kindle fire

When Amazon opened up pre-orders for the kindle fire, I bought one immediately. I received mine on Tuesday and I've been playing with it for a few days. So I thought I'd post a few thoughts.

A lot of what you think of kindle fire will depend on what your use case is. If you are looking for a less expensive iPad, then this is not for you. But if you, like me, are looking for a kindle with a browser on it, this could well be the device for you.

My biggest frustration with the kindle is that I can't jump out of the book and do a quick map lookup, wikiepedia lookup, google images lookup, etc. I blogged about that a few months ago. I've solved that problem by moving all my reading from the kindle to the kindle app on the iPad. But the 11" form factor of the iPad isn't ideal for me. I like something a bit smaller for reading on the couch, plane, or in bed. So that is why I hit the pre-order button immediately when Amazon announced kindle fire.

A number of critics have said that kindle fire is slow. I have not experienced that very much. It seems plenty snappy for me. Again, I'm mostly using it for reading and light browsing. I am not doing email on it. I am not doing spreadsheets on it. Graphics rich applications like Google Maps do seem to be slower on the kindle fire though.

So with all that said, here's a quick tour. The main screen is what you'd expect. Navigation and apps.

Kindle fire main screen

Just a word to the wise. Those Twitter and Facebook apps are web apps, not android apps or kindle fire apps. One of the things I don't understand is why the kindle fire doesn't run android apps natively. I think that's a huge mistake on Amazon's part. The Netflix app is a native kindle fire app.

The best part of this device is the kindle functionality. This is a kindle with an OS and a modern browser. Here's the book library and the book reader.

Kinde fire book library

Kindle fire book reader

As a book reading device, kindle fire works great. It is heavier than a kindle, about the same weight (I think) as an iPad. But because it is a smaller device and the same weight, it feels heavier in the hand. That said, I do not have any issue reading on the kindle fire for long lengths of time (same with iPad).

The browser great for reading. Here's the Gotham Gal's blog on the kindle fire.

Kindle fire browser

I do have a few issues with the way Google Maps works on the Kindle Fire browser. It seems less functional and a bit slower.

In addition to books and web, the kindle fire has tabs for newstand, music, video, docs, and apps. The only tabs that interest me on that list are apps and videos. I use the web to access everything else on that list (and much of the video I watch is also on the web). I used kindle fire to watch a youtube video in full screen mode on the treadmill this morning and it worked great (with headphones on).

The app store looks like this. It is pretty sparse right now from what I saw.

Kinde fire app store

Amazon Prime Instant Video is a pretty awesome service. We use it a lot in our home on our mac mini (sure wish it was available on Boxee). Here's what that service looks like on the kindle fire.

Kindle fire video store

So that's a quick tour of the kindle fire. I think it will replace the iPad next to my bed as my primary reading device. It's smaller and fits better in the hand. And while it is not much lighter, it still feels like a better reading device. The browser works fine. I can jump back and forth between reading and browsing easily.

It will be interesting to see how the rest of the family reacts to it. I will put it on our family room coffee table for a few days next to the iPad and see what the rest of the family thinks. If I learn anything interesting, I will report back.

Bottom line – if you are in the market for a kindle or a new kindle, consider this. If you are looking for a less expensive tablet, this is not a good choice, at least yet. I think the android tablets are a better choice for that.

Additional reviews:

Mossberg on Kindle Fire

Pogue on Kindle Fire


Comments (Archived):

  1. Elliot

    Is the fire as comfortable to read on as a Kindle w/ e-ink?  I have been debating whether to get a  Kindle Fire, but I can’t decide whether the addition of a browser is worth the subtraction of e-ink.

    1. Kevin

      That’s almost exactly what I was about to type … When they came out with the Kindle and Nook, I thought one of the points was that it was like reading paper.  If this is more like a typical computer or tablet, other than the weight and size issues you mentioned, is there really any reason to have both this and a tablet?  It would seem that the actual reading experience is the same.  

    2. fredwilson

      Great question. I never had that issue. I went to kindle on ipad and didnt look back (except at the beach)

      1. Elliot

        Thanks for the reply!  Part of my attraction to the Kindle is that I look at a screen all day and my “real” reading time is my reprieve from the bright, backlit glow.  I hope Amazon does not go all-in on the Kindle Fire and abandon e-ink.

        1. Elie Seidman

          very much agreed. really hope they don’t abandon e-ink. 

    3. kidmercury

      i’ve never seen a tablet that can compete with e-ink (i am a big fan of e-ink). rumor has it amazon is coming out with an e-ink/tablet hybrid next year. 

      1. James

        This is my biggest concern with the Fire too. As a previous poster noted, I too am on a screen or some kind or another all day. I really appreciate the easy reading e-ink and notice a big difference switching to an iPad. A hybrid device would be a very welcome solution to that problem, though frankly I would settle for a colour e-ink kindle first.

    4. John DeFilippis

      Completely agree about e-ink. If Amazon does a hybrid I’m in.

  2. Peter Sullivan

    Fred, you know how to read? 

    1. moreofthesame

      That comment is in desperate need of a smiley at the end.  🙂

      1. Peter Sullivan

        Hahaha yeah maybe a 🙂 would have made the joke more obvious 

        1. fredwilson

          I got it. See my reply

    2. fredwilson


  3. Steve

    You’re missing the link to the Gotham Gal’s blog.

    1. fredwilson

      Yup. My bad

  4. Martin De Saulles

    Fred, I take your point about not being able to look things up on the traditional Kindle but I rather like that.  I use a regular Kindle for most of reading now and prefer that I am not distracted by the lure of web.

    1. fredwilson

      Distraction is an issue but i crave the rich context that additional info can provide while reading

    2. Tracey Jackson

      I agree. I don’t wan to be reading and feeling the lure of “I wonder if they got back to  me yet?”

  5. William Mougayar

    I haven’t seen it or tried it, but I think I will wait for the Kindle Fire2, based on what I’m reading about it. If this is the Honda that will beat cars twice as expensive, the first model isn’t doing it yet.With the price point that it’s at, Amazon had to compromise on a lot of features, e.g. it doesn’t have GPS which might explain why the Google Maps experience wasn’t all there. It seems that the Fire is optimized for Content. That’s Amazon’s strength and it shows. From a segmentation point of view, it’s clearly in the middle, not too cheap, and not too expensive. But that assumes there’s this a large market segment in that middle. That remains to be proven at a large scale. The jury is still out on that one. I wouldn’t rule out a mini iPad from Apple at $249-$299.

    1. Rohan

      Interesting you think Apple will release a mini iPad, William..I would be very surprised..Doesn’t sound like them to do something to react to competition on price.Then again, who knows what Apple’s like post Jobs..

      1. William Mougayar

        I don’t believe it would be in response to Amazon necessarily. Apple understands user segmentation like no one else does. If they do it, it means there’s a big market for it.

        1. Rohan

          Ah. I see.I guess we’ll know soon enough :)@davewbaldwin:disqus 

      2. Dave W Baldwin

        @wmoug:disqus is right, though the cost part may be different.Steve was very surprized over the number of businesses that advance ordered the iPad since it was envisioned to serve the needs of the gal at home.The far reaching business/industrial uses of where they’re pushing require different dimensions/shapes. At the same time, we’re moving into the ‘customize’ era where everyone is of different size, habit and so forth. 

  6. kidmercury

    do you think you will travel with this device, or will it be home only?i really wish this was a full-blown tablet instead of a media device, that’s what i was hoping for. i’m too cheap to buy this and a nicer tablet so i will go with a better tablet and try to use it for both. if amazon can put out a hybrid e-reader/tablet for $200 or less i will definitely go for that.  

    1. fredwilson

      I will most certainly travel with it

      1. fendien

        i think its size and cheap price point make it the ultimate travel companion. at home, a huge win is the streaming content (arrested development from amazon prime video FTW!) and youtube, and then on the road its small form factor and library of content from books to interactive mags (enjoying Wired’s app) give you something to do on a plane/train

      2. Tracey Jackson

        What about low battery life?

        1. fredwilson

          haven’t noticed that yet

  7. Rohan

    Does it solve your backlight problem i.e. reading with lights off? You’d mentioned that you preferred the iPad for that reason..

  8. Dana

    Can you provide some insight on the Kindle Fire versus the Kindle Touch? mom is asking for a Kindle for Xmas to read her books, listen to music, and magazines..simple uses. Do you think the Touch would suffice–don’t need all the bells and whistles..PLUS everyone is reviewing the kindle and I have yet to see anything on the touch. Before I spend $$, I’d like some insight any where I can get it ;). Thanks!

  9. Steve Poland

    An aside: How do you queue up videos for future watching? I am watching videos now when using elyptical and want to start queing for laptop viewing.

    1. fredwilson

      i use boxee’s watch later bookmarklet and boxee’s apps on my laptop and my ipad

  10. JimHirshfield

    Am I reading it correctly…upper right: “joanne’s 5th kindle?”Early adopter? Big reader? One for each room in the house? ;-)Thanks for sharing. I might get one for my birthday.Do you feel it’s solidly built?

    1. Rohan

      1 for each table, more like ;)You’re assuming there are only 5.. haha 🙂

      1. JimHirshfield


    2. fredwilson

      two kindles – joanne and our oldest daughter, two ipads – family room and bedroom, and now kindle fire

  11. JimHirshfield

    Since it’s Wifi only, what’s the best app/utility for aggregating all your favorite online articles? Some sort of RSS reader, I suppose. Have you tried Google Reader on the Fire? Other RSS reader recommendations?

    1. Aaron Klein

      I use ReadItLater on my Android phone and that’s available in the Amazon App Store as well. Great offline support.It’s not quite a direct RSS reader (I wish it would just pull stuff directly from Google Reader or let me set up RSS feeds), but every time there’s something on Twitter I want to read, I tap share / add to Read It Later, and it starts syncing in the background.

      1. JimHirshfield

        Thanks Aaron. I use ReadItLater also – good to hear it’s in Amzn’s app store. 

      2. matthughes

        Instapaper also works great on iOS. 

        1. Aaron Klein

          Instapaper is cool too. Between them and RIL, the first one to add two more key features will win me for life.I want to be able to send them more than links. I should be able to forward an email, and have it take the PDF attachment and make that the document in my list to read. Or the text in the email.And I want to be able to set up RSS feeds to go straight into them. I want to dump having a separate RSS reader and just have my feeds sync right into this service.With the offline syncing that RIL already has (and I assume IP too), I’d be set. When I find myself on a train with no signal, I’ve got all the stuff I need to read right there.

          1. matthughes

            Wow, email hadn’t even occurred to me. Great idea.I started using Instapaper exclusively for reading material on flights.But now I find myself using it much more frequently.It’s become a quasi RSS feed for me.

    2. fredwilson

      i don’t use aggregators or RSS. sorry i can’t help on this one.

  12. Carl Rahn Griffith

    Love it. Great overview of it, Fred – thank you.  Sadly, I believe it is not available in the UK at this time, nor are there any UK release dates scheduled – I need to investigate.This would be perfect for me/us and so many people we know – I am (oddly enough) finding I hardly use my iPad now and instead have reverted to using my iPhone a great deal, preferring its compactness – so, something this size (and price) has a great appeal. Initially the iPad seemed so radical, powerful, compact, elegant – it now seems clunky and the iPhone seems to be our preferred casual browsing/email/etc device. Surprising – anyone else feel the same?Standard Kindle uptake in even our remote, rural village – has been very impressive – friends and people who rarely use a PC, don’t have a smartphone let alone an iPad, seem to be buying Kindles all the time around here – and they LOVE them. We (my wife and I) have the very nice Kindle App on our iPhones and iPads and are happy with it for any eBook we may have (although we are hard-copy book enthusiasts and love having real books on display – to us they make a house a home, especially as we collect vintage books – anyway, I digress….), so have not seen the need for a native standard Kindle – but the Fire, with browser support, etc, has a huge appeal – and a much bigger potential audience than the iPad, I’d venture.Well done, JB/Amazon. Can we have it in the UK, please? 🙂

    1. Rohan

      We’ve been turntabled.Again. That’s the new term. 😉

  13. Reykjavik

    I have two Kindles (one a gift, one I bought) and an Android tablet with a Kindle Reader loaded on it. I’ll use the Kindles at home during the day and the Android during the night. On the subway, I’ll use the Kindles, but I’ll travel with the Android. Perhap Nirvana is the next-generation hybrid color/e-ink display that we saw on the One Laptop Per Child project to get the tablets down to Kindle weight.

  14. kenberger

    Just as predicted and as we discussed in your August post, the Fire indeed pushes all things Amazon, and undermines Google, including omitting full-blown Market (replacing it with amazon app store). Many people won’t care, but people who want all the apps from their other Android devices might.Highly recommended: ROOT THE SUCKER!From…”Paradoxically, the iPad emerges as a much more Google-friendly device than Amazon’s Android tablet.”

  15. krluna

    Thanks for the review Fred.  Did it come with a power adapter? I was going to buy an Kindle Touch and at the last second I realized that the power adapter was not included.  Not sure why but this left me quite peeved.  I assume you will travel with the Fire, as I was planning to with the Touch but I just didn’t get why they would sell the power adapter separately.  Amazon is assuming that wherever I take my Kindle, I will be bringing my laptop.  I wonder if they sold it separately to keep their price below $100.  

    1. fredwilson

      yes, it came with a power adapter. but it is the same power adapter that my android uses (and my old blackberries used) so we have a ton of them lying around the house

  16. Guest

    I wanna determine my futurei can do it only if i am a creatorand only if, entrepreneurship is my cultureCourage and initiative are in my natureBuilding my startup is my next adventureI don’t copy, i don’t clone, i am not a duplicatorSolving people’s problems is my startup featurethe white color is my room’s paintureA bed and a pc are my fournitureSuccess is my only pictureand dreaming of my startup is my daily nourritureThank you for reading this literatureyour nice feedback will be an appreciated gesture

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      Everything interesting is a remix!

      1. testtest

        why can’t i post with just a picture? anyhow…

      2. testtest

        my feeble attempt at poetry. feedback not required!:innovation is gluehow much is truly new?who knows whatwho?innovation is built on pastthe past that was meant to lastpushing through, the newit takes work and classto see past the pastlets build something that will lastthey all say, until the newwho will build the next great new?is it you, or you, or you?

        1. Guest

          It is getting interesting :-)I wanna write a little more, and sorry for disturbing the others. But it is all about Entrepreneurship.Just build with no hesitationthis is the way for a new creationAlways get your custmor’s reactionand try to change the directionfreedom is our distinationbut what’s the freedom definition?is it just getting attentionor giving people self satisfactioni think it is a simple equationdon’t ask for any donationjust build what you think it is the solutionand make the world in a better situationthis is how you get high evaluation 

          1. testtest

            choose with gut or choose with datapolarize markets, get the hateryou’ll also get fans delightthat’s what makes it worth the fightbootstrap until tractionthen you’ll get VC reactionbootstrap with MVPthen grow it like a money treemarket must be of decent sizemake the work worth the prizegive the product personalityand open source what can be freeiterate best you canthen you’ll get the new fanstay true to vision, that’s a mustwin the market, don’t go bustkeep on growingkeep teams smallmax of 7that is allIPO or continue onwhichever one you find more fun

    2. William Mougayar

      I hope poetry is not part of your future :)Aside from that, you’ve got the right thinking.

      1. Guest

        Well, it was my first try :-)I follow the principle of:  failure is actually a success.

        1. William Mougayar

          As an occasional poet myself, I admit I was hard on you, but that was only to raise the expectations on what you can accomplish. That applies to poetry and business in the same way.Dissatisfaction is the first step towards progress.The more people criticize me, the more motivated I am to prove them wrong.

    3. Rohan

      Nice attempt.We all start somewhere. 🙂 With every attempt we get better. Look forward to the next one..

  17. PapaBear

    What about streaming? Can you extend this review to include UE with NFLX streaming. Thx.

  18. Goldfishes

    While this is a great device, I think that many will see it as a cheaper iPad with the same functionality and, and a result, be disappointed if they choose to purchase the Fire. The form factor does allow for it to be an appropriately sized reader device while still maintaining some other desired features, such as a browser, Netflix and the like.

    1. Floridaphil941

      Maybe you are right but that is the buyer’s fault – not the fault of the Kindle Fire. The specs are there for all to see.For me, I have absolutely no need for a rear camera, front camera, gps, bluetooth or any of the other nonsense I already have on my phone.I want the Kindle Fire, or the Nook Tablet not sure which yet, as a couch tablet. At home, on wifi. 3g is irrelevant particularly as I have a wifi hotspot built right into my phone. What the KF does offer is easy pick up, instant on, quick email checks, quick web browsing. It’s EXACTLY what I want.The constant comparisons sayng it’s not an iPad are becoming so tiresome. It’s clearly not an iPad. it was never meant to be.

  19. markslater

    our CTO walked in with one this morning. Its interesting to us on a bunch of levels. (not trying to be too self promotional). Merchants who are chatting with customers in our pilot are using either a laptop and the web service, or texting (using twilio of course ;)) – in some instances, we have restaurants who are using us to receive orders for lunch. the form factor of text is not useful (the restaurant in our office building gets bunches of orders at the same time) so they have a laptop – but the Fire represents an entirely new way for these use case to respond to multiple inbound conversations .We are looking at the fire as a POS system for businesses who chose to use getabl to receive orders. We are looking at including it as part of long terms contractual commits. 

  20. Elie Seidman

    Received mine yesterday as well. Short of Android getting tripped up by patent issues, I think that this an incredibly important milestone non Apple tablets. I had a v1 Kindle and have the current kindle. Massive improvement over time. If they make the same kind of strides with the Kindle Fire platform, in three years they will have eliminated the gap with the Apple iPad but will likely be selling them at a far lower price. Some people will justify the purchase of the more elegant and more beautiful Apple product. But like with the iPhone vs Android phones, most won’t. Apple was early but early does not last forever. 

    1. fltron

      Apple is a bit like a religion in that respect. If you don’t appreciate their ‘virtues’ as far as design and functionality, they’re okay to losing you as a customer. They never did lower their standards in their laptop business, and it’s proven to be a successful strategy… eventually since they have the only real growth in the laptop segment.More important then using the word ‘vs’ between these two platforms, is the knowledge that consumers have choice. I think there will be two main responses from Amazon Fire:1. As Fred, primarily happy customers that use it for reading and light browsing2. Customers looking for a cheap iPad that will be sadly disappointedRegardless, I think it’s naive to think the Fire won’t take sales away from the iPad (as some have been saying in their blogs). When the TouchPad went on sale, it made an iPad-like device affordable for more people. Kindle Fire is just that, an affordable device that does 80% of what the iPad is used for (percentage will vary depending on your use). Just like the iPad is a device that does 80% of what people use laptops for….Difference between the TouchPad and the Kindle Fire is the latter actually has a platform with money behind it, and a future.

    2. SubstrateUndertow

      “in three years they will have eliminated the gap with the Apple iPad “THREE YEARS ?

      1. Elie Seidman

        You’re right – probably much faster. 18 months?

    3. Elia Freedman

      You assume that Apple stands still. Amazon doesn’t need to catch Apple. It needs to be the best Fire it can be.

      1. Elie Seidman

        I don’t disagree. It will be the best fire it can be. In the process, it will close the gap with Apple and Apple’s share in tablets is likely to emulate what happened in phones.

  21. Doug Kersten

    I received my Kindle Fire on Tuesday.  I really, really like it and I think it will be very successful.  After using it I think video will be it’s killer app, even more then books.  My 7 year old son loves it.  He has watched several movies on it already and played Angry Birds and a couple of other games.  He didn’t even have to ask me how to use it.As a device I would like it to be a little more open regarding apps, but they haven’t completely locked it down either.  As it stands I think it is open enough to be successful.  The only thing I really wished it had was a front facing camera and microphone so I can do Skype video calls like I do on my Evo 4G.  Based on the price though, I definitely can’t complain.Most people have never owned an iPad and won’t notice supposed slowness or the things that are ‘missing’.  It is ‘good enough’ and that is all it needs to be.  It reminds me of the first cars that came out.  They were all expensive and few could afford them.  Then the Ford came out.  The Kindle Fire is the Ford and you can only get it in black.

  22. Tom Labus

    What about the strategy of selling the Fire at a loss?

    1. gomobile

      Its the same concept as selling cheap printers and cell phones.  Its all about the consumer and revenue perpetuity, because continued use requires someone to buy consumables.  In the case of the tablet its about books and movies. Jeff’s Momma is gonna get lots of shoes this and next year’s Christmas.

  23. Mordy Kaplinsky

    Your point about using a different device for different purposes highlights one of the under-appreciated and under-developed possibilities of Android, which can technically allow a user to buy an e-ink for reading in 5 inch format, e-ink 12 inch for textbooks, 7 inch pad for light work, 16 inch wall calendar, etc. and use them seamlessly across devices.

  24. gomobile

    Here’s the way I see it.  The Fire is an important entry level device that breaks the $200 price barrier for tablet consumer evolution.  Sometimes price is an important indicator of quality and in this case, use and application.  What’s it good at- it’s really a web, book and streaming movie device as Fred said.  But with only a 4gb hd, (no microSD card slot to expand it), no cameras, limited accessibility to APPs and an applied Android cell phone derived OS, it is enormously limiting vs a personal communications device like a iPad.  As you said Fred, its not. Even today tech folk within this price point have greater appreciation for the Nook Color and the Lenovo A1 tablet (~199-229).  The Lenovo has a camera, better processor, a card slot, connectivity free GPS and more.   My take- it’s only bottom of the 2nd inning.  We’ve got a long way to go.  Android will produce a much better tablet derived OS and manufacturing, consumer demand and competition will drive better products at cheaper cost. That’s a key, to turning these Android tablets into appliances with on and off switches a la the ipad.  Then IMHO Apple will have to succumb to competition and their stock price to compete by either producing a 7″ or lowering prices. I think the 3rd inning and 4th inning will go quickly.

    1. Tom Labus

      AAPL likes their margins a lot more than AMZN.

      1. pfreet

        That is 100% correct and yet completely useless to me. How does that affect which tablet I should buy?

        1. Tom Labus

          Let me explain.My “reply” was in response to the prior “comment” about Apple lowering their prices.That’s the way it works.

          1. gomobile

            Therein lies the difference that a technology company (and the fact that iTunes apps are ~.99 cents) and a content company that wants to sell their device cheap so people buy books, movies and get hooked on their cloud.  The real winner?  The consumer where both models flourish, tablets get in the hands of consumers for reasonable prices and they’re used by virtue of worthwhile hand picked owner’s wishes.

  25. Mike

    Fred, Thanks for the write-up. Now I can explain which one to buy to my wife!

  26. Dennis Buizert

    I am interested in buying one. But I could not find if it was for sale in a store. I’d love to have a look at it before I buy it. Dang it being european. lol

  27. Elia Freedman

    Fred, I do believe it runs Android apps. Amazon curates the collection like Apple does, though. Someone correct me if I am wrong.As a mobile developer, we have been watching Android for a very long time. One of my problems with it is that developing for Android is not actually developing for Android, it is developing for HTC and Motorola and Samsung. Yes, there is some cross-functional code but we are basically forced to make device by device decisions. The Fire is the first singular Android-based device that is enticing to me as a developer.

    1. hypermark

      The fragmentation story on Android is one of those, “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?” deals for developers. We never talk about Android in Windows-esque terms as a homogenous platform play. Rather, as you note, we talk about it in terms of specific target devices (not even specific vendors since there is such divergence on form-factors).When you bring that into the tablet realm, where Android is mostly a non-starter for lack of the media surround, and lack of installed base to drive application development, the Kindle Fire is the great white hope for a second viable tablet platform.Ironically, the hope there is Amazon builds a platform strategy that is native to their capabilities as opposed to targeting the lowest communicator within the Android ecosystem.I am very bullish that they can and will, the reasoning which I blogged about here:Amazon’s “Prime” challenger to iPad it out, if interested.Mark

      1. Elia Freedman

        Thanks, Mark. I’ll check it out. I follow a lot of the O’Reilly stuff so might have already read it even. 🙂

        1. hypermark

          Coolness. Thanks. 

  28. William Mougayar

    Somewhat related to this, TC is reporting a Citi analysts rumor that Amazon will do a smartphone next, and they think that Amazon doesn’t need to make money on hardware,- rather Amazon uses mobile devices as front-ends to their content. But I think that argument might make sense for the Kindle, but not necessarily for a smartphone.

  29. Floridaphil941

    Thanks for the review.  For Amazon Prime on the big screen I use a Roku box – they are dirt cheap and work beautifully.

  30. jason wright

    I think I read somewhere that the ipad 3 will be made from carbon fiber composite materials to make it thinner and lighter than the 2. I wonder if Apple will make a smaller diagonal version too to blow the socks off this Kindle? It will need to be at a cheaper price point though, but Apple could do this too.I dislike having multiple devices, and for all kinds of reasons. I just got a new t-shirt as a gift. It says  ‘LIVE SIMPLY’ on the front. I’m trying.

    1. baba12

      Living simply may require major changes in ones life, on the contrary many will say devices help you live simply. I am not sure if simple living is feasible for many who embrace social media online, they have need and desire to share whatever simple crap they are doing. Living simple can be hard for many…

      1. jason wright

        Some people fear living simple, fear that they might be missing out on ‘something’…. 

  31. Steven Kane

    when using Amazon Prime Instant Video on your mac mini, are you just loking at thru safari or some browser? or is there some mac app for amazon? i dont know of one…

  32. Pete Griffiths

    It will be huge.  A lot of the criticism of it smacks of the same kind of carping that we heard about the iphone and the ipad.  i.e. iphone doesn’t have cut and paste, it’s an overfeatured swiss army knife, the ipad is a big iphone etc etc  Amazon will of course continue to evolve it like crazy and between the fire and the ipad good luck trying to bring out a product with a competitive media offering and ecommerce platform.

  33. JamesHRH

    I don’t see any indication that Jeff Bezos sees Amazon as anything other than an online retailer. That makes the Kindle lineup an online distribution channel for Amazon media sales. The setup that you and Walt lay out reinforces that thought.The real question is will they resist the temptation to do computing functions and just keep the price down? I think they will. Which means, the  consumer online media market is likely set in stone: iTunes/iPad (incumbent) & Amazon/Kindle (alternate).Thanks for coming out everyone!

    1. Tom Labus

      AWS can provide a lot of fire power for them in multiple directions.

      1. JamesHRH

        But I don’t see them going anywhere else yet.AWS is a brilliant business – taking an internal advantage and commercializing it near flawlessly – but it is the plumbing of their online store, not a new direction (yet).I don’t think he thinks of AMZN as a tech innovator……..

  34. Akshay Mishra

    Although I’ve seen many people reading on a Kindle device on the Tube many times (and I’ve had the indecency to sneak a peek – just out of pure tech curiosity), I got to read properly from one only today (on a device belonging to a colleague).Coincidentally, I saw your post today and the third paragraph caught my attention. What if we had a thin device that actually opened like a book and had two screens (let’s put processing power/hardware feasibility aside for a moment) .It would, in my opinion, feel more like a book than the Kindle does and it would remedy the multitasking problem (for humans, that is – Android does it fine already). Anyone who has worked with two or more screens on a regular PC would know the immense productivity boost achieved by having more than one screen available and not having to flip between two apps constantly.I’m not sure if there are products which do this already – if not, I see a good market for this. Just my two pennies worth.

  35. baba12

    I have an ipad, I got a Nook Color and I got a HP Touchpad. I hacked the Nook and the Touchpad, I did do a hack of the ipad but I did not like the results so I reverted back to the factory default.I will say that hacking the Nook first to run Android’s honeycomb was good, it was not super fast but generally speaking it was/is perfectly good at allowing you to do everything from reading books to surfing the net using the Dolphin browser with gestures ( old school Palm style).The Touchpad is by far to me the best as the operating system is neither Android or ios but the gorgeous WebOS, HP managed to fuck the whole thing up ( thats another comment some day).I have managed to break the stupid lock that hulu put on the Touchpad.From a price/performance standpoint the HP Touchpad is just amazing. I don’t think Android is as smooth as ios or WebOS and the Amazon Kindle Fire runs a version of Android.It may meet the requirements for some but until the price drops I think it is not a great value proposition.If you signup as a WebOS developer or know someone you can still get some HP TOuchpads for a low price.

  36. Guest

    Actually from within the Kindle Fire you CAN do a quick google search or wiki look up. Tap and hold to bring up the curser and highlight what you want to look up. You then have a few options including the dictionary.Pretty cool stuff actually.

    1. fredox

      I assume the point was that you can’t do those things on an e-ink Kindle.

  37. ShanaC

    So, compared to the touch – if you are into reading, which one would you choose?

  38. Jason Gelman

    Good review.  If I’m not mistaken the Fire uses the regular backlit text as opposed to the E-Ink?  Does that bother anyone so far? My gut feeling is that I think I’m ok having my reader as a fully separate device from my browsing tablet.  I’d rather not be distracted when I read.  But maybe I will check this out to add that limited browsing capability to the reading experience. 

  39. leigh

    Gotta wonder how big the market is going to be for people who are willing to pay for a device that is simply just a bit smaller in the hand.It doesn’t seem like there are many advantages over the ipad which I personally much prefer as a reading device to the Kobo or the Kindle (the whole screen flash annoyed me too much to use it).I think i’ll just wait for the min-i-pad.  You know it’s coming 🙂

    1. RichardF

      I think the the market for a low priced tablet that allows people to consume media is massive.  Family members are going to have one each.Even the most fervent apple fanboys I know admit that they struggle to justify the price they’ve paid for an iPad given what they use it for – couch surfing.

      1. Carl Rahn Griffith

        As per my post earlier, I rarely use my iPad now – prefer to use iPhone once again if just casually surfing/etc. If anything remotely intense I get my MacBook – after novelty of iPad wears away it seems oddly neither fish nor fowl, now, personally.Kindle Fire will be huge. Yes, a junior iPad is the most logical progression – but must be circa £250 to have any traction.

        1. RichardF

          I’m going to have to get one sent over from the US Carl, I don’t think I can wait until the UK release

  40. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

    I’ve written maaaaaaaaaany times that the Kindle is a game-changer in the tablet world. Low price point + media ecosystem = winning device.

  41. Tracey Jackson

    I think the price is everything. Mine arrives today. There is no way it can replace my iPad as I use it for too many things. Sonos, Expensify, email, browsing, endless apps that all connect to my phone and computers. I read on a Kindle, but the e-ink is something I like and is proven better for the eyes. I never read books on the pad. I bought the Fire because I like the way the covers look in color. I’m not sure what I need it for but for 200 bucks I bought 2. One for my colllege age daughter who is e-readerless. My youngest has a Nook and a Pad and a touch. oldest pad and IPhone. Little one played with Nook for two weeks and ignores it. Prefers computer and iPod touch. Oldest computer and phone.My long drawn out point, I think for many the price is the thing. For 200 it’s a toy, but unless it does more especially for people who are very Applecentric not sure how it will compete. If it’s just for books the ink touch one might be better. Thanks for the update. I’ve been waiting to hear what you think.

  42. Turn Click

    Why not just use the original Kindle (e-ink) display which is much better for reading, and your Android or iPad tablet for browsing?  It’s probably more efficient to have both by your bedside.  For those of you with a Kindle Fire and an original Kindle, which device is superior for reading on for long hours?

  43. Tlash

    Thanks for the update. Last december i bought a Galaxy Tab (i have an ipad1 and an iphone)the Galaxy tab is about the size as the Kindle Fire, much lighter than the ipad, and it has 2 cameras etc.So, if you are looking something that has a kindle reader, smaller for reading (i agree the ipad feels too big heavy quickly) can run apps, it’s a good option–though more expensive. I’ve since turned off the verizonwireless and use it only wifi. It’s my main “reader”

  44. Bobby Davis

    And so the content wars begin….I don’t really think that Amazon cares much about selling Kindles vs. iPads. They want people to buy whichever is a better device for value, and sell their content on it.If Apple was willing to make a kick-ass machine at the Kindle Fire price point, Amazon would have had little reason to make the Fire. It could just sell its content on the Kindle store on the iPad. Sadly, this half-iPad doesn’t make economic or strategic sense for Apple to produce yet. The problem with the Fire is that it doesn’t take into account the iTunes-iPod monopoly. When Apple does come out with a price-competitive device, the Fire is going to get killed. We like listening to music and reading at the same time! Most people already have thousands of their songs in iTunes and would rather have one device instead of a Kindle Fire and an iPod. Fire lacks true media integration.For now, Fire fulfills a purpose. But I doubt thats sustainable. Also some sort of hybrid e-ink device by Apple or Amazon would be awesome- thats a real winner.

    1. Tom Labus

      Amazon has the content to win that war too.