First off, this is not a review of Amazon’s Kindle Fire ($199). I have in fact never even held the Fire, so why do I want one? The main reason is because I can check out books from my local library on it for free. Yes you read that right! I go to a Volusia County Library at least twice a week to check out books, magazines, TV episodes, and movies. Do I have time to read/watch everything? No, but it doesn’t cost me anything (except a few cents in gas) and I think it’s amazing that my membership extends to a device like a Kindle. Well, you can check out books with an iPad too. That’s true, but the Fire doesn’t have the $499+ price tag.
But you can do so much more with the iPad! That may be true, but notice I said I WANT the Fire, I don’t really NEED either device. I have actually used the iPad and it is a pretty robust device, but quite frankly it would not replace my laptop. Right now, my most used computer programs are Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, all of which can’t be used to their full extent on the iPad. In addition, if I had a Fire/iPad it would rarely leave the house. When I travel, most of the time I’m the driver and if I’m not, then I’m sleeping or talking to other passengers (no leisurely train commute here, sigh). When I arrive at my destination, it’s usually to perform some function that also doesn’t require a Fire/iPad. Pushing my cart in the grocery store while engrossed in a thriller may cause some problems. Clean up aisle 10! Besides I would rather put $500 towards buying a new laptop.
There is also the issue of size. The Fire is smaller than the iPad which could be negative or positive depending on your point of view. A little birdie told me that Amazon may be planning a bigger Kindle. Read the chirps here.
So why not get the regular much cheaper Kindle if all you’re going to do is read? Well I wouldn’t just read. I do check out movies/TV shows from the library too. Although video is not offered for the Kindle by the Volusia County system, the Kindle Fire has apps like Netflix and Hulu or you can subscribe to Amazon Prime. The $79 per year Prime Membership includes:
- FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items
- No minimum order size
- Unlimited instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows with Prime instant videos
- A Kindle book to borrow for free each month from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library
I would even use the Fire to play a game or two (or 10). Simply, I think the Kindle Fire is a good value. We’ll see if my sentiment changes if I ever get one. It’s not really high on my priority list. There’s still joy in actually holding a book. By the way, I highly encourage you to check out all the resources your local library has to offer. I decided to write a post on this because the topic has come up a lot for me recently. If you want to hear from someone who has actually used the Fire then read Digital Desi, a site dedicated to this device. Do you have a Fire or an iPad? Let me know what you think?