I’ve said it before: I love my Kindles. (Yes, plural.)
I bought the first two versions Amazon introduced with the e-Ink technology, and if you’re a reader, it’s the only e-reader I would recommend.
But this is about my newest: the Fire, Amazon’s shiny touch-screen with apps answers to the Apple iPad.
For about a year, I wanted to buy a “purse computer,” which to me meant a computing device I could type comfortably on and also carry around in my purse. I thought I would buy a netbook, a smaller, lighter, less-powerful laptop. I didn’t need it for gaming or extensive video watching — I wanted to write on the go and maybe check my Facebook and email.
Everyone I asked told me I should just get an iPad instead. But I wanted to spend less than $200, and one does not simply spend that little on an Apple product.
And since I switched from an iPhone to an Android smartphone last year, I don’t spend time yelling at my stupid iPhone for not working how I want because the Android simply works the way I want it to.
But tablets are the hottest thing on the market — Strategy Analytics forecasts that 231 million tablets will ship compared to 186 million mobile PCs in 2013. So I went to the store and “kicked the tires” (translation: I walked into a big box store and pushed all the buttons while interrogating the sales clerks), and compared the reviews.
When it came down to it, the prices for Android tablets were similar, so I looked at content.
One of the biggest differences between the Kindle and other Android tablets is where the apps come from: either Amazon for the Kindle or the Google Play store for others.
The tipping points were Amazon’s great customer service and the fact Amazon has most of my content already in its cloud. I have been buying my digital music and books from Amazon almost exclusively since 2009. (I have 1,905 e-books and 1,774 songs in my collection. I’m a digital hoarder, and Amazon encourages it with unlimited cloud storage.)
So I bought the Fire. (To be exact, 2012’s 8 GB, 7-inch Kindle Fire HD, which was replaced with the Fire HDX. The basic functions are the same.)
The least expensive version is the new Kindle Fire HD, which sells for $139 and is the upgrade for the original Fire, but ones with more storage and bigger screens are available. The newer models came out just in time for Christmas.
I stream TV shows while I use the elliptical at the gym, read books in the dark before I go to sleep, Tweet live from events and write stories in the car (I wasn’t driving). I flip through magazines in color, organize mobile photo albums, listen to audiobooks and play games.
I wrote the entirety of my 50,000-word project for National Novel Writing Month on it in November, switching between the on-screen keyboard and the $30 AmazonBasics Bluetooth keyboard I bought. And I can connect it to my TV with an $8 Mediabridge HDMI cable and display anything on my Kindle on the bigger screen.
It’s light, easy to use, the battery life is great and inexpensive accessories (such as a $15 newspaper print cover) are easily found.
And the best part? It fits in my purse.