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November 18, 2011

Filed under: fiction»industry»ebooks

Kindle Fire: Bullet Points

  • If you strictly want to read e-books, you're better off with an e-ink Kindle. Reading on an LCD is still annoying, and the Kindle application is choppy.
  • It's pretty great as a streaming media player, as long as you have a Netflix account or an Amazon Prime membership, or both. You can't cache either of those offline, though, which means it's not great away from wifi.
  • The music player is fine, but I'm completely spoiled by Zune Pass, and I don't really need yet another device that plays MP3s.
  • Belle doesn't like the speakers much. I think if we were meant to listen through speakers, God wouldn't have given us good noise-blocking headphones.
  • I don't have any experience with other tablets, nor do I particularly think there's anything earth-shattering about the idea of a tablet, so I'm the wrong person to ask whether it's a good fit within that niche.
  • That said, if you're looking for a cheap Android tablet, I'm not aware of anything better than the Fire for the price.
  • As soon as someone releases a decent launcher that doesn't crash instantly, you will want to replace (supplement?) Amazon's weird launcher. "Cover Flow" is not a useful browsing UI when, like me, you own a couple hundred e-books.
  • I'm enjoying the ability to sideload applications on the Fire a bit too much. It's like a flashback to the days when people used to install software from websites (or, heaven forbid, a disc from an actual store) instead of a centralized, curated, for-profit repository. "Oh, Amazon doesn't let other e-book readers or browsers in their store? Who cares?"
Overall: it's nice enough, but I'm not throwing my laptop or my Kindle 2 away any time soon.

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