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Tech Talk => PC Load Letter?!? => Topic started by: Kwyjibo on September 28, 2011, 02:19:17 PM

Title: Amazon Kindle Fire
Post by: Kwyjibo on September 28, 2011, 02:19:17 PM
Looks like things are getting interesting in the tablet world.  The Kindle Fire looks like it's going to heat* things up a bit.  I think it's got a lot of down sides since they've developed a forked version of android for their own needs which is heavily reliant on Amazon based content and is tethered to Amazon's cloud service (no SD or even micro SD slot).  But that price is attractive, compared to other devices.  I will be interested to see how Barnes and Noble responds, pricing wise, since the Nook color is easily rooted to run on the stock Android OS bypassing the Nook specific Android OS.

I had heard earlier that the price would be $249 and would include free membership in Amazon Prime... maybe that will still happen.

*See what I did there?  Heat?  Fire? Wakka, wakka.
Title: Re: Amazon Kindle Fire
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on September 28, 2011, 05:32:08 PM
According to Amazon, it will be $199 (http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Color-Multi-touch-Display-Wi-Fi/dp/B0051VVOB2/). If you have Amazon Prime, you'll get unlimited, instant streaming of over 10,000 popular movies and TV shows.

Why did I just buy a nook Color last month? Since then, my library has announced they'll have Kindle eBooks available in October and now this - which is $50 less. Oh, well. At least I have a micro SD slot.

ETA: I also missed that they'd dropped the price on the other models. And are coming out with a touch version of the e-ink version. Very interesting.
Title: Re: Amazon Kindle Fire
Post by: dirk on September 28, 2011, 09:29:22 PM
I'm holding off judgement until I know more about their version of Android.  They are forking it and doing a custom version, so I have no idea what will actually be in it.  The custom browser makes me think the standard android apps (mail, maps, calendar, etc) won't be included.  Also, they talk a lot about it having the Amazon market, but there has been no mention if you can use the regular android market.  If you can't access the regular Android market and can't sideload apps, it will be fairly limited.  Hopefully this won't be an issue.
Title: Re: Amazon Kindle Fire
Post by: Kwyjibo on September 29, 2011, 08:13:18 AM
Also, they talk a lot about it having the Amazon market, but there has been no mention if you can use the regular android market.

It's been mentioned plenty, just not by Amazon, you won't be able to get to it, period... unless there's some way to root it.  Which I'm sure means that you won't be able to get to any other media players, Netflix etc. etc.  You're stuck with Amazon... which is exactly what they want.

ETA: Well, I could be wrong after all, a quick search of the Android market shows that they have Songbird, Winamp and other music players available.  Don't know where you'd store the tunes though.
Title: Re: Amazon Kindle Fire
Post by: va-vacious on September 29, 2011, 05:53:12 PM


Why did I just buy a nook Color last month? Since then, my library has announced they'll have Kindle eBooks available in October and now this - which is $50 less. Oh, well. At least I have a micro SD slot.



So you could give it to me and buy yourself the new toy! How else would I get ANY technology? (TV- from Ella, DVD player- from Ella, old VCR- from Ella, mp3 player- from Ella, laptop- from Ella...)
Title: Re: Amazon Kindle Fire
Post by: Poncho on September 29, 2011, 08:17:30 PM
It will have a usb port... so technically you could have a LOT of extra storage since they already market 64GB flash drives.
Title: Re: Amazon Kindle Fire
Post by: Kwyjibo on September 30, 2011, 08:06:29 AM
I know that wouldn't work with my android phone.  You can mount it to a PC and copy files as a mass storage device but you couldn't use a flash drive as an external memory source.  Not sure if that'll be a capability or not.
Title: Re: Amazon Kindle Fire
Post by: Kwyjibo on September 30, 2011, 08:07:51 AM


Why did I just buy a nook Color last month? Since then, my library has announced they'll have Kindle eBooks available in October and now this - which is $50 less. Oh, well. At least I have a micro SD slot.



So you could give it to me and buy yourself the new toy! How else would I get ANY technology? (TV- from Ella, DVD player- from Ella, old VCR- from Ella, mp3 player- from Ella, laptop- from Ella...)

Or you could probably find a friend in SW Ohio that would actually give you money for it. :)
Title: Re: Amazon Kindle Fire
Post by: va-vacious on September 30, 2011, 07:44:08 PM
Shut yo' mouth, Kwyjibo! I've got her trained at this point!
Title: Re: Amazon Kindle Fire
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on September 30, 2011, 11:36:56 PM
Well, my next electronics purchase will be a new Droid (on 11/10/11), so it will be several months after that if I do decide to get one.
Title: Re: Amazon Kindle Fire
Post by: va-vacious on October 01, 2011, 01:39:35 AM
I've waited this long, what's a few more months?
Title: Re: Amazon Kindle Fire
Post by: Kwyjibo on March 27, 2012, 02:25:58 PM
Well, it's been out a while, anybody else have a Fire?  Mine just arrived today.  Haven't played with it much yet, no wifi access at work so I can't even set it up until I get home.
Title: Re: Amazon Kindle Fire
Post by: Doug on March 28, 2012, 10:17:03 AM
The wife is interested in getting one, so I look forward to your full review. ;)
Title: Re: Amazon Kindle Fire
Post by: cyclone on March 28, 2012, 10:36:12 AM
Well, it's been out a while, anybody else have a Fire? 

We got my mom one for Christmas so I learned how to use it in order to teach her.  I liked it a lot for the price.  The only real criticism I can think of is that the keyboard can be a little funky on the small screen, but I'm sure it's fine when you get used to it.  I remember when researching them that the two main cons people had with it were the lack of bluetooth capability and the lack of a camera, which I guess most other tablets have.  I wouldn't utilize either of those personally, but I'm not the biggest techie either, never owned a a smartphone, etc.
Title: Re: Amazon Kindle Fire
Post by: lutz on March 28, 2012, 03:33:29 PM
What about the new Kindle Touch? I heard it's supposed to have a touchscreen, audio, and a two-month battery life. I'm not sure how all three of those things are possible unless the thing is the thickness of an actual book, but there we go.
Title: Re: Amazon Kindle Fire
Post by: Ella Minnow Pea on March 28, 2012, 03:46:50 PM
The two month battery life is based on reading for 30 minutes each day with the wifi turned off.
Title: Re: Amazon Kindle Fire
Post by: lutz on March 28, 2012, 03:58:24 PM
Thirty minutes?! So it's supposed to be an iPad-rivalling tablet rather than an e-reader, then? Lame.
Title: Re: Amazon Kindle Fire
Post by: Kwyjibo on March 29, 2012, 09:32:44 AM
What about the new Kindle Touch? I heard it's supposed to have a touchscreen, audio, and a two-month battery life. I'm not sure how all three of those things are possible unless the thing is the thickness of an actual book, but there we go.

We have a Kindle Touch as well and the battery on the thing lasts forever and it is very thin and light.  The only time it uses any power at all is when it's switching from one page to the next... otherwise you could sit on one page forever and not use any juice.  It is not an iPad rivaling anything, just a reader.  One which I'd highly recommend.

Doug, it depends on what your wife wants it for.  I'm underwhelmed with it to be totally honest.  I find the dumbing down of the Android interface obnoxious, the home screen design is cluttered and stupid.  The "carousel" takes up too much room and is really not well thought out.  You can't organize your content... which seems like a glaring oversight to me.  You can't set your own screen savers or anything... which seems like it should be a given on this type of device in this day and age.

Being tied down to Amazon's content hasn't caused me that big of a headache, though I find the lack of a YouTube app to be more than a little lame.  There are apps that I had on my Droid that aren't on the Amazon Appstore, which is annoying, but mostly it's games and I could do without them, or there is a reasonable substitute.  Not sure why they didn't bother to include a calendar or alarm... but both are easily (and handily) rectified with third party apps.

The screen size doesn't bother me at all, it's plenty big enough for the things I use it for.  Having so little internal storage is good for Amazon, and it's how they're able to sell it at such a low price but it's annoying to have to transfer content from a PC, through e-mail or the cloud drive.  If you don't have wi-fi available to you you're limited to whatever content you currently have downloaded to the device but that's standard with anything that does not have 3G or 4G access.  It is a little harder to deal with when you have so little in the way of onboard storage however.  There are no cameras, there is no GPS and no bluetooth... probably not a deal breaker but other devices have them so it's worth noting.  I could see wishing I could pair it with a bluetooth keyboard though... the one on screen is too small for actual typing.

If you just want a reader, a platform to play angry birds and words with friends and want some simple productivity stuff like e-mail, calendar and alarms (the latter via 3rd party apps but still doable). Then it's fine.  If you're looking for a computer replacement skip it.

When I was researching it I found that the Acer Iconia tabs got great reviews, were packed with features and could be purchased at reasonable prices if you bought them refurbished through Amazon.  Check out the A500, I saw them for as little as $260 used/refurbished and it blows the fire away, at least on paper.

Not sure what I'm going to do yet.  I'm going to give it a little longer but if I don't warm up to it I'm going to send it back and maybe get a real tablet down the road.  Currently my feeling is that I'm soon going to feel like I rushed into it and am stuck with a device that isn't going to suit me for the lifespan of the hardware.
Title: Re: Amazon Kindle Fire
Post by: Doug on March 29, 2012, 12:17:26 PM
Well, my wife wants something to read on and also do some simple surfing, e-mail, etc.  She doesn't do a lot of data intensive work and the alptop she has is overkill.  We were thinking of getting her a tablet and then giving her laptop to the boys.
Title: Re: Amazon Kindle Fire
Post by: lutz on March 29, 2012, 01:16:48 PM
We have a Kindle Touch as well and the battery on the thing lasts forever and it is very thin and light.
Ahh, I thought it had a colour screen and browser like the Fire, but actually it is e-ink. Well that makes more sense.
Title: Re: Amazon Kindle Fire
Post by: Kwyjibo on March 29, 2012, 02:00:40 PM
Well, my wife wants something to read on and also do some simple surfing, e-mail, etc.  She doesn't do a lot of data intensive work and the alptop she has is overkill.  We were thinking of getting her a tablet and then giving her laptop to the boys.


I'd say the Kindle fire would suit her very well then.  If you go into the Used/New section on amazon you can get them refurbished direct from Amazon for $169.  That's what I did.

Ahh, I thought it had a colour screen and browser like the Fire, but actually it is e-ink. Well that makes more sense.

If you're in the market for an e-reader I really couldn't recommend it enough, it's a nice well thought out device.  Not sure I would say the same about the fire... even though all of the reviews are glowing.
Title: Re: Amazon Kindle Fire
Post by: lutz on March 29, 2012, 02:39:23 PM
Not sure I would say the same about the fire... even though all of the reviews are glowing.

(http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/000/681/what-you-did-there-i-see-it.thumbnail.jpg)

My parents got me a normal, keyboardless Kindle for Christmas, so I'm not looking to get another one any time soon.
Title: Re: Amazon Kindle Fire
Post by: Kwyjibo on September 07, 2012, 11:48:04 AM
Pretty underwhelmed with the Kindle HD announcement yesterday.  Haven't dug into it to much yet but it doesn't seem like that great of a leap.  Still no GPS or HDMI output.  The front facing camera doesn't interest me at all.  The 4G option ups the price considerably and while the service is cheap you don't get very much monthly bandwidth.  Storage capacity is up, and boy did it need it, my KF is nearly full and has next to nothing on it... I assume the few kids albums that I've streamed from them are cached on there and the rest is my Rdio cache.  I have no other music and no pictures or video on it at all.  Upping the capacity ups the price considerably $50 for 16gb.

Also, the aesthetic problems haven't gotten any better, the bezel is still inordinately huge and it's still made of plastic.  CNET says the rear panel is less grippy as well, which doesn't bother me because i have a case and would continue to do so, but still... obvious, fixable problems.

The Fire did well based on price... I can't see the 4G model, which I'm sure is what most KF users have really been wanting, taking off at these prices.
Title: Re: Amazon Kindle Fire
Post by: Kwyjibo on November 04, 2013, 02:56:05 PM
Well, it's been out a while, anybody else have a Fire?  Mine just arrived today.  Haven't played with it much yet, no wifi access at work so I can't even set it up until I get home.

Well, it lasted a year and eight months... could be worse I guess.  I've had battery charging issues for a long time (the jack is loose) and it's finally to the point that it takes considerable noodling to get it to charge.  Add that to the fact that a charge doesn't last more than an hour or two and it's time for retirement.

Score one for Amazon's customer service though.  We called to ask them about the charging problems and they said they couldn't replace it due to the warranty being up but the did cut us a deal on a refurbished upgrade.  We decided to stick with the 7" format but the HD this time and the model they offered is 32GB.  It was a significant discount so I decided it was worth it and there was really no need to jump up to the new HDX with no discount at all.

I have used the thing like crazy in that year and eight months.  I never touch our home PC anymore, I do all my surfing on the KF.  I also use it to download podcasts for listening in the car and I cache albums to it from Rdio for listening at work.  The old complaints I had with the UI... they're still there, but who cares, it works.  Having 32GB should kill the storage complaints.