In this video we took a look at the Kindle Fire mini tablet device. This was from a viewpoint of which we have been using the Kindle 3 ebook reader for a number of years now, so it was interesting to compare and contrast both models. What is apparent is that these two devices serve two very different purposes and both are good at what they do.
If you want to get this device predominantly to read ebooks (like the ones you get from the Amazon Store then you still absolutely cannot go wrong with an ‘e-ink’ device such as the original Kindles (i.e. Kindle 3). The screen is much nicer on the eyes as it does not require a backlight which could otherwise be tiring to look at – but it’s only monochromatic which means good for black and white text and pictures. The battery life is astounding, probably about a month with reading every day. And it’s simple and easy to use. Works with the Amazon store, plus easy to email books to it (for example free books from Project Gutenburg). It does have a simple (albeit slow) web browser, can play mp3s through it’s onboard speakers, and does things like text-to-speech.
On the otherhand if you want something a bit more exciting, above and beyond just than consuming ebooks, then the Kindle Fire is your fella. This does it all: ebooks, movies, videos, music, newspapers, comics, the web. It is definitely a veritable iPad killer, the screen is more than adequate, media playback is good, the browser fully equipped, and it’s about a third of the price. Out of the box the Kindle Fire comes with a month free trial of LoveFilm which has a massive collection of videos to watch, which stream through your wifi connection (normally £5/month). There are also free trials for newspaper subscriptions. We thought that for reading ebooks however, the screen would feel too bright to use at length, also it was quite a hefty weight. Plus the battery will last you about 4-6 hours so get ready to charge everyday (or will it become just another piece of kit that is too much hassle to keep remembering to charge and you eventually top using regularly?)
So in conclusion:
- Great for rich-media consumption
- Make sure you factor in £5/month for the LoveFilm subscription (worth it if you go for the Fire)
- Make sure you’ve got wifi in the places that you intend to use LoveFilm
- The superior ebook reader
- Light and confortable screen to use
- Simple menu system (screen reader for great accessibility)
- Battery life is great