If you had asked my co-workers before the holiday season which tablet I might buy, they would have all put money on the Apple iPad. After all, I’m the only one in the office with the iMac, and I’ve brought up Steve Jobs at a few staff meetings.
But I never considered an iPad. Two days after Christmas, I let go of my Apple bias and bought a Kindle Fire. Why? Several reasons:
- I already have a laptop, so I couldn’t justify spending $500 for another, no matter how beautiful and useful it turned out to be.
- The main reason I wanted a tablet was to read e-books, so I knew cheaper e-readers existed.
- I knew I would use my tablet for content consumption above all else.
The Kindle Fire does one thing well – help you browse and consume content. The other thing it does better – direct you to buying that content from Amazon.
- Easy to set up, and get going with access to your Amazon content.
- Changing the appearance of type while reading books is nice.
- The size is perfect.
Not a Fan of…
- Silk: It’s slow, very slow. I turned the acceleration off and it sped things up.
- App Store: Not even a Twitter or Facebook app, but glorified links to mobile sites. That’s ridiculous. Updates come to the Amazon App Store much slower than normal. Sometimes, it wants me to update an app, but won’t let me update the app – probably because the Amazon-approved version isn’t available.
- Navigating the perils of converting e-book files back and forth proved to be a learning experience. Luckily, there’s Calibre.
In the end, the Kindle Fire gives me what the iPad could not – a supercharged e-reader with a reasonable price tag. I can read and buy books all I want, and when I need to, check websites, blogs, etc. I’m excited to see how my reading habit will change this year. In the end through, if Apple made a $200 or even $250 iPad Lite, I would have bought it instead.