Waiting for the Kindle Fire

by Jimmy Akin

in Books, Economics, Internet, Technology

Kindle-Fire-home-3A while back I pre-ordered a Kindle Fire from Amazon, and now it's about to be released. Amazon says it should be shipping in 2-3 days.

I'm very interested to see it. I've used Kindles for a long time–ever since the Kindle 2 added text-to-speech functionality (the absence of which kept me from buying the first generation Kindle). Overall, I've been quite impressed with the experience, and I enjoy using my current Kindle–and its associated apps. I spend at least as much time using Kindle for PC or Kindle for Mac as I do the actual Kindle itself. On the computers I appreciate the search and note taking functions, and on the device I appreciate text-to-speech.

So my prior experiences with Kindles has me looking forward to the new version, which is billed as a major upgrade. It's color, has a touch screen, and is supposed to have a very fast web browser.

The shift to color and the touch screen puts it in competition with Barnes and Noble's Nook, which I also have and am not as impressed with, though in part that may be because of the trouble I've had getting my books formatted for it, which was much more difficult than getting them formatted for Kindle.

I might like the Nook more if I used it just as a reader, but I don't. I find myself using Kindle for reading and research purposes.

A device that I don't have (yet, anyway) is the iPad. I already have an iPod Touch (which I use to do my square and contra dance calling), and an iPad is basically a giant iPod Touch. That means that the price point for an iPad is too high for me. I've certainly been tempted by the larger screen, but I can't justify spending that much money just for a larger screen (and a few specialized apps that only work on the iPad).

If the price comes down on iPads in the future to where I can justify the price, I'd love to get one, but we ain't there yet.

The Kindle Fire, though, seems to be Amazon's answer to the iPad–at least in broad terms. It's going to allow ebook reading, web surfing, music and video playback, and Droid apps. 

It's also vastly cheaper than an iPad.

The new software they've designed also means that it's likely to affect how ebooks, such as The Fathers Know Best and Mass Revision, will display on it, so between the price break and the need to check out how my books format on it, I decided it was worth the price, and I pre-ordered one.

I'll let you know how I like it!

The demand for these is supposed to be high, though, and they're shipping on a first-come-first-served basis, so if you think you might want to get one–either for yourself or as a Christmas present for someone–you might want to go ahead and order.

There is also a new generation of more traditional (and even more inexpensive) Kindles, too, so if you aren't interested in the Fire right now, you might want to . . . CHECK THEM OUT.

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Will Duquette November 14, 2011 at 7:57 pm

An iPad is a lot more than just a big iPod Touch. It’s qualitatively different. I can touch type on the iPad’s keyboard. I’ve written a book on the iPad–at least, I’ve done the bulk of the composition there, sync’ing it with Scrivener on my Mac. For notes and research I use a mind mapper called iThoughts HD.
And it’s a great e-reader, too.
I’m not saying that you need one. But I love mine.

Staci November 14, 2011 at 8:09 pm

I’ll definitely be waiting for your review, Jimmy. I hate buying first gen hardware, but for this, I might make an exception.

Sharon November 15, 2011 at 3:41 pm

I really like my keyboard Kindle but would like there to be an option in the Text to Speech ” to be able to select either an American or a non dialect English accent. It would be good if the keyboard was more user friendly but I don’t know how they would be able to keep to the size of the unit. It would be great if the CCC was on Kindle.

Kevin November 15, 2011 at 8:25 pm
Sharon November 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Hi Kevin,
Thank you for the link but when I clicked on it it said that pricing was not available. How is one to purchase it if there is no way to do so. Am I missing something?

Sharon November 16, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Kevin – update
I missed the “currently not available” in the upper right hand corner. lol

James Brown November 18, 2011 at 6:55 am

Totally agree with Will; I avoided the iPad initially thinking it was a bigger version of my iPhone. I haven’t touched my laptop since I got the first generation iPad as a gift. With iCloud, it has now effectively demoted my computer even further. There are even apps developed for the iPad which make it possible to code and do other functions typically reserved to larger computers. Its a wonderful device.

John November 20, 2011 at 3:07 am

Hey..thanks for the Kindle for PC tip….I had no idea. I need to get out more! Love my keyboard Kindle but yeah…I want the new one.

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