Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kindle Fire - First Impression

Out of the box...
I didn't expect to receive it before Friday the 18th. It was a very impressive unveiling, with minimal (but sturdy and secure) packaging, just a styrofoam form fitted around the bottom of the device, sort of like a fitted tray. The Kindle itself has some clear plastic around it that was easy to remove. It actually felt a little heavy, considering how small it was (slightly smaller than a Kindle 3 with a keyboard). The only accessory to worry about not losing was the wall charger.

It arrived partially charged, so I was able to turn it on immediately. It was already tied to my Amazon account and practically registered itself. Setting up the wifi connection was just as easy. All I had to know was the "password," which in my case is a series of numbers clearly marked on our home network box.

I plugged it in so it could fully charge. That took a couple of hours, but I was able to read and poke around in it during that time at my desk. The charger that came with it is just a plug in the wall type, but according to what I am seeing on Amazon and various other sites, you can use the same type of usb connecting cable that you can use on the Kindle 2 or 3. I had a couple of spares from other Kindles and can say they work fine. These cables are a usb connection on one end and a micro usb on the other end. I am so glad some things are interchangeable.

Getting to the Amazon Cloud Reader, or the regular Amazon Kindle app (both are ready to use when you first turn the Kindle Fire on), was as easy as touching the word Books at the top of the screen. I love the Cloud Reader because it gives you access to all your Amazon books. There is also a nice little link to the Kindle store for more browsing (gotta love it).

The regular Kindle app is very nice too, with easy access to your archives. Everything is very intuitive and easy to understand. That is a good thing too, because the user guide doesn't cover much more than the basics.

Naturally I hit the Amazon Prime Video area, pulling up a few random Star Trek episodes to test. When it comes to watching videos via the Internet on Amazon, it is amazing! And finally, FLASH web sites are no longer an issue. They just work! I have really missed that on the iPhone and iPad. Viva WiFi! And to think I can actually read a book on the thing too!

I can see already there is a lot to this little gem and I'm keeping it close for the next several days so I can explore it at will. It's going to be fun...

stay tuned...