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Old 11-16-2011, 01:08 AM   #1
SCION
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I'd Like To Share My Thoughts After A Brief Hands-On

Please know that my comments are my personal opinion. These declarations are my thoughts and I don't mean to imply everyone feels the same way. I just didn't take the time to qualify many statements with IMHO. Thanks.



The first thing I noticed is it's noticeably heavier than my Sony Tablet. I spend a few minutes in awe of the Sony's weight or lack thereof and started to doubt my purchase based on this alone. Then I remembered why I got the Fire and settled in. It's not as light as I expected, BUT it doesn't have the heft and bulky look of the NOOKcolor. The NOOKcolor is unnaturally heavy. Meaning it just feels awkward holding it in one hand. The Fire's weight seems more balanced and quite similar to a small hardback book. It even looks well proportioned if that makes any sense.

Though the back has a nice rubberized feel, the weight prevents it from being used naked. I didn't order a cover yet because I wanted to hold it naked first and get a better feel for what type of cover I want. I'm leaning toward an ultra-slim case with stand because of the weight. I'm tempted to finally experience the beauty of an Oberon and this device is certainly worthy. Luckily, I have a universal case for eReaders (with four corner straps) on the shelf. I'm using it for now.

OK, so I put it in the cover before I bruise it, and plug it up. I left the AC charger in the box since I have something plugged into an outlet already that I use for other devices. The screen turned on automatically and WOW, the screen is drop dead gorgeous. I turned the light off to get the full effect. At this stage I'm still looking at the lock screen in amazement!

The keyboard is responsive and allows for accurate typing. I register and wait for an update to complete. Ten minutes later I'm at 87% and staring the screen, as if that'll make it update faster. I admire the crisp clean look of the small print. White on black, which should look really good in the reader app. Now it's 98%...still staring...done! Reboots automatically. Installs update. I look at the power button and notice the device is fully charged (green). Another reboot.

More staring. Huffing and puffing with anticipation. Arms crossed. The beautiful lock screen again. I quickly click past the welcome screens and FINALLY my home screen! The review videos don't do it justice. Absolutely stunning and inviting. What do I want to do first. I know, scroll through the Carousel! Fluid and visually appealing. I click on Books and the first thing I notice is the book icons are different sizes. Frown. At this stage I haven't sideloaded any books. Back to homescreen, click on Music and see my the content I uploaded to the Cloud. You get generic album covers if necessary which is nice. I was expecting blank thumbnails. Back to homescreen and click Videos. I'm once again reminded why I bought the Fire. I browse the movie rental section. Randomly choose a video to rent. View Rental & Purchase Details. Confirm a movie can indeed be downloaded to the device for offline viewing. Yes!!! OK, back to homescreen and click on Books. Here's the test. Can I read comfortably in the reader app? I know I can use a third party app, but would like to sync books with the Kindle touch. Here it goes. Select book for download. It's in the front of the Carousel with a “New” banner.

We have a winner!!! I can't believe I'm reading comfortably with the white background. I turned off the light and lowered the lid on my computer to make sure. Lowered the brightness on the Fire to 1/3. I'm blown away. I haven't even adjusted the formatting settings. The default stuff is on point. The margins aren't big like in the Kindle Android app. Line spacing looks great. Looking at the settings I see the font size is set to the 3rd smallest size out of 8. I normally prefer larger fonts, but it's not needed here! Wow. Text is crisp and clean. The white on black (night mode) looks really good. Can't wait to curl up with this one. The sepia is exactly like the Kindle Android app. I find the white on black much more appealing. The default typeface is Georgia. I check out the other ones just for the heck of it, but I'm happy with the default. Having the device in a book style cover adds to the reading experience. It truly feels like you're reading a small hardcover book. The minimalist approach to the device is a plus in this regard. Kudos to Amazon. You're not distracted by anything on the device. Neither visually nor tactilely. Highlights, notes, and dictionary work as expected. Nicely done. One oddity I discovered is you can only do a Google or Wikipedia search on one word. This doesn't seem right, hopefully this will change very soon. Back to homescreen. Books currently in progress show a bookmark icon with percentage read. Nice touch Amazon.

I took a quick look in Apps and saw all my stuff (mostly freebies) in the Cloud. The default apps on the device are Audible, Contacts, Email, Facebook, Gallery, Help & Feedback, IDMb, Pulse, Quickoffice, and Amazon's Shop app.

Well, that's it for now. Everyone's asleep so I'm anxious to have some quality time with my new buddy. Thanks Mr. Bezos!!!
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:49 AM   #2
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I had a feeling you would fall in love with it.
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:06 AM   #3
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My experiences almost mirrored yours, in terms of being unexpectedly delighted by it. I also like the minimalism of it and the feel and balance. The just-in review tend to favor the Nook Tablet screen in terms of clarity and being less reflective (karmic payback for all the Amazon bashing of ipad screen glare), but I still don't like the clunky Nook form factor. Then the Nook apparently has a new but still confusing layout, with various shelves and pages, and I think I read that 15 of their 16GB of storage is still devoted only to BN content and apps. The nice app selection on the Kindle is also more impressive, especially since they're going to have the clout to get developer attention (and the free apps every day certainly help). I even liked that Amazon included Netflix right away, even though it's a competitor for their streaming video service. I wonder if the success of the Fire might actually cannibalize their eink device sales--my K4 looks a little too simple and limited after the Fire, although it's still good to pop in my pocket when I'm going somewhere.
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:24 AM   #4
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Thanks for the review, SCION! I'm glad that you are able to download rented movies to the device for offline viewing because I know that was an important feature for you. Enjoy your new Fire!
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:30 AM   #5
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We got a big fan of kindle fire here . Thanks for sharing ur thoughts.
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:25 AM   #6
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And the tech boys have already rooted it as well.

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Old 11-16-2011, 08:16 AM   #7
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Thanks for the review. The thing more important for me is the text rendering, since (if a buy it) I'm going to use it mostly for reading. I'm more convinced of ordering it after reading your impressions about the screen and the text quality.

EDIT: Two questions about the Fire web browser. Does it allow you to download any kind of file? Does it have an Article Mode option like the Kindle browser?

Last edited by thebestjeter; 11-16-2011 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:50 AM   #8
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Great to read the first reviews here (even greater as I just read that mine has been shipped and will be in my hands as one of the first Kindle Fires in Germany by Monday - yay!!!)

I have ordered the Fire as I was too timid to "take my eInk kindle anywhere" after the screen broke smply from putting it into my bag together with my iPod and iPad (and Amazon promptly replaced it, for which I grateful).

Best regards,
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:01 AM   #9
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Im glad that you enjoy it!
Im curious how is your experience with silk does it handle a photo heavy website like CNN? and does it default to mobile phone websites like alot of 7'incher or does it default full websites?

i hope you have several good years with that scion!
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:40 AM   #10
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I enjoy it for the main reason I purchased it: reading books in low light conditions. The rest is really not that good.

I can watch Netflix movies with the Fire but why would I prefer that? I prefer my HD TV for that task. The Web access is passable at best. Searching of my Osnova KJV and NET bibles are much slower than on the 3rd Generation Kindle Keyboard. I'm not interested in magazines or newspapers since I read all my news on the internet. Active Content like that great chess game for the 3rd Gen Kindle Kbd are NOT available. I purchased another chess game for android which is not as good. I cannot switch dictionairies like on the 3rd Gen Kindle Kbd. I have no Collections there either.

All told, I get my book reading in low light and really that is all.
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:51 AM   #11
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Thanks for the vicarious "fondle," SCION. I'm hoping for an equally good experience with mine. My two are finally local and I hope to have them in the next six hours. I take it you didn't have any problems in setting up the Wi-Fi?
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCION View Post
Well, that's it for now. Everyone's asleep so I'm anxious to have some quality time with my new buddy. Thanks Mr. Bezos!!!
You're killin' me! I want one so bad!

Maybe I'll get a bunch of Amazon gift cards for Christmas...
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:23 AM   #13
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Since Scion mentioned that it felt like reading a hardcover after putting it in the case, she can add to the experience with this: Smell of Books spray.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by covfam View Post
Im glad that you enjoy it!
Im curious how is your experience with silk does it handle a photo heavy website like CNN?
At Engadget.com there's a video that shows a side-by-side browser performance comparison of the iPad2, Kindle Fire, and Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. One of the websites visited is CNN, so you can get an idea of performance from that. The video is on this page in the "Performance" section. There was a pop-up window warning during the CNN test that may have slowed the Fire down. Also, the Silk browser is cloud-accelerated. It aggregates the results of millions of page loads so it can push content faster. Since the videotaped browser tests were done before the device was released to the masses, browser speed may be faster now. I don't have a Fire, so I can't test it myself.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:56 AM   #15
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I worked yesterday with the Fire browser and I am NOT impressed. If I want to access the internet, I'll use my PC, thank you.

The only great feature of the Fire is the ability to read ebooks in low light situations like I have today. When it's grey outside and one wants to read by a Window, the Fire is great.
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