Don't get me wrong, the Kindle Fire is an awesome device. It was just four years ago in November that Amazon released the Kindle First Generation for $399. This device is half the price and is a gazillion times sexier. [The same month saw the introduction of the OLPC and the first Asus netbook. Each of these was also $399. I still have my first Asus netbook and it is a total piece of junk.]
But now that we are in the land of milk and honey – device-wise anyway – we can be ever so picky.
Here's some thoughts about the Kindle Fire:
Kindle Hardware Comparisons
Kindle definitely feels heavy. Which is somewhat surprising given the stats:
- Kindle Fire 14.6 ounces
- Nook Tablet 14.1 ounces
- iPad 21.6 ounces
In comparison: iPad 1024 x 768 on 9.7 in screen which gives 132 ppi
• Lacks buttons
• Charger is not as nice previous Kindles and cable is very short
I have had a Nook Color for several months. This is the older $249 version. Almost as soon as I got it I also purchased a Nook2Android Mini SD card for $35 that when inserted turns the Nook into a full Android 2.3.4 machine. So here are some thoughts comparing the Kindle Fire towards the standard Nook as well as towards the rooted Nook
Kindle Fire Versus Standard Nook
User interface for both are about the same: designed for dummies and not set up for a lot of apps.
Nook: Number of apps very limited. No alternatives.
On the Kindle Fire, if you go to the settings > more > device you can allow "allow installation of applications from unknown sources” enabling you to get a variety of applications not available in the Amazon store.
Kindle Fire – with ability to source apps outside of the Amazon store – wins hands down
Kindle Fire Versus Rooted Nook
Nook: Full Android 2.3.4 tablet with Access to entire Android marketplace with thousands of apps.
Access: NY Times using same subscription as in Windows, full Google Docs, and much, much more
Kindle Fire wins as a content delivery system but Nook wins elsewhere
Rooted Kindle Fire
A rooted Kindle Fire, unlike the rooted Nook, might not be worth it because the Kindle would probably not have access to all the Kindle-specific content.
- I am convinced more than ever that I want a full Android tablet.
- A 7 inch screen with at least 102 4 x 600 resolution is sufficient to deal with normal web viewing.
- Instant-on is glorious.
- I really miss a physical keyboard, but the swiping keyboard applications are pretty interesting.
- Evernote, Dropbox, Pulse and LastPass are developers that are really doing a good job without being everywhere on day one
I still think what I will be carrying around by the end of the year will be either:
Motorola Atrix 2 phone with Lapdock 100 tablet
Google Nexus Prime phone with a tethered Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet
The phones by themselves will have sufficient resolution and size to replace either/both of the book readers.
Both the Kindle and the Nook will fade into the background – probably the coming digital picture frames or kitchen computers.