Saturday, November 19, 2011

5 Things I hate about the Kindle Fire

I was ready to love it. I put my name on the list the day it was announced. I waited and waited. When it finally shipped, I tracked that shipment like a hawk. Then it arrived.

My school has recently decided to do an iPad pilot. We are deploying 30 iPads and budgeting for more next year. I thought the Kindle fire might just be a cheaper alternative. Well it's not and this is why.

1. Boy is it heavy! It is supposedly lighter than an iPad, but if you held one in each hand you wouldn't think so. It is shaped like a brick and feels like one too. I tried reading a book on it and my arms felt like falling off.

2. The App store is lame. I admit I am not used to an android device, but I looked for several apps that I use on my iPhone and my iPad and couldn't find them in the Kindle App store.

3. No fetch feature. There doesn't seem to be a way for the Fire to let you know when you have new mail or it is your turn to update your Words With Friends. You have to manually check for all updates. I also can't figure out how to add multiple e-mail accounts to the mail feature. Maybe that is just me being obtuse, but I have looked everywhere for a way to add an additional account.

4. Not so fast. I haven't noticed that the new "silk" browser is particularly fast. Supposedly it is super speedy. It isn't slow, but it doesn't seem much faster than my phone (and I have an iPhone 3GS).

5. It is neither here nor there. It is a smaller heavier feeling iPad and a bigger much heavier iPhone and an eReader with a lot of glare. If I want to type something, or check out some cool Apps, I'll use the iPad. If I want something small to check in on my email, my Twitter feed and my Words with Friends I will use my phone. If I want to read a book, I will use a traditional Kindle. I haven't figured out when or where I would use the Fire.

OK. I know I am privileged to have so many devices to choose from. I know it is a cheaper alternative to the iPad. I know the video streaming is cool. It just doesn't do it for me. And did I mention is is heavy like a brick?

I wanted to like it. I really did. It just doesn't live up. Do you have one? Do you agree? I'm interested in your opinion. Please let me know what you think.

P.S. My fall has been crazy at school so I haven't been blogging, but I have lots of things to share - some cool video projects and some iPad deployment advice, so stay tuned.


Sandy Wagner said...

The Nook Color or Nook Tablet are both better. Non of these are actually Android tablets- they are e-readers with some extra stuff. There are some full blown Android tabs that can compete- Galaxy, Xoom. They are not $200.

Paul Bogush said...

We are testing out some ipads in our class for Idea Flight. Try out the Idea Flight app--not to sound like I am marketing it, but we really like it so far.

Karen said...

To add an account the standard email client, click the more option button (the one with the lines at the bottom of each page) and choose Accounts. Then click the more options button again and you'll see an Add Account option.
I love my Fire - it is exactly what I wanted: an e-reader and a tablet at an affordable price. I bought it instead of an iPad and it is turning out to be a good choice for me. I do not find it heavy, however, everyone who I have shown it to does say how heavy they think it is, but I have never owned a regular kindle to compare it to.

Gwyneth Anne Bronwynne Jones - The Daring Librarian said...

Thank you so much for this post! I heard you can't read a Kindle book on the Fire unless you were connected to the wireless - but that can't be, right? Also, can you download movies & TV shows to it to watch offline? (not streaming?) I love my iPad & Kindles but can't justify buying a Fire except for the geek in me! LOL
~Gwyneth Jones
The Daring Librarian

Liz B Davis said...

Karen - thanks for the directions on how to add email accounts. I tried it and it worked. I guess I should change the title of my post to 4 things... You must have strong arms ;-)

Gwyneth - I just it
Unread off the wireless and was able to read a book and watch a tv show I had downloaded. So it doesn't keep everything in the cloud.

I think if you don't have an iPad it is possibly a good cheaper alternative for video content especially. But I think an iPad touch would serve all of your other needs for about the same price. If you have an iPad, it is a lesser alternative and I wouldn't recommend it. Even the free streaming for Prime customers (which I am) didn't offer anything I wanted to watch.

I also want to say I am a big lover of Amazon in general. My Amazon credit card is my primary card and I use the site for everything. Maybe my expectations were just too high (and my arms are just too weak).

Books And Beyond said...

New follower, love your content.

I am debating on whether I should get the Fire, the new B&N Tablet, or go for a normal tablet ( like I already have) & add the e reading apps to it & enjoy the FULL Android, Amazon, Get Jar, app markets, etc. etc.

I rented my Acer Iconia a500 from Rent a Center when my Lenovo Laptop went kaplewie & it is FABULOUS.

BUT these Rent A Centers are a MUCHO rip off in the long run. Lesson learned. Now time to return my pricey lesson and BUY my permanent tablet and/or e reader.

What do you think?

I think I am "spoiled" by a full service, full Android experience tablet. So, the Fire will pale in comparison. I bet the B&N TAB will too. I must keep realistic expectations in my mind as I research these items. I have to remember that when I play with after I buy it.

A hard decision! I have tons of Amazon content I would cry about losing BUT the B&N Tab has a memory card slot. Hmmm.. 16 gb is NOT for your personal items BTW. Only 1 or 2 gb is for personal non B&N items. The rest goes on a Micro Sd up to 32 gb card.

Some are whispering there are ways to "ROOT" and "alter" to make the B&N accept the Android market & Kindle App with no issues. Some say it is easier to "root" the Fire.

I rooted my White Pandigital E Reader last year and I loved it.

I would be wary to try to root a device that is 200-250$ vs a 75$ device.

Back to the thinking board!

Greta Miller said...

I was trying to decide which one I wanted to buy thank you for your input on the different ones.

Anonymous said...

I'm not happy with the Fire for another reason. My grandon bought one. Little did he know he could do little with it he couldn't already do anywhere else, and the free apps require signing up to the one click and credit card information. No one is giving him that so he is stuck with an expensive device that doesn't do what he wanted it to do.

lilone said...

I am a Kindle fire owner and i adore it. I had the choice to get the Ipad, but i found it too big for my taste. I an a mega hacker so the things I can do with the Kindle fire are limitless. The Android market can be installed (after root) if you don't like Amazon's app store. You can stream or download videos. Also being an Amazon Prime member has it's advantages, you get thousands of free books and movies. It was everything i was looking for. Compared to the Barns n' Noble Nook Colorado they are pretty much the same. I have tried out the Nook, but sadly I didn't quite enjoy it like the Amazon Kindle fire. It all depends on your personality of what you would prefer.