Now that the dust has settled from the Kindle Fire announcement, I’d like to take a closer look at the Fire and its cousins and give our readers a better idea of which one to choose.
What the Kindle Fire is NOT
First things first: ignore the “Kindle vs iPad” articles and debates currently raging. The Kindle Fire is NOT in the same class of device as the iPad and therefore is not a straightforward alternative when tablet shopping.
If you’re looking to take your Amazon.com experience with you everywhere you go (books, store, movies, tv shows, magazine, newspapers, etc) – then the Kindle Fire is the affordable choice.
If you want to be able to edit files, play a wide variety of games, take pictures and share, enjoy FaceTime or Skype calls, have access to apps such as ‘LogMeIn Ignition’ or word processors such as ‘WriteRoom’ or ‘Pages’, then you won’t get that on a Kindle Fire.
In fact, without getting a first hand look at the Fire, I am hesitant to say that their app offerings will be in any way comparable to the Apple store offerings.
What the Kindle Fire IS
So, what is the use of a Kindle Fire? In 4 words: an enhanced Amazon experience.
The Fire is intended to give you, the customer, eReading in color, movies and TV shows and the Amazon.com store – right in one central beautifully rendered and small package; and all for an affordable price.
So no – it’s not something you should consider to buy instead of an iPad or a Galaxy tablet. It’s something else entirely.
If you want to compare the Fire to something already on the shelves, compare it to the Barnes and Noble Nook Color.
And indeed, the Nook took a hard hit with this announcement last week. Shares fell and the price of the Nook has suffered a $25 drop. I am betting Barnes and Noble were hoping to woo some pre-order fans from waiting for the Fire to ordering a Nook now.
Is the Kindle Fire my only option?
In short – No.
Amazon announced 2 other Kindles that will accompany the Fire off the assembly lines for the upcoming holidays.
The Kindle Touch (WiFi or WiFi+3G) and the Kindle (non-touch, WiFi and WiFi+3G).
The Kindle Touch, from all appearances, will be the answer to the Nook touch what many die-hard Kindle users, like myself, have been waiting for. The Kindle is the low-end device for those who just like to read and won’t need a keyboard or a touch-enabled experience.
Any last words? Yes please.
Personally, I’ve been waiting for the Kindle to go touch for a few months. And since I had the opportunity to go hands on with the Nook (touch eInk) back in July, I have been even more eager. Mine is already pre-ordered and I am silently counting down the days until it arrives on my front door step.
For you guys, though, here’s my advice:
If you like the atmosphere of a Barnes and Noble retail store experience and the freedom to walk in and read in-store? Nook is your device.
If you like having a tablet that is multi-purpose but not necessarily for high-end technical or professional activities (read: games, etc.) for half the price of an iPad, then Nook Color is your device. Plus it includes that freedom to read in-store mentioned above.
If you like staying away from dedicated book sellers like Barnes and Noble, or high-priced devices such as the iPad but still want the full tablet experience with the added benefit of eReading – then check out the Galaxy Tab.
If you don’t much care about the hype at all and just want an eReader for an affordable price, the new base Kindle is a good choice; or you can brave the lesser known eReaders out there: Sony, Kobo, Aluratek, etc.
The point is that you DO have other alternatives, and we here at Free-eBooks.net want to be sure you have as much of the facts as we can cram into one post – just so you get what you want – nothing more, nothing less.