I sit here, writing a review on the new Kindle Fire from my new Kindle Fire.
I must admit, I love a new gadget; something new to play with, figure out, personalise…
Well, from a fabulous new gadget point of view the new Fire definitely deserves five full stars. I have never been good with computers. I get them to do the job I need doing if only through sheer will and not any great affinity for technology.
The kindle has a very simple set of menus that load quickly and are easy to navigate. The home screen shows all of your books, apps, favourite websites, music and photos as nice big cubes to scroll through (see, no stupid techno-jargon here) and if that’s too much, you can choose one sub section to browse from the left-right list at the top of the home screen. Easy.
I am an avid book fan. Books, the paper things that can’t crash and don’t need charging, are a tad bulky and I knew I’d need a kindle eventually. When my laptop died Dad told me this was the best choice. Probably my only choice as my house just isn’t big enough for all my books.
So, books on the Fire. Once set up you can browse on Amazon.co.uk and buy books through the link to the kindle store (something you don’t see on the Amazon website itself). Downloading a book takes less than 3 seconds and once bought, is backed up on Kindles own ‘server’ Cloud. I don’t have money to throw around so am selective when paying for books which, on a kindle, aren’t exempt from vat charges by the way. But, the vast amount of freebies found through Books- store in your menu mean you can try several thousand wonderful trashy tales just to get you used to the way it all works.
Apps are another favourite and of course, I don’t pay for these. They are silly time wasters and a fantastic addition to your home screen just to give you the option of a distraction other than reading. Unfortunately there are hundreds of apps that all do the same things. I rarely want to know the weather in LA (and only LA it seems) but would much rather have a lunar calendar app installed. Well, if there is a free one, I sure as hell can’t find it. Though if you are an angry birds fan, you are thoroughly catered for.
The touch screen sensitivity is fantastic and I am typing this whole thing on the touch screen keyboard with very little difficulty. Wonderful stuff.
BBC iplayer is pre installed, facebook is easy to find and the ebay app keeps you completely on top of your purchasing. It is an android and the similarities between the Fire and my Galaxy SII is odd. Meaning unless you can chance over the running systems confidently without turning your Kindle into an empty black shell it is and does exactly the same as a phone. Only minus the camera and calls. Email. No problem. Word files. You gotcha.
I think once you regularly start using the Fire, it should begin to gain some sort of character and personality. Adding skins and accessories will only help me become more attached to my device. With that in mind there is a veritable treaure trove of goodies aimed at the new Fire owner (beware, the Fire is smaller than the Fire HD an cannot be used with covers, skins etc for use with this bigger model.) Apps get added as and when you find them, my Christmas gift list app being a firm favourite right now alongside amazon and solitaire (but no, I didn’t spend five hours playing on it) and I’m going to add other free apps from my favourite websites to ease the shopping experience on the run up to Christmas.
Getting online is easy and once you have popped your home broadband password in, you never need to do it again. Your Fire, when turned on to receive WiFi, will only prompt for connection if it cannot find your default/home connection.
Battery life is extended by turning off WiFi searching and if you only read books rather than playing solitaire for 5 hours straight (no, I did not do this, I just assume it’s common sense). To charge fully on an old style Kindle charger which, no, does NOT come with the product, luckily my OH has old style Kindle, takes a fair few hours which is probably why the cheeky bastards at Amazon took a charger out of the product specifics and now try to charge you an arm and a leg for the ‘Fast Charger’ or what ever the heck they call it, which charges, you got it, faster. This is the only downfall for me which has less to do with the product and more to do with greedy retailers.
I’ll add photos as and when I upload them onto my device. I’ll have to sync up my Galaxy and Fire to swap photos around through the laptop as intermediary… nice when they keep it simple no?