Kindle Fire: Should You or Shouldn’t You?

by Stephanie Hart

Let me start off by saying that I’ve only read six books on this Kindle. Well…three, really, but I read them all twice. That counts as six, right? Oh, which ones, you ask? (Even if you didn’t ask, you get to hear the answer) The Hunger Games series! Yes, I primarily wanted this Kindle so I could transport my beloved Peeta around with me where ever I went (fine, go).

Secondly, this is just one person’s review. A person who isn’t a die-hard reader; rather she’s someone who just reads when there’s a book that’s of interest to her. She would also like to mention that she thinks she’s funny, so at the funny points, you should laugh. But she’ll let you try to figure out the funny points on your own.  Onwards.

Kinds of people who would benefit from a Kindle Fire:

  • Steph getting introduced to the Kindle FirePeople who are big fans of the digital age (that is, those who don’t absolutely NEED a hardcopy of every book you read).
  • People who commute a lot and could do without any extra bulk in their bag.
  • Students who aren’t the write-all-the-notes-in-all-the-books type and don’t mind reading on a screen.
  • People who have ADD (Seriously. If you want to read a book, you can. But if your concentration is waning, you can also check your email quickly, and then get back to your book later).

Things about the Kindle Fire that should make you run as fast as you can to purchase one:

1. Compactibility: This thing in THIN! The Kindle Fire can slide into even the smallest of purses (and maybe even a large man’s cargo jean pockets?) Sometimes it actually gets lost in my big bag and I panic. But it’s always chilling somewhere at the bottom. I commute to work on public transportation for at least an hour a day, so having something that’s of value to me that doesn’t take up a ton of space (unlike my lunch) is important.

2. Screen size: Basically I just dig that it’s bigger than my phone and smaller than my computer. I don’t have to squint at my phone, yet I don’t have to drag out my laptop if I want to check the interwebs on the go. Which, let’s be honest, happens a lot.

3. Holds a ton of information: But really, how cool is it that I can have three novels, the Holy Bible, Merriam-Webster’s unabridged dictionary & a self-help book all in my bag at the same time? On one little device! And that’s just the beginning of it!

4. Free stuff:  The Hunger Games series wasn’t free, but the Bible was. And various authors give away limited editions of their books for free on the Kindle. There are also web sites out there packed with tons of free books for the Kindle Fire. I almost got one about photography, but then for some reason I didn’t. I will now though. Be right back…

5. Battery life is awesome: I give it a long, full charge maybe once a week. That’s all it needs!

Kinds of people who might not be best friends with the  Kindle Fire:

  • People who hate reading. This is, after all, mainly a book-carrier. If you’re only using it for the internet/apps, why bother? I’m sure you have a phone.
  • People who are in denial about the inevitability that books will no longer be printed someday.
  • People who aren’t that great at mastering gadgets.

Things about the Kindle Fire that I wonder about/get frustrated with:

1. The screen: I know, I know, earlier the screen was a good thing. But sometimes I get jealous of the people with the regular Kindles. After their day at work on the computer is over, they get to read their books without the stress of a bright screen on their eyes. Sometimes I just want to read, but my eyes hurt and I don’t want to look at something bright, so guess what I do? I don’t read. And then I cry. Another thing about the screen: It’s verrryyyy touchy. Like, one sliiiiightest graze of the finger on the right side and you’re onto the next page. This can be frustrating. Please, make me work for it a little bit. At least so I can remember what page I’m on.

2. Wireless factor: If there’s no wireless around, or you don’t have a password, then you’re out of luck. Pretty sure you can’t buy a 3G plan with the Kindle Fire. If you can, hook me up.

3. The power button: *frustrated rant alert* Why is the power off button on the side? And why can it SO easily be pressed and shut off? Too many times I’ve been at a good part in the HG or looking up a very important word in the dictionary and all of a sudden my Kindle says “Would you like to power down?” and I say back “In fact, I don’t!” And then I realize that the way I’ve been holding the Kindle (against my lap, propped up with the bottom on the table) has made it so the button gets pressed. So. Easily.

Sidenote #1: For this reason exactly have I been known to hold the Kindle Fire upside down. The screen rotates so that leaves me with the power button on top, and less of a chance of shutting off.
Sidenote #2: I don’t have a cover for the Kindle Fire. Maybe this will help the powers-down-without-wanting-it-to catastrophe? Leave me some suggestions in the comments. Thanks.

4. The home screen: I wish there was a way to “list” the apps & books on the home page, instead of scrolling through everything. This is also another place where the touchiness of the screen is frustrating. I want to get to the Twitter app, so I scroll through (to the right), but I’m not sure just how hard I should flick my finger. Apparently this time is was a little too hard, so it takes me all the way to the last book in the menu. Kindle, that’s not what I wanted.

5. Just a vanity issue: From what I’ve seen, there’s no way to change the pictures that show up when you turn it on. I think it would be cool to change that, seeing as it turns off and on so many times. You might as well like the pictures…

Kinds of people who will be on the fence about the Kindle Fire: 

People, like me, who love technology, but also LOVE real books. The Kindle Fire is mainly a convenience to me. It’s easy, it’s small. But there’s nothing like curling up with a good book. I’ve tried curling up with the Kindle Fire and guess what, IT DOESN’T WORK. The power button shuts it off. But, if I’m on the train, sitting up straight, very bored…. the Kindle Fire is basically my best friend. So I have to pick and choose. Which books do I think I’ll want to curl up with? Which books would be good commuting books? Buy the curl-up books in the flesh. Buy the commuting books on the Kindle Fire.

There you have it. Easy peasy. Nice and ‘read-y’.

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About Brain Logic, LLC

Brain Logic helps companies understand how their customers think in order to design their technology, products and processes to deliver optimal customer experiences and boost the ROI of their investments. For more information visit www.brainlogiconline.com or email jill@brainlogiconline.com
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