No, I haven’t bought a Kindle Fire yet. Good grief folks, you know I never rush out and buy first gen things! However, my friend Rich (blog | twitter | G+) recently bought one and offered to let me play with it for a week or so while he’s busy working and writing. I, of course, accepted his kind offer.
I have been using the new Kindle Fire for 5 days now and first impressions are quite positive. I especially dig the size. At 7” it works well for casual and one-handed usage. I initially thought it would be too small but for most purposes it actually works just fine. Especially for book reading.
Granted, a bigger screen would be nice for web browsing… The tabbed browser is nice but the experience isn’t a whole lot improved over browsing on my phone. Certainly serviceable but a lot of zooming and panning.
I’ve read reviews that say the Fire is slow and “jerky” but I haven’t run into any of that yet. Scrolling is always fast and smooth — arguably too fast when scrolling through recently used items on the home screen. I frequently go flying right by the one I want!
I’ve done some Netflix streaming on it and find it is a great way to watch back episodes of shows. Alone. Not great for multiple viewers but that’s not a big concern for me right now. Not going to lie… If I had a Wi-Fi signal at the gym I’d use this on the stationary bikes and ellipticals just to watch shows.
Not having access to the full Android Market is a bummer. Amazon’s market is growing, but the full market has more – and seems to get updates faster too. Some big gaps there that are a bit disappointing. Sure, I’ve read there are “side load” options but should we have to?
Will I buy one for myself? Hard to say… I have multiple laptops and a pretty nice little Android phone. This fits somewhere in between them in a niche I’m not completely sure I need to fill. However, if I was going to break down and buy an electronic book reader, I’d look long and hard that the Fire. Kind of like an “E-Reader with benefits.” Especially if I was also willing to shell out for Netflix and/or Amazon Prime.
It certainly is getting used a lot between myself, the wife and the kids.