There are many reviews out there already about the new Kindle Fire (see Nook’s Specs Are Exaggerated, Again). I would not glority this posting by calling it a review — it is simply my first reaction upon receiving the kindlefire this afternoon. The fire was actually delivered to the Marriott Atlanta Century Center on Tuesday. I have been in Florida for the last few days and when I got notice of the shipping, I had the Kindle diverted to where I would be staying during the weekend for a University of Phoenix residency (more on that later).
My first reaction on taking the fire out of the classicly simple Amazon packaging was that it was heavier than I expected. It is not as heavy as the first Nook, but it is heavier than the other new Kindles. After a few hours of using it, I would say it is lighter than the iPad and not really so heavy after all. Speaking of the iPad, the obvious question from many will be “how does it compare to the iPad?” My son reminds me that the fire “is not an iPad”, and it should not be compared to something that is totally different in design and intention. I agree — the two are different animals with different purposes.
I had some difficulty setting up the fire because of the marginal WiFi signal in my room at the hotel. The fire wants you to confirm your Amazon account after getting a WiFi signal, but the Marriott wants you to confirm your room # before it activates your wireless. It took a while to figure out how to get around the Catch 22. The fire is clearly a content device — it is designed for reading books and the news, watching movies, and listening to music. There is a large selection of apps but I have not yet had time to try many. The free enhanced email program available in the Amazon app store works very well.
The fire navigation is a bit awkward but I think that is a matter of getting used to a different paradigm. The text entry mode has a nice movable cursor for use in corecting entries that is very nice. I need more time to experiment with it, but as a first impression, I think that text entry may be better than the iPad in that respect. I know — don’t compare the fire to the iPad! They are both great and I look forward to more experience with the fire and will share that as the days progress.