Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Kindle Fire: Fully Loaded If A Little Fuzzy

The Amazon Kindle Fire was released on Nov. 15, and shockedconsumers with its $199 price tag. It seems like most of the rhetoric aroundthe device has been its price, and while that certainly is a huge part of itssuccess, it also has some pretty spiffy features.

I have a Fire and I've compared it to a friend's Barnes andNoble Nook and in just about every unscientific test, the Fire came out ahead.First of all, it feels great in the hand. It's a solid device that doesn't feellike you will break it in half if it gets roughed up a bit. The sleek edgesfeel like they could be an Apple product but they won't cost you an arm and aleg like some of that company's products.

The Fire also has a great app store. The Amazon App Storehas thousands of apps with tons being added daily. The Free App of the Dayfeature is a really great benefit as well. I recently downloaded the My FirstPuzzles app after it came on the App of the Day and my little nephew has probablybeen using the device as much as I have lately. The free app offerings are agreat touch.

In addition to apps, Amazon's Prime service is great forstreaming movies, TV shows and borrowing books for free. The $79 subscriptionfee is a little steep but when you consider that there are more than 10,000movie and television titles to be screened, the price seems almostinsignificant.

The device is not without its drawbacks. There are theobvious points where it doesn't stack up to the iPad, like the lack of a cameraor microphone but the Nook also bests the Fire in a few places. In a recentstudy by DisplayMate, the Fire was found to be twice as reflective as the Nook.The white balance also leaned a little to the yellow side.

I have noticed that the Fire's display doesn't seem quite ascrisp as my friend's Nook, but as long as I am able to see the screen clearly,which I certainly can — probably better than on my laptop — I'm a happy camper.The Fire is a great device if you can get over the relatively poor display andat $199, it won't burn up your savings.

Margot is a technology writer and self-professed expert onhow to get a deal using a Dell coupon

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