Sunday Book Thread: Kindle Fire Review

Okay, so here it is: my review of the Amazon Kindle Fire.

I'll give you the conclusion first: I like it. I don't love it, but I like it. (You can jump to the end of the review for a fuller qualification of this judgement.)

This is a nicely built but very plain unit. It's meant to do one thing: access your digital content on Amazon. (And to surf the web a bit.) It's really just an electronic window into Amazon's store; it's not meant to be a fully-fledged tablet computing device.

I've had a few days to use the Fire, and one thing stands out above all -- I got exactly what I expected to get. The Fire is a dense little monolith of black plastic and glass (with a rubberized back) that is featureless except for three little indentations along the bottom edge that expose a headphone jack, a mini-USB port (for both data and power), and a power button. That's it. [EDIT: There are also two little speakers set into the top of the unit.]

The unit really needs a hardware "home" button. I mean, it really needs one. The navigation keys (home, back, search, options) are generally hidden when you're reading or watching a movie, and it's not obvious what you're supposed to do to get back to the home screen. (When reading a book, for example, you have to finger-press in the center of the screen to bring up the menu; if you press too close to either edge, you simply turn the page.) If you want to change the volume, you have to bring down the "settings" menu, and while this isn't too burdensome for me, some hardware volume buttons might be nice as well.

This unit is WiFi only (no 3G), and so far the network aspects have worked just fine. I can download or stream content speedily, and the unit came pre-configured to access my Amazon account. All my "cloud" media -- books, movies, TV shows, music -- were present and could be easily accessed. I found streaming my media to be convenient, but if you want to download your media to the local storage and consume it later (if you're out of WiFi range, for example), you can do that as well. The internal memory is fairly limited, though: 8GB, of which about 6GB is available for storage. This gives you ample room for books, but for movies and TV shows you may find yourself getting squeezed. And there's no option to expand the storage: no SD card slots or anything. What you see is what you get -- and it's all you get.

When you turn the unit on, you get a customized Amazon version of the Android smartphone/tablet operating system. My unit immediately updated itself the first time I turned it on, and then took a terrifyingly long time to install the update and reboot -- I thought it was bricked. But after several minutes it booted into Amazon's "home" screen, a "carousel" view of all of your recently-browsed items (books, movies, music, etc.)

Using this carousel metaphor for the home screen is interesting, and might prove to be useful if you tend to hop around a lot in your media collection. I found the "favorites" shelf underneath the carousel more useful as I tend to only have three or four things going at a time. One thing about this carousel view: it tends to be a little bit too responsive to finger swipes and not responsive enough to finger presses. It's easy to zoom past something you're looking for, and it sometimes takes me two or three tries to finger-press the one I want. (The entire UI sometimes suffers from laggy finger-press response, but that's an Android thing: I have the same issue with my smartphone.)

Along the top of the home screen, you see the following menu items: "Newsstand" (magazines and newspapers), "Books", "Music", "Video", "Docs", "Apps", and "Web".

Each media-specific area continues the "shelf" UI metaphor that Amazon uses on the main screen, but the sub-screens do not use the "carousel" navigation: instead, the OS simply arrays icons in a list or grid. I actually preferred this layout to the "carousel" for navigation, but your tastes may vary. You can change the layout from grid to list from the options menu, and you can organize your books (for example) by Author, by Title, or by how recently-acquired the title is.

Each area also contains a "Store" menu which takes you directly to Amazon's storefront. This is where the power of the Kindle Fire really comes into play, and is where Amazon's strategy becomes clear: they want to make buying and consuming digital content so easy and fast that people will do it on impulse. I actually found the Amazon store on the Fire to be nicer and better-organized than their huge mess of a website -- I'm probably going to use the Fire to buy stuff from Amazon from now on because I like the interface so much better.

But what if you want to play games or send emails or use a calculator or whatever? Well, the Fire is really just an Android device underneath, and Amazon includes their Android Market app. You can get your Angry Birds, your Fruit Ninja, your calculator, your notepad, or pretty much anything else you want. And the built-in email client worked just fine with my Google Mail account. Amazon does filter out some apps (probably those that compete with the built-in apps), but I found the app selection to include nearly everything I'd conceivably want on this device.

One thing that made me happy: the excellent ComiXology comic-book app has arrived on the Fire! If you enjoy reading comic books or graphic novels, the e-ink Kindle falls flat in this area. The Fire's ComiXology app works fine (just like the iPad version) and -- like your Kindle books -- can store comics locally or "in the cloud". (When you read a comic it gets stored locally, though, and if you read a lot of comics I could see the local storage space getting used up pretty quickly.) The 7-inch screen is pretty small for the amount of detail on a comic-book page, but ComiXology has a feature called "Guided View" that works well -- it's a special zoom-and-navigate mode that works pretty well.

Video...is video. Amazon uses Android's plain-jane video viewer, but no-frills is exactly what I want with video. The video starts up, the menus disappear, and the video fills the screen (with black bars on either side of it's not HD). You can load your own video on the unit, but oddly enough it doesn't appear in the "Videos" area; you have to go to "Apps" and look in the "Gallery" app to find your non-Amazon video stuff. And as far as I can tell, only H264/MP4 video will play.

The Music app is Amazon's custom MP3 store/player app. You can stream your owned music to the device, or store your own MP3's in Amazon's cloud and play them back. You can also just put your MP3's directly on the device by hooking up the unit up to the USB cable.

The new "Silk" web-browser has been rather over-sold by Amazon as a faster alternative to other tablet's web-browsers. It works fine, but it's no faster than any other smartphone browser, as far as I could tell. Maybe that will change over time as more people "train" Amazon's server-side software to load pages faster. The web browser also crashed a lot in my usage, especially on Flash-heavy sites.

But when all is said and done, the Fire is a Kindle and therefore has reading books as one of its main functions. How well does it do at that? Well, first of all, if you have Kindle software loaded on another Android device like your smartphone, this app will look familiar: it's the same Android reader used on other devices. It's not fancy -- in fact, I was expecting more gee-whiz stuff -- but it does just fine. The app gets out of the way and just lets you read your book. You can increase and decrease the font-size, set bookmarks, etc. One thing I like about the e-ink kindle better than the Android reader is that you can navigate to a word and bring up the dictionary -- I haven't found a way on the Android app to do that yet. I do like the Fire's presentation of the full-color book covers, though -- it's often easier to find the book I want by the cover than by the title, and that's not a viable option on the e-ink Kindle.

NOTE: I used Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August as my testbed for reading on the Fire, and the book is excellent. Recommended.

CONCLUSION

Like I said: I like it, but I don't love it. Yet.

If you're already an Amazon customer (especially if you're a Prime member), this unit has a lot to recommend it. If you don't shop at Amazon much, it's probably better to look elsewhere -- like at the Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet, or at one of the cheaper Android tablet computers now flooding the market.

It's got some warts. The unit really, really needs -- at minimum -- a hardware "home" button below the screen. Amazon's special "flavor" of Android needs a bit more cooking, particularly in the area of security and UI navigation. (If you have kids who have access to your Kindle, they could run you broke in nothing flat by using the "one-click purchase" button. You can prohibit this, but it's not easy to do and Amazon doesn't explain very well.) I remember feeling the same way about the first e-ink Kindle that came out, though, and it proved so useful that I grew to depend on it in spite of the limitations and glitches. I fully expect Amazon to bring out an improved Kindle Fire in six months or so -- they've proven to be very willing to listen to customer feedback.

It'll be interesting to see how many returns Amazon ends up getting from all the pre-orders. I think that a lot of people who jumped on the deal as a cheap way to get an Android tablet are going to be disappointed, as are people who aren't already pretty heavy users of Amazon's store. This isn't a general purpose tablet, nor is it a cheap low-spec iPad. This is a custom "window" into Amazon's digital store, a compact media-consumption device. In that role, it works very well...but you have to know what you're getting before you order one.

As long as you understand what the unit is (and what it isn't), $200 is an absolute steal of a deal.

OTHER REVIEWS

If you want to read other reviews that have associated video and photos, you can look here or here or here or here (Mossberg's WSJ review).

Posted by: Monty at 09:55 AM



Comments

1 Sending mine back. Poor connectivity, Slow browser, battery life of a pet turtle. Just my opinion.

Posted by: tommygun at November 20, 2011 10:00 AM (T2ydq)

2 Monty, Thanks for the review. I have a question for you. If, like me, you already have a Kindle, is there any good reason to get Fire?

Posted by: USA at November 20, 2011 10:03 AM (6Cjut)

3 I've had a few days to use the Fire, and one thing stands out above all -- I got exactly what I expected to get.

I love mine like cake but then again I knew exactly what I was getting. I've seen a lot of but but but it's not a cheap ipad and duh. No. It's not. It was never going to be.

Poor connectivity, Slow browser, battery life of a pet turtle.
I'm fascinated by this since I've seen the same complaints elsewhere and that's not my experience. I haven't had many problems with connectivity, except when say I'm standing in the middle of a store and want to check football stores and I'm trying to link up with a weak signal from the motel across the street. The browser's been pretty responsive for me. I have had some crashes on Flash heavy sites and I'm assuming that's an issue of memory/processing power for the unit. I'm getting a good 4-5 hours of battery life while streaming video and that's the same as what I get for my netbook. My laptop is a gaming laptop and if I get an hour of battery life that's a miracle.

Note that I'm not saying you're wrong, I am simply fascinated by how different the experiences are. It may be that I'm used to having to beat wifi networks into submission but any of the networks at the places I frequent (Panera, BN, McD's, etc.) have all let me on with no problems.

I agree on the need for a home key and I would far prefer physical volume controls. Also there really does need to be a physical manual that ships with it. As always, I'll bring up how much I detest that there's no text to speech. Seriously, I use it every day and it's really annoying.

Posted by: alexthechick at November 20, 2011 10:08 AM (Gk3SS)

4 If, like me, you already have a Kindle, is there any good reason to get Fire?

If you have videos, music, and/or TV shows in your Amazon library...absolutely. If not, no. And if you want a more general-purpose tablet computing device, then "no" again. The Fire isn't a tablet computer; it's a digital Amazon storefront and media-consumption device.

The Fire won't displace the e-ink Kindle as my main reading device, either -- I like the e-ink screen a lot better for plain reading. But if I'm going on vacation and only want to pack one doodad, the Fire would probably get the nod. In fact, if all I wanted was a better reader, I'd pick up the $80 low-end e-ink Kindle. That damned near falls into "impulse buy" territory for me. I'm betting that at some point Amazon will start giving these things away to people who subscribe to Prime.

As to battery life on the Fire: I'm getting 8 hours on pretty heavy use with WiFi turned on, which is pretty standard for Android tablets of this size. The Fire actually is competitive with my smartphone battery-wise.

Posted by: Monty at November 20, 2011 10:09 AM (FC+dS)

5 Monty, did you get a case? I'm dithering on what to get.

Posted by: alexthechick at November 20, 2011 10:11 AM (Gk3SS)

6 Meh. I'm sticking with my combo of a regular kindle for the long haul and an ipad for versatility.
Oh - and my reading this week:
Finished Chris Hitchens' "Arguably" and Ravi Zacharias' "Walking from East to West: God in the Shadows." The juxtaposition of the two, one an avowed atheist and the other a world-famous Christian apologist, very interesting.

Posted by: Jade Sea at November 20, 2011 10:12 AM (LsJNU)

7 alexthechick,

I used my old Belkin Kindle case which I bought for my e-ink Kindle. It works fine. It costs about $20, which is highway robbery, but what are you gonna do?

Posted by: Monty at November 20, 2011 10:15 AM (FC+dS)

8
Thanks for this Monty. I've debated and even though I am an Amazon Prime member, that part is not important to me considering the other devices I have. I can utilize my net book or lap top for that, especially since my travel time is much much less now that I'm retired. Andmy smart phone pretty much covers the rest.
I have an original Kindle and a newer Nook. I just ordered a HipStreet e-reader for my grand-daughter(on Groupon for $60) so I will be curious to see how that works out. All that said, I will probably pass on the Fire, and yours and otherreviews really helped my decision.

Posted by: Deanna at November 20, 2011 10:17 AM (f3r7X)

9 Monty - I have that same case for my dx but I'm thinking of getting a stand case so I don't have to hold/prop it up when I using it while out and about. I'm very leery about the roocase that's on sale so cheap. I can't tell if it's because they're trying to swoop in and capture the market or if it's that you get what you pay for. Also I don't like having magnets near my electronics.

Posted by: alexthechick at November 20, 2011 10:18 AM (Gk3SS)

10 Note that I'm not saying you're wrong, I am simply fascinated by how different the experiences are.
It's not that strange: batteries, especially Li-Ion, NiMh, and NiCad battries, vary a lot from unit to unit. I've two laptop batteries of exactly the same type and vintage vary by 30% in their discharge times.

Posted by: Monty at November 20, 2011 10:19 AM (FC+dS)

11 Monty, Thanks, that's what I suspected: Kindle to read a book; Mac computer for everything else. That's how I see it right now.

Also, Has anyone come up with a book club for electronic lending of Amazon ebooks other than Prime? Seems doable to me. I can loan my books for free. So can everyone else. Why pay the $80/year for Prime?

Monty, And thanks for the Sunday threads. I always look forward to them.

Posted by: USA at November 20, 2011 10:21 AM (6Cjut)

12 Meh, not for me. I've had a couple Kindle's now and my absolute favorite thing about them is the battery life.

I use my big Win phone for my on the go media consumption and it works just fine. Guess if I didn't have a 4" screen smartphone AND I watched videos on the go I would consider it. Magazines would seem to be great on the Fire except the screen size still seems like it would be too small for that.

My poor Kindle 2's showing its (well loved) age and I'd like to upgrade it but trying to hold out for color e-ink which would probably take care of all Fire positives Monty points out without the negatives. I just don't watch movies on the go; I've got shit to do.

Posted by: Chupacabras at November 20, 2011 10:22 AM (XiVKO)

13 @11

Many library's support Kindle borrowing, something to keep an eye out for in your town.

Posted by: Chupacabras at November 20, 2011 10:23 AM (XiVKO)

14 1
Sending mine back. Poor connectivity, Slow browser, battery life of a pet turtle. Just my opinion.


Posted by: tommygun at November 20, 2011 10:00 AM (T2ydq)
You must have gotten one made on a Monday. I don't have any of these problems. Connectivity is fine, browser isn't lighting fast but I didn't expect that. I charged it when I got it on Tuesday and while I haven't been using it non-stop, I just plugged it in to recharge last night.I ordered a case and some screen protectors for it yesterday.

Posted by: Tami at November 20, 2011 10:23 AM (X6akg)

15 I can loan my books for free.
When I went to see if I could lend books to my husband, I found that most of the books I have on my Kindle won't let me.
I had to go toKindle management on the web site and check each book individually (does the "Loan" button appear?). Don't know if there is any other way to see which books can and can't be shared.

Posted by: Mama AJ at November 20, 2011 10:27 AM (XdlcF)

16 Also, Has anyone come up with a book club for electronic lending of Amazon ebooks other than Prime? Seems doable to me. I can loan my books for free. So can everyone else. Why pay the $80/year for Prime?
Posted by: USA at November 20, 2011 10:21 AMI haven't seen that but you could check some of the discussion forums on Amazon and see. As for Prime, I have it for the free shipping and with the number of purchases I make a year it does save me money. The rest of itis just perks. I suspect that's true for most of the Prime Members.

Posted by: Deanna at November 20, 2011 10:29 AM (f3r7X)

17 Monty -- to access the dictionary, press and hold on a word for a second or two.

I got the Marware cover that has also works as a stand. Seems pretty decent.

Posted by: rori at November 20, 2011 10:31 AM (xfe+x)

18 I use my big Win phone for my on the go media consumption and it works just fine.
I really really will order a new cell phone soon*, but I still have to decide on how much I'm willing to pay for a data plan. I'd put up with the Fire having a not-as-greatbrowser for the oh-so-great zero monthly price.

*I've been saying that for a loooong time

Posted by: Mama AJ at November 20, 2011 10:32 AM (XdlcF)

19 One thing about the Fire's WiFi capability: it doesn't have a whole lot of range. I have a good strong 802.11G router in my house, and a fast 802.11N link at work, and the Fire holds a strong signal up to maybe 100 feet from the antenna. On a weaker 802.11B link, or at an obscured or distant transmitter (like at a local Starbuck's) the signal attenuates within 30 or 40 feet, it seems like.

But again, my smartphone has exactly the same issues.

And I agree that people who already have an e-ink Kindle *and* a smartphone would need to think hard before buying a Fire. The Fire really can't do anything you can't already do with your existing devices; it's just a more convenient avenue to do that stuff. And for me form-factor means a lot: I despise watching video on a tiny eye-strain-o-vision smartphone screen. The 7-inch Fire screen just about hits the "sweet spot" for me personally regarding video.

Another neat thing the Fire can do: play my MP3 music in the background while I'm reading. You can play MP3's on an e-ink Kindle, but it's not exactly straightforward, and I don't think you can do it at the same time that you're reading a book (I've never tried, to be honest).

Posted by: Monty at November 20, 2011 10:32 AM (FC+dS)

20 In the book category, I'm just about done with "Mockingjay", the third and last installment of the Hunger Games trilogy (a Young Adult series by Suzanne Collins). Gotta say, one of the most fun quick reads I've had in a while. I highly recommend the series to anyone who likes reading anything. For those who haven't heard of it, "The Hunger Games" is a kindof cross between "Lord of the Flies", "The Most Dangerous Game" and Stephen King's "The Long Walk"(with ahint of Harry Potter). Had the series been written for adults I thinkit would've been absolutely great.

Posted by: Lincolntf at November 20, 2011 10:32 AM (Qjh0I)

21 Mama, I thought I could loan all my books. I just checked and you are correct. Only "eligible" books may be loaned. I am so disappointed!

Posted by: USA at November 20, 2011 10:33 AM (6Cjut)

22 I'm considering getting the new Nook pad since I've been thinking about getting an I-pad anyway and this way my daughter and I could share books. I'd love to know what others think of the Nookpad as it becomes available.
Reading Georgette Heyer's Regency World by Jennifer Kloester. It helps explain a lot of things that Heyer assumed an English person with a classical education would automaticaly know.

Posted by: Polliwog at November 20, 2011 10:35 AM (HxF5K)

23 Another neat thing the Fire can do: play my MP3 music in the background while I'm reading. You can play MP3's on an e-ink Kindle, but it's not exactly straightforward, and I don't think you can do it at the same time that you're reading a book (I've never tried, to be honest).

Posted by: Monty at November 20, 2011 10:32 AM Hmmm...have to check it out. The other thing, and I can't figure this out, is why they didn't include a card slot to expand the memory. I'm guessing, and heard rumors, that they are coming out with an upgraded model in the near future. It's all about upgrading for these things.

Posted by: Deanna at November 20, 2011 10:38 AM (f3r7X)

24 So, is there a "best" kindle for reading books? There are so many models now. I use the 3G with keypad, but am thinking of buying one for USA-teen (xx model, circa 1997). She has a computer already for "school work." I am trying to further encourage a love of books.

Posted by: USA at November 20, 2011 10:39 AM (6Cjut)

25 Question about Amazon Prime, to which I can't seem to find an answer on their website:
When they say free shipping, is that just for buying directly from Amazon, or does that include from 3d party vendors on their site?

Posted by: real joe at November 20, 2011 10:41 AM (w7Lv+)

26 I highly recommend Tuchman's A Distant Mirror. A history of the 14th Century Europe, and the trouble you get having young people running government.

Posted by: tmitsss at November 20, 2011 10:41 AM (V4Pya)

27 but am thinking of buying one for USA-teen
I know people who are thrilled when having one for their teens who like to read and/or need to read a bunch of classics for school.

Posted by: Mama AJ at November 20, 2011 10:46 AM (XdlcF)

28 When they say free shipping, is that just for buying directly from Amazon, or does that include from 3d party vendors on their site?Not 3rd party and not all Amazon products, just the ones that say "Prime". Which is most, but technically not all.

Posted by: Mama AJ at November 20, 2011 10:47 AM (XdlcF)

29 So, is there a "best" kindle for reading books?

The low-end $80 e-ink model would probably be fine if all you want to do is read books. It's WiFi-only though; if you want the cellular 3G connectivity, you'd have to step up to the $150 Kindle Touch 3G model.

Question about Amazon Prime, to which I can't seem to find an answer on their website:When
they say free shipping, is that just for buying directly from Amazon,
or does that include from 3d party vendors on their site?
It depends on whether the vendor ships the stuff to you directly, or whether Amazon fulfills the order from their own warehouses. If Amazon does it, free shipping still applies in most cases. If the vendor does it, you pay shipping.

Posted by: Monty at November 20, 2011 10:48 AM (FC+dS)

30 Posted by: tmitsss at November 20, 2011 10:41 AM (V4Pya)
Young people? I'm not familiar enough with the era to know who was ruling. Was the youth of the leadership related to the plague or just a random occurance?

Posted by: Polliwog at November 20, 2011 10:48 AM (HxF5K)

31 I really enjoyed reading everyones perpective on this subject. I had just got my Kindle 3G+WiFi Keyboard this past Monday and returned it yesterday so I could upgrade to a Thinkpad. I had always been interested in the whole concept of the digital media devices, since I work in a technical field and it would really be nice to have a portable collection of tech books.

Anyway I came to the conclusion that I wanted more than a reader and more of a stripped laptop so I will try the tablets. I really did love the eink technology, that by itself made my decision very hard.

Posted by: TaiwanJoe at November 20, 2011 10:49 AM (BVWfq)

32 Iirc, Prime shipping is Amazon only.

The Hunger Games is great. I loved Divergent and can't wait for the rest of that series. The Maze Runner is quite good but I was deeply disappointed in the series as a whole.

I've been rereading The Love Letter by Cathleen Schine which is my all time favorite book.

Posted by: alexthechick at November 20, 2011 10:49 AM (0Dj0O)

33 I am re-reading Endgame, The End of the Debt Supercycle and How It Changes Everything, having completed The Creature from Jekyll Island. Hello Europe and Japan, we are about to join you in Depression.

Posted by: Jimbo at November 20, 2011 10:51 AM (O3R/2)

34 Thanks. So I guess Prime is only worth it if you order a lot from Amazon.

I am also looking into a Kindle or some other e-reading device. Just from reading this post, I think I may go with the e-ink Kindle and upgrade to a smart phone.
Yes, technologically I am well into the late '90's.

Posted by: real joe at November 20, 2011 10:52 AM (w7Lv+)

35 a stripped laptop
I think that's what I'm looking for too. I don't like reading books on my desktop and want to read the HQ when my cars in the shop or whatever.

Posted by: Polliwog at November 20, 2011 10:52 AM (HxF5K)

36 Just finished the first book from the Kindle Free Library, Mercury Falling. It was meh. Tried to be Good Omens but failed. I did like the concept of angelic bureaucracy, though.

Posted by: bad cat robot at November 20, 2011 10:53 AM (fwc5w)

37 So I guess Prime is only worth it if you order a lot from Amazon.
Or if you would, if you had Prime!
I thought I'd cancel it when we moved to a place that had a variety of stores, but it's still really nice to have something arrive in two days without having to go out and maybe find it in stock and then again not.

Posted by: Mama AJ at November 20, 2011 10:57 AM (XdlcF)

38 Or if you would, if you had Prime!

I was thinking the same thing. And I find a lot of stuff much cheaper on Amazon than in the brick and mortar stores.

Posted by: real joe at November 20, 2011 11:01 AM (w7Lv+)

39 I have to say that so far, the Fire has two major things going for it: the ComiXology app -- yeah, I love comic books, so what, wanna fight about it? -- and the access to my Amazon Instant Video library. I haven't watched television in years, but there are certain TV shows I like: "Chuck", "Fringe", and a few others. With the Fire I can easily watch an episode over my lunch hour or in bed before going to sleep.

One unfortunate thing about the Fire's book-reading app, by the way: maps and photos still suck. They suck less than on the e-ink readers, but they're still bad. I had hoped that with a higher-resolution color screen Amazon would scale up the maps and images to take advantage of the form-factor, but no: they're they same blurry blobs. I've already sent a plaintive letter to Amazon to improve the handling of maps and photos in their books.

Posted by: Monty at November 20, 2011 11:02 AM (FC+dS)

40 When they say free shipping, is that just for buying directly from Amazon, or does that include from 3d party vendors on their site?
Posted by: real joe at November 20, 2011 10:41 AMIt has to say "fulfilled by Amazon, which means they ship for that third party vendor. I purchase alot because of the size of my family. Shipping costs start at $1.99 per item or $5.99 per shipment, so the $80 Prime cost gets used up quickly. But that's just me.

Posted by: Deanna at November 20, 2011 11:03 AM (f3r7X)

41 Just finished Vinge's "A Fire Upon the Deep" based off of some moron recommendations here last week.

I'm pretty jaded I guess, when it comes to sci-fi.

Sometimes I feel like if I haven't literally read it all before I may as well have but in this case...

AWESOME ALIENS!!!

Thank you, whoever pointed me to that book/author.

I really enjoyed it.

Also,tried out a "Repairman Jack" book too.

Pretty good.

I can see why Monty likes the character!

Posted by: Deety at November 20, 2011 11:03 AM (SINNR)

42 Oh, and if you are considering Prime, check out the Subscription stuff (link in my name).
The laundry det. I use is $2 cheaper than at the local store. You have to get 4 at a time, but then you don't have to carry them...I did this when the kids were young and my husband was deployed. Stocking up on heavy stuff made weekly shopping much easier.

Posted by: Mama AJ at November 20, 2011 11:07 AM (XdlcF)

43 Thanks for the responses everyone.
Who knew I would trust advice from morons above anyone else?

Posted by: real joe at November 20, 2011 11:07 AM (w7Lv+)

44 I am a huge fan of Amazon and generally despise shopping and being around people so Amazon+ Prime seemed like a perfect idea. Do 90% of all purchases from my couch when I get to relax a little while watching TV. What an idea! As others have mentioned, the savings on shipping is well worthit and since I have so many family members that have been deployed I can very easy see a book, for instance, and within a minute have it on its way to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Yeah, all in all, Amazon plus prime is like ordering a scoop of ice cream and then getting a banana split.

Posted by: TaiwanJoe at November 20, 2011 11:08 AM (BVWfq)

45 Is there a custom interface for the entire Amazon store, or just media?

Posted by: Jean at November 20, 2011 11:10 AM (C/Pop)

46 Who knew I would trust advice from morons above anyone else?
Well, when it comes to sitting on our butts and avoiding real live people, who else would know better?
My local shopping center, which was designed in a way that would make a civil engineer cry, just expanded and opened an Old Navy. Shopping season 'round here was already crazy enough, but now it's Something To Be Avoided at All Costs.

Posted by: Mama AJ at November 20, 2011 11:18 AM (XdlcF)

47 The whole interface has an Amazon "skin", not just the media stuff. It's attractive enough, but it can be confusing to navigate if you're used to other Android devices.

Posted by: Monty at November 20, 2011 11:18 AM (tAii9)

48 Thanks for the responses everyone.
Who knew I would trust advice from morons above anyone else?
Posted by: real joe at November 20, 2011 11:07 AM Just a word of advice on Amazon. If the price seems high, comparison shop. Amazon serves the whole country so often vendor prices from say California or New York may be much higher than for me in the midwest, especially on consumables. And when items such as toys are highly desirable some vendors will do large mark-ups. But usually I can do better on Amazon and it's alot easier to comparison shop sitting on my couch. LOL

Posted by: Deanna at November 20, 2011 11:19 AM (f3r7X)

49 And there's no option to expand the storage: no SD card slots or anything.
That is the deal killer for me right there.

Posted by: gdonovan at November 20, 2011 11:22 AM (yX64z)

50 On the subject of actual books (oh, yeh...), I just started reading the 7th Harry Potter book to my 11 yr old.
Rowling is such an amazing writer. I love the richness of her vocabulary, the vivid pictures she creates and the subtle British humor*. This last book, however, is almost a war story. Not sure what the kid will think.
*I'm picking up little things while reading outloud that I'd missed when reading them to myself earlier.

Posted by: Mama AJ at November 20, 2011 11:23 AM (XdlcF)

51
Reading Georgette Heyer's Regency World by Jennifer Kloester. It helps explain a lot of things that Heyer assumed an English person with a classical education would automaticaly know.Posted by: Polliwog at November 20, 2011 10:35 AM Just saw this. I have to get this. It may explain the addiction I had to her books.

Posted by: Deanna at November 20, 2011 11:25 AM (f3r7X)

52 Shopping season 'round here was already crazy enough, but now it's Something To Be Avoided at All Costs.

I hear you. The local govt. just announced that the perpetual road work near a mall would not be halted for Christmas shopping season as in years past. That means they close the highway down to one lane each way. Bad on a regular day, I can't imagine what it will be on a December weekend.

Posted by: real joe at November 20, 2011 11:26 AM (w7Lv+)

53 As El Chupacabra said, also waiting for the color e-ink. Monty, how did the kindle fire do in direct sunlight?

Posted by: Bob Undead Saget at November 20, 2011 11:30 AM (dBvlk)

54
On the subject of actual books (oh, yeh...), I just started reading the 7th Harry Potter book to my 11 yr old.
Rowling is such an amazing writer. I love the richness of her vocabulary, the vivid pictures she creates and the subtle British humor*. This last book, however, is almost a war story. Not sure what the kid will think.
*I'm picking up little things while reading outloud that I'd missed when reading them to myself earlier. Posted by: Mama AJ at November 20, 2011 11:23 AM I've been reading the Narnia books to my two oldest grandchildren. We're up to The Horse and His Boy,but theyare disappointed as the children aren't the main characters.So we'll see. It isn't my favorite but as you said, I'm also picking up things I had missed(or forgotten) when I read them.

Posted by: Deanna at November 20, 2011 11:34 AM (f3r7X)

55 P.S. Christmas shopping D.O.N.E. got everything for everybody from Amazon, except for the illegal stuff, and by illegal I mean stuff like Cuban cigars, not... you know...

Posted by: Bob Undead Saget at November 20, 2011 11:35 AM (dBvlk)

56 FYI, if you like The Guns of August and have any interest at all in medieval European history, check out Barbara Tuchman's book A Distant Mirror. Pure pleasure.

Posted by: al-Cicero, Tea Party Jihadist at November 20, 2011 11:35 AM (yQwq5)

57 I went the Barnes Noble route last year and couldn't be happier with my Nook Color.

Great e-reader - the kindle e-ink was never an option for me as I read a lot in bed and wanted something I could use with the lights off. The Fire, of course, solves that.

The browser has been fine and no problems with wi-fi connectivity.

I like the home button, volume controls and expandability the Nook has over the Kindle Fire.

I haven't used the "Lend Me" program where you can lend books to others.. but my wife and I share the same BN account, so anything either of us buys is available on each other's devices (as well as our PC's with the Nook app).

So, for those of you still deciding you may want to take a look at the new Nook.

The new one has had good reviews. here's a comparison:

http://tinyurl.com/7rx27e7

Posted by: Chi-Town Jerry at November 20, 2011 11:36 AM (UTq/I)

58 I have a Kindle DX for reading, and the Fire couldn't match it for screensize and being easy on the eyes. The Fire's battery life is pretty good, though it can take awhile to recharge.
The Fire is a pretty toy and it's fun to use. It sometimes has trouble connecting to my home network and I have to reset the router. But what it really needs are Collections for the books. You're back to seeing all your hundreds of books lumped together.

Posted by: waelse1 at November 20, 2011 11:48 AM (Q0e+y)

59 If you're moderately technically capable, one of the attractions of the Fire is that it is a solid Android tablet that is likely to be well-supported by the Android development community, just as the old Nook Color has been. We'll soon have world-class software on it that's nothing like what Amazon included.

It is also less than half the price of the iPad, much less bulky and much more portable. 7" is a perfect size for book reading, and it's also ideal for playing Angry Birds or watching Netflix by yourself. If you have an Android phone capable of 4G hotspot, you can even Netflix while tooling down the road.

Posted by: Immolate at November 20, 2011 11:49 AM (0pB27)

60 Monty, how did the kindle fire do in direct sunlight?

You'd go glareblind. It shares this highly-reflective surface with most other tablets, though. I do wish they'd offer color touchscreens with more of a matte surface, but -- again -- I have the same defect with my smartphone. I think the problem is technological: the glass and touchscreen substrate may prohibit certain kinds of screen treatments. The screen also fingerprints like hell: I find myself carring a soft cloth to wipe it down every so often. (Again, just like my smartphone. We need some genetic engineering to make human fingers less greasy.)

Posted by: Monty at November 20, 2011 11:51 AM (FC+dS)

61 My Fire is to arrive Tuesday, I will probably send it back. Got a Vizio tablet at Costco for $189. It is basically a Droid 2 on steroids.

It has SD slot, full HD screen, mini HDMI slot, headphones, touch screen, full emal, and gmail. Wifi. but no 3g

This review was done when it was selling for $330. http://tinyurl.com/6p2o55t

Posted by: Billy Bob, the guy who drinks in SC at November 20, 2011 11:54 AM (hXJOG)

62 Oh, am I can read my Kindle books on the vizio, with the Kindle download.

Posted by: Billy Bob, the guy who drinks in SC at November 20, 2011 11:55 AM (hXJOG)

63 I forgot it also has an IF remote control that works on anythings.

Posted by: Billy Bob, the guy who drinks in SC at November 20, 2011 11:57 AM (hXJOG)

64 Polliwog and Deanna, if you haven't read The Private World of Georgette Heyer I'd recommend it as well.

I had to track it down long ago, before OwlGore invented the intertubes, but I think it's widely available now. Great biography that shows how much painstaking research Ms Heyer did for all her books. I thinkt here's another more current bio as well, but I haven't read it yet.

I can't believe there are Morons who love Heyer; just when you think this place can't get any better....were either of you on the original List Server?

Posted by: MissTammy at November 20, 2011 12:00 PM (SsG4J)

65 were either of you on the original List Server?
I'm not even sure what a list server is. Shall I get off your lawn now ?
I accidentally stumbled across Heyer about 15 years ago when on a "classic" book listening kick. Sylvester or the Wicked Unclewas in the same style wrapper as Treasure Island so I picked it up by mistake, which I've been happy for ever since.

Posted by: Polliwog at November 20, 2011 12:09 PM (HxF5K)

66 Polliwog and Deanna, if you haven't read The Private World of Georgette Heyer I'd recommend it as well.

Amazon has it for $10.18.

Posted by: Retread at November 20, 2011 12:14 PM (fUw1U)

67 Polliwog, you are welcome on my lawn any time! Or even better, come sit on the porch and let Granny make you a nice cup of tea!

The Heyer List was an email based discussion group....functioned like a book club does now. A book was picked and a daily discussion was held. You replied via email, and it came in digest form. Heaven forfend you replied individually instead of to the List, a sin of which I was terminally guilty.


Posted by: MissTammy at November 20, 2011 12:31 PM (SsG4J)

68 I'm thinking of getting that low end $79 Kindle with Christmas money. I already have a laptop, iphone, and ipod, so I really don't need anymore gadgets that do a lot of stuff.
When you talk about Kindle e-ink, is that what you are referring to?

Posted by: nerdygirl at November 20, 2011 12:36 PM (T6kEB)

69 I can't believe there are Morons who love Heyer; just when you think this place can't get any better....were either of you on the original List Server?
Posted by: MissTammy at November 20, 2011 12:00 PM No, I read her books, as my kids say, back in the dark ages. Actually, my mother had hard copies of the original publications. She loved them and introduced me to them nearly 30 years ago(yes I'm that old.) I remember it distinctly, the first one I read was The Corinthian. I had been a huge Austen fan so it wasn't a big leap to Heyer. Not trying to compare them, just a comment.

Posted by: Deanna at November 20, 2011 12:39 PM (f3r7X)

70 This thread has been slowly mutating into a Kindle critique site. Let's get back to its original purpose---BOOKS.

Posted by: Libra at November 20, 2011 12:43 PM (kd8U8)

71 Polliwog, you are welcome on my lawn any time! Or even better, come sit on the porch and let Granny make you a nice cup of tea!

The Heyer List was an email based discussion group....functioned like a book club does now. A book was picked and a daily discussion was held. You replied via email, and it came in digest form. Heaven forfend you replied individually instead of to the List, a sin of which I was terminally guilty.
Posted by: MissTammy at November 20, 2011 12:31 PM Polliwog and I will bring the biscuits. I never found a discussion group for Heyer although there were tons for Austen. But then I guess I never looked hard enough.

Posted by: Deanna at November 20, 2011 12:44 PM (f3r7X)

72 Amazon has it for $10.18.Posted by: Retread at November 20, 2011 12:14 PM Thanks. I will definitely splurge.

Posted by: Deanna at November 20, 2011 12:46 PM (f3r7X)

73 my mother had hard copies of the original publications.
Those would be a big deal now. It can be hard to get used copies of even more recent printings, although Amazon has done a lot to help that.

Posted by: Polliwog at November 20, 2011 12:51 PM (HxF5K)

74 Prime is good for the free shipping if you order a lot of stuff. Prime is also great for the free movies, free tv. Get the Roku and you have about 10k titles to view for free. You can also stream first run tv series and movies for pay per view, if you want to.

Posted by: navybrat at November 20, 2011 12:51 PM (fHInj)

75 Posted by: MissTammy at November 20, 2011 12:31 PM (SsG4J)
The Georgette Heyer group on Ravelry is sort of like that. They pick a book a month to read through and discuss.

Posted by: Polliwog, Teahada hobbit at November 20, 2011 12:53 PM (HxF5K)

76 I had been looking at this for awhile. I have a Nook Color that I put CM7 on and it works really well. Just found out while researching this that they just updated the Nook Color with pretty much the same specs as the Fire. I think I am going to go with the Nook Color again, put CM7 on it and give the old one to my wife. Plus you have it also has 16gb internal and an microsd slot for another 32gb. I like to have entire libraries on mine so I never get bored. Never know what I am in the mood for and sometimes don't have wifi to get it.

Guess I just like customizing my stuff too much and with the Fire and Nook original software too many restrictions on what you can put on there.

BTW I love reading comic books on my Nook as well. I use Comic Rack on it and it is the best on I have found that has the least amount of issues. They have a free version or a paid one that will sync wireless with your comics on your computer. Can't buy comics in App though. Only downside, but I already have a big library on my computer so it is not that big a deal to buy on my laptop and sync it over.

Posted by: Greg at November 20, 2011 12:57 PM (u5D5E)

77 I had been a huge Austen fan so it wasn't a big leap to Heyer. Not trying to compare them, just a comment.

Eh, I'll say it....I vastly prefer Heyer to Austen. I like Austen, but love Heyer. I'm a hillbilly, what can I say?

I have spent years collecting first editions of her Regencies. They aren't all pristine, and many are library copies, but it sure was fun. Good times, good times.

I will now recommend Hens Dancing and Summertime to you...author Raefella Barker. Charming little reads, the main character of which is named Venetia, and yes, she was named for THAT Venetia.

I can never decide whether Venetia, Grand Sophy, or Unknown Ajax is my favorite Heyer...my first was Friday's Child, and that was 35 years ago, so kindly bring some Ben-Gay and DentuCreme along with the biscuits.....

Posted by: MissTammy at November 20, 2011 01:01 PM (SsG4J)

78
Those would be a big deal now. It can be hard to get used copies of even more recent printings, although Amazon has done a lot to help that.Posted by: Polliwog at November 20, 2011 12:51 PM When we did the estate, of all the books I kept, those and her Sears People's Book Club were the ones I kept. Although quite different, I enjoyed the People's novels on life in the turn of the last century through WWII.

Posted by: Deanna at November 20, 2011 01:03 PM (f3r7X)

79 It can be hard to get used copies of even more recent printings, although Amazon has done a lot to help that.

I think they just reissued a bunch...with really fetching covers. And yes, I bought them all.

On her birthday in August, most of her books went on sale and I downloaded most of her regencies from a smaller e-publisher, because I am such a freaking fangirl (not to mention uber-dork) that I wanted my first ebook to be hers. (And let's face it, it was clearly a sign from God when her books were offered half off the day after I decided to do that.)


Posted by: MissTammy at November 20, 2011 01:08 PM (SsG4J)

80 Sears People's Book Club were the ones I kept.
I'm not familiar with those at all.

Posted by: Polliwog, Teahada hobbit at November 20, 2011 01:09 PM (HxF5K)

81 #41

The hardware doesn't have any effect on existing files, which were nearly all produced with the e-ink models in mind. Some books, like 1493 by Charles Mann, incorporate images and zooming that had the iPad in mind but that runs into another problem: it's a huge file compared to the typical e-book novel.

This is a big issue because Amazon passes the 3G delivery costs on to the publisher, which if you're self-publishing is you. If you're trying to keep your price low, having a big file can severely eat into your profit margin. Fifteen cents a megabyte may not sound like much but an image heavy non-fiction item can easily get into the tens of megabytes.

The other problem is that the MOBI format is really antiquated crap. The Fire supports a new format called K8 that tries to play catch-up with what EPUB already does in the 2.2 spec and goes far beyond in the 3.0 spec. The potential for what can be done in a book formatted for the newer spec and a color screen is considerable but doesn't change the data transfer expense issue. Things like SVG support will mean a lot for things like maps, with unlimited scaling and zoom capability but the shift in the installed base could mean it takes quite a while before most publishers are willing to make use of it. It also, of course, requires far greater technical skills on the back end. It's essentially trailing the evolution of web browser functionality by five years.

Posted by: epobirs at November 20, 2011 01:09 PM (kcfmt)

82 72
This thread has been slowly mutating into a Kindle critique site. Let's get back to its original purpose---BOOKS.


The way I read the title of the thread the original purpose of this thread WAS a Kindle critique, NOT books.

The Thread Title:

Sunday Book Thread: Kindle Fire Review

Posted by: Billy Bob, the guy who drinks in SC at November 20, 2011 01:10 PM (hXJOG)

83 can never decide whether Venetia, Grand Sophy, or Unknown Ajax is my favorite Heyer...my first was Friday's Child, and that was 35 years ago, so kindly bring some Ben-Gay and DentuCreme along with the biscuits.....
Posted by: MissTammy at November 20, 2011 01:01 PM I still love only two of Austen's books, Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. Just like with Heyer my favorites have changed over the years. I still love The Grand Sophy and The Corinthian best, I was a tom boy. But I have added The Nonesuch as I have gotten older.

Posted by: Deanna at November 20, 2011 01:18 PM (f3r7X)

84 Finally got enough time away from formatting books to read some. Many of you have already read Michael Lewis' The Big Short.

Whenever I hear the #OWS ninnies trying to articulate their complaints and just whining instead, I want to force them to read this book.

None of this stuff would have been possible if the proper suspicion of complexity for its own sake had been exercised. The real estate market collapse would have been a bad thing for many people but it took the insane tower of financial instruments built atop the mortgages to make it into a potential threat to the whole financial industry.

Also, I'm baffled as to how a device like the Credit Default Swap can be legal. If a complete stranger took out life insurance on you, wouldn't you call the cops for fear this person was making plans to kill you? At the least, in a state where gambling is illegal, a person should be required to have some direct involvement in the item being 'insured.'

One very interesting insight at the end of the book is that the shift from private to publicly owned status for the big investment firms made for a huge qualitative change in their behavior. Formerly, they were playing with their own money and there was no advantage to betting against their own customers. Perhaps reverting to that pre-1981 structure would help, although I don't know how you could coerce that legally.

Posted by: epobirs at November 20, 2011 01:29 PM (kcfmt)

85 can never decide whether Venetia, Grand Sophy, or Unknown Ajax is my favorite Heyer...my first was Friday's Child, and that was 35 years ago, so kindly bring some Ben-Gay and DentuCreme along with the biscuits.....
Posted by: MissTammy at November 20, 2011 01:01 PM They were a book of the month club,actually The Sears People's Choice Book Club, started in the 1940s. But rather than some critics picking the selections, the readers chose their favorites. They did have some well-known at the time authors and the titles varied in content. But my favorites were the family generational and romance books. None that I know of covered the Regency period(but I could be wrong)but there were quite a few on Victorian and WWI eras. They also had a Young Peoples Book Club. All in all a gentler style of writing and a window into the times.

Posted by: Deanna at November 20, 2011 01:30 PM (f3r7X)

86
Okay sorry. That reply was for....and why can't I get italics to work...grrr...

Sears People's Book Club were the ones I kept.
I'm not familiar with those at all.Posted by: Polliwog, Teahada hobbit at November 20, 2011 01:09 PM Posted by: MissTammy at November 20, 2011 01:01 PM They were a book of the month club, actually The Sears People's Choice Book Club, started in the 1940s. But rather than some critics picking the selections, the readers chose their favorites. They did have some well-known at the time authors and the titles varied in content. But my favorites were the family generational and romance books. None that I know of covered the Regency period(but I could be wrong) but there were quite a few on Victorian and WWI eras. They also had a Young Peoples Book Club. All in all a gentler style of writing and a window into the times.

Posted by: Deanna at November 20, 2011 01:32 PM (f3r7X)

87 Sigh...I give up. At any rate I have to get dinner started. But I think I will pull out a Heyer and snuggle up on the couch later. Everyone enjoy the day.

Posted by: Deanna at November 20, 2011 01:34 PM (f3r7X)

88 @87, okay, I get it, they're books that were chosen by the members of Sear's Book Club. That actually sounds better than having ones books recommended by some snooty critics, or Oprah, for that matter. (I have nothing against Oprahe per se, but the books she chose were all so maudlin and depressing!)

Posted by: MissTammy at November 20, 2011 01:37 PM (SsG4J)

89 You too, Deanna!

Posted by: MissTammy at November 20, 2011 01:38 PM (SsG4J)

90 Thanks for the info Deanna. I'll keep an eye out for those at book sales.

Posted by: Polliwog, Teahada hobbit at November 20, 2011 01:39 PM (HxF5K)

91 72, 84, as long as no one starts re-fighting the Civil War on this thread, who cares?
I have just started Entering Hades by John Leake. It's the story of Jack Unterwager, a serial killer who got around. His story is very reminiscent of Jack Henry Abbott, leading to the following conclusions: (1)Naive gullible liberals are the same all over the world, and (2)When the bien pensant think a vicious criminal has been rehabilitated based on said criminal's own say-so, run for your life.
In the car, I am listening to They Must Be Stopped by Brigitte Gabriel. Nothing new in it for anyone here, but it is a good reminder of the war we are in.
And I have just started A Singular Woman, all about little Barry Obama's mother who gave him a rather unstable upbringing which doubtless made him the man-ish person he is today. All I've read so far is the preface or introduction or some such which mostly consists of claims that evil right-wingers on the internet are all nuts.

Posted by: Tonestaple at November 20, 2011 01:46 PM (916pS)

92 I can't believe they still haven't got page-turn right. The original Kindle, which I bought, had that obnoxious top-to-bottom side button that was impossible not to bump. Even the software Kindle which I have on my iPad has this accidental page-turning issue.

Steve Jobs may have been a tyrant, but at least his products actually considered the end user. The rest of the computer world simply cannot get past their contempt of us.

Posted by: MaxMBJ at November 20, 2011 01:52 PM (deaac)

93
Entering Hades by John Leake. It's the story of Jack Unterwager, a serial killer who got around.

Will have to get this for my husband, he loves serial killer stuff. I am not entirely sure what that says about his general character.

@86, this sounds like a great read. I have been saying for years that most of what has been going on in the financial sector for a long time now completely defies basic common sense.

Posted by: MissTammy at November 20, 2011 01:53 PM (SsG4J)

94 I'm sending my Fire back. For me, it's a huge step backwards from the simple elegant efficiency of my Kindle 2. I suspected Amazon might go this direction--flashy yet cumbersome--when they started offering word games for the b&w Kindle. Not everything has to be a game device.

All I really want the Kindle to do is be a reader. To my eyes, the Fire is a step in the "books, schmooks--what the kids want is games, videos and music."

Posted by: BeckoningChasm at November 20, 2011 01:58 PM (i0App)

95 When I went to see if I could lend books to my husband, I found that most of the books I have on my Kindle won't let me.

We use the same Amazon account. The beauty thing was that, as soon as my wife fired up her Fire, she had all the books I have on my Kindle.

Another interesting feature was that the last page I surfed at Amazon was shown in the carousel the next time I started up the Fire.

Posted by: Zombie John Gotti at November 20, 2011 02:02 PM (xUI0P)

96 "Elizabeth I CEO: Strategic Lessons from the Leader Who Built an Empire" reminds me of the enjoyment found in reading Robert Greene's books ("Power" and "War") but without Greene's liberal slant.

Posted by: derit at November 20, 2011 03:37 PM (FQlFL)

97 You can play MP3's on an e-ink Kindle, but it's not exactly straightforward, and I don't think you can do it at the same time that you're reading a book (I've never tried, to be honest).

Apologies if someone else responded, but you can. It plays the contents of the music folder in order, and you toggle it on and off by pressing alt-spacebar.

For the record, I'm also merely in like with the Fire, but for the money its pretty well everything I expected, except for the lack of read aloud on the books. It will read my own documents to me, but not the books. Would also like bluetooth capability for headphones. I hate the plugs being on the bottom, but I can live with it.

Posted by: Kerry's Kindle Fire at November 20, 2011 04:08 PM (zOHun)

98 All I really want the Kindle to do is be a reader. To my eyes, the Fire
is a step in the "books, schmooks--what the kids want is games, videos
and music."

But if you really just want a book reading device you'd rather have something with e-ink anyway. The Fire is really aimed at, like you say, games, videos and music. The fact that you can read books on it is really sort of ancillary.

I'm toying with the idea of getting one, but only because there's a lot of streaming video content that comes with Prime. For actual book reading I'll stick with my Kindle 2.

Posted by: Ace's liver at November 20, 2011 04:42 PM (1+XRG)

99 True enough thisweek,Billy Bob. I'm speaking regarding the past few months--the relative merits of a Kindle vs. the Nook, people bitchin' about their the omissions, viewing problems, that sort of thing. Guess I'm a purist, but I've picked up some good tips on this siteand would love to see it go back to what people are reading rather than how they are reading it.

Posted by: Libra at November 20, 2011 04:44 PM (kd8U8)

100 I dislike hardware buttons. Grateful there aren't home and volume buttons.

Silk is fast if you don't use the default set up. Look it up. The info is out there. Ex. The ONT is slow to load and hangs up with the default set up. No problems when altered. A thousand posts will load just fine.

Wifi only hasn't been an issue. Big city. Wifi is everywhere I go. If it were an issue, I would use my phone.

The only thing I'm missing from my android phone is the quick page up/page down browser button. The swipe down/up is fast but I like the pop up buttons from my phone.

Amazon has decent threads on use and improvements in their forums. Kindle Boards does, too, and is easier to skim and search.

I would think cover lovers would dislike the speaker location. Klutzy folks will have issues with the location of the power button. I only hit it once. Lesson learned.

I'll stick with the recent K4 for book reading. E-ink is great for my visually impaired eyes.

Posted from Vika's Fire.

Posted by: vika ut sig at November 20, 2011 05:12 PM (gvlTU)

101 Also, I make my own stands and covers. The location of the speakers isn't a big deal to me as I customize my stand, sleeve and case designs.

Posted by: vika ut sig at November 20, 2011 05:16 PM (gvlTU)

102 I do a lot of shopping on amazon. I send two to five care packages every week. I also prefer the amazon Fire for shopping. The amazon store available to my laptop is a busy mess.

The Fire store is a huge improvement over the kindle store accessed via my K4. Even my android phone is a better shoping experience than K's and amazon online.

Reading American Spartans and Imperial Grunts. Both hardbacks (info for those with tight panties today).

Posted by: vika ut sig at November 20, 2011 05:35 PM (gvlTU)

103 Buying aa Amazon Fire is like paying K-mart 200$ to use their shopping carts.

Posted by: Potsie at November 20, 2011 05:49 PM (aQF/7)

104 Obama is a stuttering clusterf*ck of a miserable failure.

Posted by: steevy at November 20, 2011 05:53 PM (7WJOC)

105 vika, I have been tempted by Imperial Grunts, but the title put me off. Would you recommend it?

Posted by: MissTammy at November 20, 2011 06:07 PM (SsG4J)

106 105
Buying aa Amazon Fire is like paying K-mart 200$ to use their shopping carts.

WINNER!!

Posted by: Billy Bob, the guy who drinks in SC at November 20, 2011 07:14 PM (hXJOG)

107 This info is a terrific read. Thanks for the info.I am looking forward for more updates.

Posted by: Silk Is For Seduction ePub at November 20, 2011 08:06 PM (qkDKP)

108 "Amazon does filter out some apps (probably those that compete with the built-in apps), but I found the app selection to include nearly everything I'd conceivably want on this device."

They filter out apps that won't work due to lack of Google Mobile Suite libraries (which require google certification) and possibly some other technical reasons. Prominent competitors to built-in apps--examples are Netflix and Hulu Plus--are available in the store.

Posted by: DaveS at November 20, 2011 08:26 PM (YG/IE)

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Posted by: LADY GAGA x TERRY RICHARDSON ePub at November 20, 2011 08:28 PM (yrXL3)

110 Wow this is soo helpful I have been trying to figure this out on my own for a long time now. Hopefully making this change will help encourage discussion on my blog.

Posted by: Seduction of a Highland Lass ePub at November 20, 2011 08:51 PM (3vC/0)

111 My unit immediately updated itself the first time I turned it on, and then took a terrifyingly long time to install the update and reboot -- I thought it was bricked.

Mine took a long time to download but I attributed that to the fact that there were probably several hundred thousand people all doing the same thing and the servers were overloaded.

Posted by: DaveB at November 20, 2011 09:21 PM (pAYv9)

112
I am not clear if I totally understand the full thought pattern behind this.

Posted by: Three Cups of Deceit ePub at November 20, 2011 10:22 PM (wodEv)

113 Pipe fitting pipe fittings carbon steel pipe fittings
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I have an original e-ink Nook and am using it less and less. My wife and I share an Amazon account with Prime (she has a Kindle e-ink) and I have actually begun to prefer reading Kindle books on my netbook with Kindle app loaded into it. (It has a BIG space on each side where I place my mouse pointer and can easily tap to turn pages. It accesses the Dictionary easily, etc etc.

I love our Prime account. Great free movies plus the free shipping. We live in the Texas Hill Country boonies so free shipping is very important. Much of our shipping is for dead tree books anyway. I actually avoid buying other items not fulfilled by Amazon...something other vendors should think about.

All in all, I'm sticking with my slightly more than $200 Netbook. If I get an uncontrollable urge for a tablet-like device, right now I'll go with the new Color Nook at $199 and which now has capability for Netflix and Hulu Plus movies, thus eliminating the need to root it.

Just my $0.02.

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