Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Kindle Fire Review

My Kindle Fire Review:

I have had my Fire for about a month now, so I figured it was time to review it.

What I like about the Fire:
  • The Size: The Fire is relatively small when compared to the iPad, it is a 7 inch screen. I can throw the Fire in my purse and be on my way. The iPad is significantly bigger and it not as easy to throw and go.
  • Screen Graphics: The picture quality on the Fire is pretty damn good, I have to admit I don’t do much TV or Movie watching on my Fire, because frankly I don’t really watch TV at all even on my TV, but I did make it a point to watch a couple of episodes of Buffy and I didn’t have any problems making out was going on. I can really tell in regards to the graphics on some of the games I play.  
  • Apps:  You are limited to the Amazon store apps, but I have not had any issues not finding an App that I wanted. I have an Android phone and I found all of the Apps that I have on my phone and then some.  Some of the Apps I found were actually better then the Apps on my phone, so that was a score. And I don’t mind sharing that when I was on a flight with my mom, the games on my Fire saved my ears. All I had to do was hand my mom my Fire and she played games for the entire flight, leaving me alone. Lol
  • Reading screen options: When using the Fire to read you can change the font types and size. For the background you have three options to choose from, white background with black font, Black background with white font and a yellowish color with a brown font. I choose the yellowish font, it is the easiest on my eye personally. I know other people who like the black background. You can also change the brightness on the screen which helps a lot as well.  With all of the different options you can best determine the best option for your eyes.
  • Weight: Whereas the Fire is heavier than a regular kindle it is still not very heavy and it is easy to carry around and to read holding it up.
  • Web Browsing: Now this will depend on your internet Wi-Fi options, but when I am at home on my personal network I find that the web browsing it a pretty decent speed. Is it as fast as my home computer, probably not, but it does seem to be faster than my phone. 
  • Price: At $199.99 it is hard to beat. If you want something to ease your way into the world of tablets without breaking the bank this is a good option.
  • Music player: The sound quality is pretty darn good on the Fire, better than I thought it would be and as a music lover this was a nice feature. I have seen some people complain that there is no external volume control but to be honest I never even noticed that. I guess I have no issues changing the volume on the touch screen.  And this may not be well known but you can import your iTunes songs and playlists onto your Amazon cloud to listen to on your Fire. Finding this out made me a very happy camper since most of my music was on my iTunes.
  • Touch Screen: The screen is not overly sensitive and I have no issues with taping to switch pages or navigating.  You can use the keyboard in regular horizontal view or turn it on its side to type in landscape view. I have not had any issues with the keyboard being too small. For the few days I had the Nook Color the screen flipped out on me and was hyper sensitive. I have not had any of those issues with the Kindle.
  • Amazon Shopping: Shopping on Amazon made easier.  It’s almost scary how easy it is to purchase things on Amazon.

What I don’t like:
  • Rating: On my regular kindle 3G when I finish a book I have the option to rate and share once I have completed the book. On the Fire there is no way to do that, which I really liked on my Kindle 3G. If there is a way to do this I have not found it.
  • Bookshelves: On My Kindle 3G I can set up my own little libraries which I tend to do by author since I am a series reader. I have not found a way to do this on the Fire, it just lists the books. You can sort them by recent, author and title. But when you have so many books this LONG list can be daunting. But I do admit I do like looking at the pretty covers. =)
  •  Wi-Fi Only: I don’t like relaying on the fact that I have to be on a Wi-Fi network, I like that my other Kindle has 3G built in. My Kindle Fire gets left home more often because of this limitation.
  • No Internal Memory Expansion:  Even the Nook has expandable memory built in, you can buy a micro SD card to expand your memory up to 32 gigs. This is not the case on the Fire, you get 8 gigs of internal memory and cloud space on Amazon. But again you are relaying on a wi-fi connection to get onto your cloud, so you really have to pick and choose what you put on your device. If you want a bunch of music and some movies, that space goes quick. I didn’t think this was going to irritate me as much as it does, but it does kind of fester. I don’t want to have to rely on the Amazon Cloud and wi-fi for space. This came into play once again when I was travelling. With my music I really need to go over it with a fine tooth comb to see what I really want stored on the device. Lame.. Good thing I have an iPod Touch with 32 gigs of space for music and movies.
  • No Camera: Ok, so this doesn’t really bother me much at all, but I can see there is a space for one, but there is no camera there. It’s kind of a tease. And I do have to admit my niece and I were playing on her little tablet that had a front facing camera and we did have quite a bit of fun taking random pictures. But in the grand scheme of things I really wouldn’t use the camera much at all.
  • Locking: So honestly the fact that you can’t lock up the tablet from prying eyes does not affect me in the slightest. I live alone and I have nothing to hide on my Fire, so I don’t care that I can’t lock it from other people getting onto it. For the person that does want to hide what they are looking at online or reading I guess this would annoy me, but really if you have to lock your reader what does that really say?? *So I have rethought this one based on other peoples needs. You can tell I'm a single girl who lives alone. I didnt even think of the little ones getting into your reader and if you have some of the steamer titles that would be an awkward conversation. Or if your kid picks it up and starts tapping buttons and oops buys some books your didnt want or need from Amazon. I can now see why locking up your Fire could be important.  
  • Organizing my Music: This is not so easy on the device or really on my Amazon cloud either, I can delete songs easily but when it comes to playlists I haven’t really found an easy method.  That could be user error though.

So What’s My Verdict?
  • Buy this… if you want an entry level reader/tablet. If you want a tablet to have some fun with but don’t want the iPad price this is an excellent option.  It has all the basic functionality at an affordable price. I’m not trying to run a business from my tablet. I just read, play some games, occasionally watch a tv show, listen to music and social network. For those functions this device works excellently.
  • Skip this… If all you want to do is read. If you are just going to be reading get one of the cheaper Kindle or Nook options. The eInk is so nice to read on, better then reading on a back lit screen for sure. I do still do a lot of reading on my Kindle 3G.



  1. I would like to have a Kindle Fire, but I would like it better if I could "lock" it. I don't want my young nieces & nephews to pick it up and come across a book that they are way to young for. And considering some of the books that I enjoy reading, this could be a problem.

  2. I really want one!! Excellent post my friend.. just gave me great reasons for wanting to get one. Although I do love my eInk on my kindle!!

    Eventually, I will be getting a tablet of some sort.. and I have been leaning towards this one..

  3. June- I can only imagine how that convo would go. Lol!! I didn't even think of that. My nieces can't read yet and I don't have kids of my own.