UPS delivered the Kindle Fire the day it was released. First impressions after getting some feedback from co-workers and using it at home with the kids:
- Interface-wise, there’s a power button, headphone jack, and a microUSB for charging and connectivity. That’s it.
- I love the size. I always thought the iPad was a little too big – if I’m going to carry something that big I’d rather it be a light laptop. The Fire fits into the pocket of dress pants or cargo pants. If you’re carrying any kind of bag, purse, or backpack you’ve got room for the Fire.
- The kids and I watched part of the Jetsons movie in HD and three episodes of “Fractured Fairy Tales.” Even on our home cable modem that doesn’t have the fastest cable speed the video streamed smoothly without a blip.
- The two speakers are on one of the narrow ends. There isn’t much stereo effect and when you’re watching video in portrait mode the sound comes from one side. Earbuds will be a popular accessory. (And I like the kids watching video on the Kindle better than TV. It’s quieter.)
- My friend Adam thinks the most popular accessory will be a microfiber cleaning cloth. The screen shows smudges pretty readily.
- That’s two accessories. A carrying case with a small pocket would be swell. Or I guess tape a Ziploc to the inside of a carrying case. Black duct tape FTW.
- More apps will make it more better. The Email app works okay with Gmail, but I’d like to use Google apps, either officially supported or sideloaded through the USB port.
Won’t someone please think of the children?
I bought this for my 5 and 7 year old kids. With children in the house I have to ask myself a few questions when I’m buying something:
- “Could my kids break this?”
- “If they broke it, could I afford to run right out and buy another one just like it?”
- “Without having an aneurysm?”
The Kindle Fire’s $199 price tag makes it affordable enough for the kids to use. If they destroy it I’m not out too much money. If they start fighting over it it’s cheap enough I can buy another one to keep the peace.
We had a quick Kindle class where I showed them how to open apps, get to the Home screen, scroll, change volume, and fast-forward and rewind in videos. They took to the touchscreen instantly.
We also talked about the Kindle Rules:
- We don’t buy paid apps unless mommy or daddy say it’s OK. Only free apps that have a price of $0.00. I also showed them the Amazon Prime symbol, which means movies and TV shows are free.
- If the screen gets dirty we don’t clean it with water or Windex. Water is bad for electronics, boys and girls.
- When you’re done with the Kindle it always goes on a table. Not on top of something on the table, because it could slide off. It goes flat on the table.
- The Kindle doesn’t leave the house unless mommy or daddy say it’s OK.
- Next step: decide on a place to put the Kindle when we’re done with it. When we put it up connect it to the charger so it’s ready the next time we need it.
Whenever you download an app – pay or free – Amazon sends you an order email, just as if you had ordering something from their store. Since the Fire is registered to me, that means I know everything that’s been downloaded and can make sure the kids aren’t buying apps or movies.