. Crave it. Waiting for next gen to own my own. Happy fortieth birthday, virtualDavis! Perhaps…

But the K-Fire is here to stay. For a while. Until its sexy progeny dethrone it. K-Fire’s adoption rate alone has been staggering, so I need to test drive this chunky Technicolor gizmo posthaste. I’m placing my order tonight, and I’ll dish up pick-nits and plaudits aplenty soon. Stay tuned.

Until then, consider these Kindle Fire pros and cons posted by O’Reilly Media’s Joe Wikert (@jwikert).

Kindle Fire Pros

  • Form factor “It’s nice being able to wrap your hand around the entire device and the lighter weight is a big plus for the Fire.”
  • Meets the needs of typical consumer “Consumers who want a cheap tablet are OK without all the bells and whistles of the iPad…”
  • Connection to Amazon content “Connectivity to Amazon’s ebooks, video and audio content is second to none with the Fire.”

Kindle Fire Cons

  • Connection to Amazon content “As easy as it is for Fire users to access Amazon content it’s just that difficult to access anyone else’s… my next tablet will not be locked in to one provider’s content.”
  • Awful for the early adopter/tinkerer “.if you’re buying it to root and open it up you’ll be disappointed… [For example] some of the apps in the Android Market simply won’t run on it…”
  • Auto-updates “How in the world can Amazon think that forcing OS updates on every Fire owner is the right thing to do? … Really stupid.”
  • “Silk” browser “It turns out the browser isn’t that fast… in my totally unscientific side-by-side testing, the Fire almost always loaded pages slower than both my iPad and my RIM Playbook.”
  • Missing a “killer” app “Amazon should have invested some money with the developers of apps like Zite and Flipboard to make sure they were available when the Fire launched.”

(Kindle Fire pros and cons list via Joe Wikert’s Publishing 2020 Blog.)

Everything Wikert has listed makes sense to me, but the most likely complaint likely to endure is the Amazon-centric content bias. I imagine the browser will get supercharged, and app developers are already following the consumer flood. But Amazon intends to exploit and nurture the content bias. No surprise there. And with millions of satisfied, well-trained consumers eager to gobble up Amazon distributed content, it’s no surprise that Bezos & Company aren’t eager to give away their monopoly.

Are you pleased or disappointed with your Kindle Fire? Share your experience in the comments below or Twitter, Facebook, Google+. And as soon as I’ve gotten my greedy paws (and eyes) on a Kindle Fire I’ll dish up my own Kindle Fire Pros & Cons. Now, let’s see how lickety-split Amazon Prime can hook me up…

8 Comments to “Kindle Fire Pros & Cons, Part I”

  1. Just read my second book on an ipad and I’m hooked! Not sure that I see the reason to add a Kindle if I already have an ipad. Very curious to hear your thoughts.

  2. virtualDavis says:

    Forthcoming soon. Really, REALLY like the iPad experience, but am fascinated with Amazon’s direct-to-customer relationship and the likelihood that they’ll be the first wide scale digital book bundler. They seem to grok the future of books better than most of mainstream publishing at this point, and if this device is the vehicle of choice for a growing portion of the book audience, it looks like we all need to familiarize ourselves with it…

  3. As I said in Writing on the Ether, 15 November:

    Me, I like it. Why? Two words: back light. I appreciate E Ink, but I
    like mine glowing in the dark. I’ve been yelling at Seattle’s Mt.
    Olympus about back light ever since I got my Kindle Alpha. Boy, did I
    learn to love those clip-on Mighty Brights. But now I have glowy,
    brightness-adjustable luminosity. I could roast a chestnut on this open
    Fire. Also, films to distract me from reading what I’m supposed to read.
    And cloudly music. I mean really.

    I’m giving the Kindle Fire the #PorterEndorsed seal of approval. I’ve
    unchained the UPS man and I’m feeding my lunch leftovers to the
    buzzards so he can get away in that big brown truck.

    PS: It was never meant to be an iPad. That’s Apple’s tablet designed
    to let you do some reading.  This is an e-reader designed to do some
    tablety stuff. I even use it while live-tweeting conferences as a second
    screen to my laptop so I can track the pace of my tweets moving online.
    And did I mention backlight? :)

    http://janefriedman.com/2011/11/17/writing-on-the-ether-12/

  4. […] Kindle Fire Pros & Cons, Part I « virtualDavis Posted by virtualDavis | Category: Reading, Technology | I’ve decided that I need to […]

  5. virtualDavis says:

    Porter, the backlight, the remarkably GOOD backlight strikes me as one of the strongest selling points for the K-Fire. Confirmation soon. Meanwhile I’ll quote this iPad nugget: “That’s Apple’s tablet designed
    to let you do some reading. This is an e-reader designed to do some
    tablety stuff.” Curtain!

  6. […] later I’m ready to share my first impressions of the Kindle Fire. This post follows up on “Kindle Fire Pros & Cons, Part I” and “Kindle Fire Pros & Cons, Part II”, but my review doesn’t depend on first […]

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  8. […] videos and video games are not my daily nightcap, so I’m not terribly concerned. As for my Kindle Fire, my experience with pre-bed reading is similar to the iPad and ink-and-paper books. No experience […]

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