Gadget Magnet: Is the Kindle Fire worth the time? - Gadget Magnet - Explorer

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Gadget Magnet: Is the Kindle Fire worth the time?

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By now, most people have heard of Amazon’s Kindle Fire. If you are hearing about it for the first time, or have heard of it but don’t know much about it, keep reading. It is a very useful device that you may not yet realize you want.

Since its inception in November last year, the Fire has sold millions of units and has been both applauded and criticized in the ever-growing tablet war. Its applause has come largely for its ease of use, variety of digital media, and price. Much of the criticism has come simply because it’s not an iPad, but does that mean the Kindle Fire is an inferior device? Absolutely not.

If you’ve ever thought of purchasing one, or just want to know a little more about this wonderful device, let me tell you what the Kindle Fire can do for you.

The specs (some of the geeky stuff) include: a 7-inch full color screen, a Dual-Core 1 gigahertz processor, and eight gigabytes of internal storage (enough for 80 applications, plus either 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books).

The Fire uses 512 megabytes RAM for everyday processing, runs a customized version of the Android OS, and has an external speaker (that actually works rather well). Finally, it weighs 14.6 ounces. Yes, that’s less than a pound.

But, does any of this matter if it is not fun to use? Nope. Happily, I can tell you that it is extremely fun to use. In fact, my family fights over using it every day of the week. My three-year-old daughter can already operate it like a seasoned veteran. Here are just some of my favorite things about the Kindle Fire.

Amazon

I admit it. I love Amazon. This tablet completely revolves around Amazon and its media options. You get apps through the Fire’s very own app store (including a free app every day that normally costs money). If you are an Amazon Prime subscriber, you can stream movies and TV shows from a vast and always expanding library. Not to mention, Amazon gives you 5 gigabytes of cloud space to upload those important documents, photos and MP3’s to access on your Kindle Fire. Finally, the browser, called Silk, truly shines on this tablet.

Books

Books are wonderful to read on the Fire. Unlike the iPad, you can actually hold and navigate pages with one hand. The size of it makes reading enjoyable and it has different fonts and sizes to appeal to anyone’s eyes. Magazines work nicely in this format as well. Just about all of the magazines they offer will give you a trial of some sort to try things out. Also, remember that this has a backlight, so no need to purchase that extra clip-on light.

Multimedia

The multimedia options are fun to explore. There are a ton of fun and informative games for people of all ages, everything from learning how to read, to killing zombies, and everything in-between. There are so many great choices, that you will find yourself spending hours searching for your new addiction. Movies look and sound really good on the Kindle Fire. It’s not going to replace the TV in your living room, but for entertainment on the go, it does a fantastic job. While it may not be ideal for music like an iPod, it does just fine when you want to hear some impromptu music.

So, in conclusion, is the Kindle Fire worth the money? It costs about $300 less than the entry-level iPad 3 and can do just about the same things an iPad can. It cannot take pictures, so if you for some reason want to use your tablet as a camera, then the Fire is not for you. If you want something that is fun for the whole family, won’t break the bank, and will help you ease your way into the wonderful world of tablets, then the Kindle Fire could be right up your alley.

For more information on the Kindle Fire, visit www.amazon.com. If you already own or decide to purchase the Kindle Fire and need assistance setting it up, or training to get familiar with it, give us a call. We can schedule a private lesson and turn you and your family into Kindle Fire pros.

(Editor's Note: Ryan Van Langen is cofounder and partner of PCRx Computer Solutions, a local Tucson computer company. For computer and technology related questions, or to schedule an appointment with PCRx, call 1-855-ASK-PCRX (1-855-275-7279) or email support@pcrxonline.com. For more information about PCRx Computer Solutions, visit www.pcrxonline.com.)

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