The Kindle Fire isn’t the Apple iPad

Please take heed of this specific warning:  This article wasn’t written by the founder of this blog (i.e., Vinh Nguyen).  This article had been submitted by a contributor, Olivia Lennox, and so the point of view, belief, and other values profess in this article might not be the same values that holds true.  If there are links within this article, please use to check to see if the link is indeed free of virus, trojan, and malware.  Also, you might want to use Google and other well known online resources to validate the contents of such links.  Enjoy!

Kindle Fire: Out of the Box

Image by Brian Sawyer via Flickr

The first five million or so customers now have their new Kindle Fire from Amazon. Over half of those have already played with their new gadget while the rest are being gift wrapped for Christmas. Will those people wish for an iPad instead?

Although people keep comparing them, the two are not really related enough to be an either/or purchase, but the price of the Kindle brings the tablet within the financial reach of most.

The Fire is going to set many people’s Christmas alight, but it’s what the computer doesn’t do that will disappoint so many.

Where’s the Fire’s Camera?

The recipient of your gift will want to know where the camera is. Sorry folks, there isn’t one. You might want to Skype with your new toy, but you will have to wait for the next model. The lack of a camera shouldn’t stop the purchase as everyone has a phone with a camera.

The iPad isn’t really set for camera work, either, though at least it has one. The megapixels are too low for good photography, but they will be enough to take some simple photographs if all you want to do is email them to friends or post on your favorite social media site.

All iPad owners will need a separate iPhone because holding your iPad to take shots will make you look foolish. Try imagining it: a camera that large.

Where’s the Microphone?

Looking for the mike? You won’t find one on the Kindle Fire. If you thought this could take over as your business tool, forget it. The option to take short voice notes or dictate an attachment to your essential email just won’t happen. You will still need to carry around your digital voice recorder. That’s another failing to go with the lack of Skype capability.

Where’s the Rest of the Screen?

You know as soon as you open the package that the screen is so much smaller on the Fire than on the iPad. If you use your calculator app you will find you have 21 square inches against the iPad’s more generous 45. That is less than half the viewing space, for the failing mathematicians out there.

It does give you a much smaller and more portable gadget. You can carry it anywhere and it will fit in a surprisingly high number of pockets, but this might make it the next best thieves’ target.

How the smaller screen will affect your game playing is down to your preferences, but those on public transport may prefer the smaller model. It will be interesting to see if Apple launches a 7 inch model like the Fire and the smaller Samsung or whether Amazon goes for a 10 inch screen first.

I Can’t Find My 3G

Like the Nook tablet, with the Fire you don’t get the option of 3G or, what the latest gadget people require, 4G. You will only be able to connect online via Wi-Fi with the Fire. This shouldn’t cause a problem in most stationary uses, but for those roaming in the back seat of an auto, the lack of 3G might prove costly. Wi-Fi has become free almost everywhere, so at least your 3G data costs will be low.

The Difference Is In the Price

It’s not really fair to compare the two toys/computers. While some will argue that the difference is in the availability of apps for the iPad, that bridge is closing fast. Soon that won’t even be a consideration.

Whichever model you choose, you will have to battle with the brand’s parent company who insists that you trade exclusively through them. That is Amazon’s selling point; everything is available at a click and for those replacing their Kindle reader with the Fire, as long as they aren’t outside in blazing sun, the experience may be improved.

The lack of GPS in the Fire shouldn’t be a deterrent, but the lack of gigabytes under the hood might be, so you will be forced to use Amazon’s cloud experience. (How long before they start charging for that, we wonder?)

The price difference will be the tightest call. At just $199, almost anyone can buy a Kindle Fire while the $500 to $650 required for an iPad might be a bigger stretch. Perhaps the answer is to stop seeing the Fire as an iPad competitor and buy a Samsung tablet (with better use of the screen, Android and apps) instead.

Olivia Lennox is a writer, bookworm, and gadget-obsessed ebook fiend. She loves digital books and the freebies made possible by paperless reading, but hasn’t quite been convinced to sell her paperback library just yet.

Please take heed of this specific warning:  This article wasn’t written by the founder of this blog (i.e., Vinh Nguyen).  This article had been submitted by a contributor, Olivia Lennox, and so the point of view, belief, and other values profess in this article might not be the same values that holds true.  If there are links within this article, please use to check to see if the link is indeed free of virus, trojan, and malware.  Also, you might want to use Google and other well known online resources to validate the contents of such links.  Enjoy!

Which Tablet Should You Buy On Black Friday?

Steve Jobs while introducing the iPad in San F...

Image via Wikipedia

I have a friend who concerns about should he buy an iPad 2 or some other tablets on Black Friday.  The truth about tablet is not all about the hardware!  It’s great to have great hardware on a tablet if one decides to play cutting edge games on a tablet.  My bet is that most hardcore gamers rather play their games on consoles and computers than on tablets.  My friend definitely isn’t a hardcore gamer, and so I don’t think his wanting to buy a tablet is for gaming.

Kindle Fire Large Image Has Some rights reserved by Courtbean On Flickr.comI figure my friend wants a tablet for other reasons and not for playing cutting edge games.  These reasons might be watching movies on Netflix, listening to music, using apps, playing casual games, reading news, checking emails, keeping notes, reading ebooks, and other trivial stuffs.  Anyhow, I explain to my friend that he should get a tablet according to his content needs, and so should you!

Let say if you have so much contents that are tying to iTunes already, and you also want to use iTunes Match and iCloud, then I suggest you buy an iPad 2.  If you have mostly Amazon contents or wanting to invest in Amazon contents such as buying Amazon ebooks, then I suggest you check out Kindle Fire.  Of course, there are other tablets besides the two that I’d mentioned, but none of those tablets could beat the two that I mentioned in regarding to contents.  For your information though, other tablets might have beefier hardware specifications than iPad 2 and Kindle Fire, and iPad 2 has beefier hardware specification than Kindle Fire.

I hope my friend will buy a tablet that fits his content needs, and so should you!  Good luck on finding a super deal for a tablet on Black Friday!

Amazon’s Newest Kindles And Tablet To Woo Customers Away From iPad This Holidays

Amazon announces their new devices that soon to be shipped out to customers starting in November 21 of this year.  Meanwhile, Amazon is taking pre-orders of Kindle Fire, Kindle Touch, and Kindle 3G Touch.    These newest models yet of Kindle are completely reinvented and digressed from the older models.  These newest models yet completely abandon the physical tiny keyboard that the older Kindle models carry.

Android powered Kindle Fire is a color 7 inch screen tablet.  Even though it is powered by Android, the custom Android OS on Kindle Fire is much more simplistic and different than the standard Android OS.  Perhaps, Amazon could not work out deals with operators, because Kindle Fire isn’t coming with 3G connectivity.  Instead, Kindle Fire taunts Wi-Fi connectivity only.  Without a camera on Kindle Fire, it makes Kindle Fire one less important feature that almost all devices in the market are carrying.  Yes, Kindle Fire has touchscreen display.  Within the device, dual core Texas Instruments OMAP processor will be the heart and brain of Kindle Fire.  It’s sufficiently to say Kindle Fire’s 8 hour battery life isn’t satisfactory as E-Ink Kindle models, but it’s comparable to other color tablets on the market in term of battery life.

The lighter and buttonless Kindle Touch and 3G Touch are the other two newest yet Amazon’s Kindle devices.  Without a physical tiny keyboard, Kindle Touch and 3G Touch users have to rely on tapping on specific areas to interact with the Kindles.  These two newest models yet use Infrared Touch Screen technology.  Kindle Touch and 3G Touch sport the more advance E-Ink display than the older Kindles.  Sources say battery life of Kindle Touch and 3G Touch are also longer than the older Kindles.

Amazon plays it smart by pricing newer Kindles way cheaper than competitors such as Apple.  Kindle Fire prices at $199.  Kindle Touch prices at $99.  Kindle 3G Touch prices at $149.

Even though Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos doesn’t think Kindle Fire as a tablet but as a service, I’ve to say Kindle Fire is comparable to the tablets on the market.  Whether Apple likes it or not, Kindle Fire is less than half of the price of the cheapest Apple’s iPad.  Unlike HP Touchpad which sold half the price of iPad also and had driven customers to a buying frenzy, Amazon’s Kindle Fire is a gateway to Amazon’s formidable services such as Kindle’s ebooks, instant streaming movies, and magazines.  Also, Amazon has released its own mobile web browser known as Silk to be used with Kindle Fire, toying that it will be faster than other mobile web browsers in a sense it utilizes Amazon cloud service for processing and calculating, alleviating the workload of a browser through the processing power of the cloud.

Kindle users who are familiar with Whispersync technology of Amazon might be glad to know that besides ebooks, other contents such as movies are now utilizing this very technology now.  Whispersync will synch the farthest page of an ebook or location of a movie (and other contents) so the users won’t have to manually recovering the last page of an ebook or last location of the movie that they had read or seen.  It’s very convenient for users just to jump right back into the contents that they had not the chance of finishing earlier.

Personally, I think Amazon’s Kindle Fire isn’t an iPad killer, because it is not more powerful or better than iPad in technological specification.  Then again, if Amazon does a better job at wooing customers to use their services more such as buying more ebooks and watching instant streaming movies and reading more electronic magazines, then I think Amazon’s Kindle Fire and all other Amazon’s Kindle devices will be iPad killers.  Seriously, content is king!  Without the contents, the hardware are just soulless.  Lastly, when the price is right, everything becomes king of kings.  Amazon has priced their new Kindles with the right prices.  I’ve a feeling many people will rush to buy more newer Kindles and buy less iPad in this upcoming holiday.  Which?  Christmas, of course (i.e., December 25, 2011)!