Friday, November 18, 2011

Review: Kindle Fire - You Want My Old Kindle?

So, sort of a departure today for reviews. I'm not reviewing a book, but thought I'd give my thoughts on the new Kindle Fire, which I've had for a couple of days now. Instead of a book, I'll be giving away my much-loved basic Kindle. Read on for details.

I bought the Kindle Fire because I'm exactly the customer Amazon was targeting. I'm already a member of Amazon Prime, which means I pay a flat sum once a year and enjoy "free" two-day shipping the rest of the year. 

I've also had iPad envy for a while now but couldn't bring myself to shell out $500-plus for a tablet when I knew most of what I'd do with it was play on it, and I don't have time to play. Day jobs to tend to, books to write, and all that. The last thing I needed was an addiction to Angry Bird. But it was just so damned cool, you know?

Last year, my best friend gave me a basic Kindle for Christmas. I'd insisted I didn't want an eReader, I loved printed books, but she thought I needed it, and she was right. I love it. I can read faster on it, blow the type up because I'm half blind anyway, and store lots of books. I still buy my favorite series in print, and always will. What I really like--and what surprised me--was being able to subscribe to magazines. I missed the graphics but like the bookmarking functions, the portability, and the ability to keep a bazillion back issues without taking up lots of space. And I was able to do some light proofreading and manuscript editing on the Kindle by emailing documents from my laptop to the Kindle, something I hadn't anticipated. 

The Kindle Fire seemed like a good compromise, and so far I'm happy with it. It's heavier than the basic Kindle--weighs more like a Nook color, if you've handled one of those. The web-browsing function is fast. Streaming movies from Amazon is extremely fast and not a hitch so far. My magazines are OMG beautiful on the color display, sharp and clear. There was a rumor floating around that the Fire wasn't compatible with Google products like Gmail or Google or Google Plus, but that is not true. Setting up my Gmail was seamless and fast. Ditto moving my music files from iTunes--I uploaded them from my computer to Amazon's Cloud Server and then downloaded them to the Fire. I think there's a way to transfer directly from the computer to the Fire, but I haven't figured that out yet. And I actually like the 7" touchscreen (as opposed to the iPad's 10-inch screen) because it's easy to hold and control with one hand. 

The only negatives so far, I can live with. The touch screen is a little less sensitive than what I'm used to on my iPhone but I'm getting the feel of it. Since it's backlit, it has more glare than the old Kindle. The Fire doesn't have text-to-speech capability yet, though I've read it will be in a future software update. The on-off button is small and dark and wedged next to the charging dock so I have to feel around for it if I'm not in a well-lit room. I'm sure I'll get used to that. I wish it had 3G capability but I spend 90 percent of my time in wireless environments and have my iPhone the rest of the time, so it's not that big a deal. 

So, that's the report so far. In the meantime, I have a basic wi-fi Kindle (no 3G) that needs a new home! Yeah, it's used, but it's cleaned off and deregistered and ready to go...and free. I have a leather case for it and a charger (it charges either by USB port or by AC adapter). All you'll have to do is go to the Amazon site and register it to yourself when you get it. Oh, and you never know, I might put the first chapter of ROYAL STREET on it for you :-)

So...Since this is kind of a special giveaway, I'm going to keep it running until December 9. Every Friday (today, Nov. 18;  plus Friday, Nov. 25; Friday, Dec. 2; and Friday, Dec. 9) you'll have a chance for four entries--so a possible 16 entries total--one entry for comment, one for blog follow, one for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and one for a Tweet or Retweet of the contest. 


60 comments:

  1. Don't enter me for the competition as I already have a Kindle (great comp. though!). I want to know how you email docs to your kindle!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I, too already have a Kindle, but I really appreciate the review of the Fire. The Big Guy got himself a tablet this week (it's a Samsung something-or-other), and he's been busily trying to find the books he wants to read to put on the Kindle App that came with it. It will be interesting to learn how the App on the tablets compares to using the Fire.

    I'm busiy trying to pretend that I am more than satisfied with my basic Kindle and iPhone, but I keep stealing glances at his new toy...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow! A Kindle Fire sounds so awesome! Too bad it's so expansive for me to buy a Kindle from my country. I'd end paying about U$500 with all the taxes and handling fees... >.>'

    thanks for this great chance! I'm hoping it's open intl, like all your competitions. :)

    +1 comment,
    +1 for blog follow (Kah_cherub)
    +1 for Twitter follow (@vollkopf)
    +1 for a Tweet : https://twitter.com/#!/vollkopf/status/137543056256811008

    kah_cherub at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thnaks for the review. I've been eyeing the Fire but am not sure I want a tablet that's Wi-Fi only since I'd like to use it when I'm traveling.

    In the meantime I could manage to give a home to a gently used Kindle.

    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    sgiden at verizon.net

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the review! I've been dying to get my hands on a Kindle, but having only just started my new job, it's a little far down on the list of "things that really need buying" (wireless router that actually works: bought. Ceiling light: bought. Jeans that fit and have no embarrassing holes... next paycheck. X-mas gifts... working on it. Haircut... January isn't that far off, right? Welcome to being 26 and college-educated.)

    The backlit vs. non-backlit is actually a big thing for me. My eyes are bad enough as-is, so I've really wanted a Kindle to give them a break. Especially since I stare at a computer all day for work, and then go home and stare at computer all night to write. For me, the non-glare is a huge benefit.

    +1 for blog follow
    +1 for comment

    ReplyDelete
  6. Speaking as a librarian, although printed matter is my favorite, the appeal of the e-reader lies in the fact that it'll save me physical space, of which is at a premium. So I would love to give your Kindle a new home.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the comments, everyone!

    @ Marissa, all you have to do is send an email to your kindle with no text in it and attach your .doc or .rtf or .docx document to your Kindle address (if you don't know it, you can go to "Manage Your Kindle" in the Kindle Store on the Amazon website). It downloads to your Kindle just like a book, and you can bookmark and make notes.

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  8. @Marissa-you attach the document to your email, not to your email address (duh). Also, go to "Manage your Kindle" and make sure your personal email is added to the list of addresses from which you can receive Kindle docs.

    ReplyDelete
  9. @Juturna...Yes, I am going to miss the non-glare screen. You can even read on it outside without glare, and it's easier on the eyes!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for this review. I was eyeing the Kindle Fire for my son for Christmas since he has taken over my husband's Kindle. I am still working with print books but would love the chance to own your gently used Kindle. And thanks for the info on downloading docs to the Kindle. I plan on trying that.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I follow you everywhere woman, lol. I've been hankering for a Kindle for a while since half of the review copies I get are in that format. I'm not inclined to buy the fire yet. I have the nook color and honestly don't use half of the features. I really just want to read. lol. Will tweet for you!

    ReplyDelete
  12. LOL, Rachel--glad to see you here! I had both a Nook and a Kindle for a while, but sold my Nook once Netgalley started having their book galleys in Kindle format.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I want the Fire. BAD. LOL Don't put me in the competition...I have a Kindle DX, but I will share this out. I now there are folks who would love to have one. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I can't imagine reading with something as heavy as the nook. Thanks for the info!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi, Suzanne. I saved you by following your blog, before me the # of followers was 666. Now it's 667.

    I think that deserves an extra entry, don't you?

    I NEED that Kindle!

    ReplyDelete
  16. LOL, Bart--I've been looking at that "666" for the last few days. Thank you for saving me! That certainly should be worth something :-)

    ReplyDelete
  17. +1 for comment
    +1 blog follow
    +1 twitter follow

    (How many times can you follow on twitter?)

    ReplyDelete
  18. @Bart...good point! I'll think of some other nefarious way to get the extra entries next week :-)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Awesome!

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower
    +1 twitter follower

    Littopandaxpress(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  20. 1 comment,
    +1 for blog follow (Jennifer)
    +1 for Twitter follow @jlkalman26
    +1 for a Tweet :
    http://twitter.com/#!/jlkalman26/status/137587297972518912
    jlkalman26 at gmail dot com

    thanks so much for the generous giveaway. I have been dying for a kindle. I also love physical copies. But there are some books that i want to read that seem to be more readily available as ebooks.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Congrats on the Fire! I need a Kindle in the worst way. Over 1/2 the books I review are ebooks. Have you ever tried to read a book on an iPod Touch? My eyes are screaming "No more, crazy lady!!". Only 5 months until Royal Street comes out, right? Thanks for the opportunity!
    +1 comment
    +1 follow blog Andrea Thompson
    +1 follow twitter @BookishAndrea
    +1 retweet

    andreat78@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Right now I'm in the market for an ereader. There are several I am eyeing kindle, sony and nook but the kindle keeps coming on top mainly because of the sharp contrast which is the most important thing in a dedicated reader. As of now my stance is I love my print books and will keep buying them but I love the convenience of an ereader and being able to read books that are ONLY available in ebooks. I've purchased many ebooks for "when I get an ereader" but many aren't read. Some I've read on my kindle for pc app but it's a slow-go. Knowing myself I'd probably love an ereader but prints will still have a huge hold on me. I've been trying to win one but I know probably next year I'll cave in and buy one! The irony is some kindle contests I've tried entering requires writing book reviews for ebooks which I've done a few on my PC. Lol if i had one it would be so much easier. Thank you for the chance.

    +1 comment
    +1 gfc follow
    +1 twitter follow (fieryna)
    +1 tweeted: https://twitter.com/#!/FieryNa/status/137597257187999744

    Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  23. @suzanne, this is exactly why I want a Kindle. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm a bit unsure now...i definitively prefer book in print ( the feeling, the smell everything)but a kindle even used could be so great...even if i'm not sure i'm ready for that ( me and technology...)
    Also, i'm not sure it can be send abroad without problem ( and i don't want you to have troubles because of me) perhaps another will be more happy with it and is dying to have it ^^( i would be happy too)i guess for me it would better several print books (you will think i'm strange) so win oneereader yes buy one- not at teh moment or in the near futur

    thanks you for your generosity

    +1comment
    +1follow

    isabelle(dot)frisch(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wow! Now winning that Kindle would be a prize and a half :) especially since I'm currently in the danger of seriously injuring myself or others if the piles of books collapse on me :) plus the books themselves are in danger...according to my better half accidents do happen and books are just so flammable! :D

    So I hope that Lady Luck will smile on me and help me convert to e-books :)

    thanks for a wonderful giveaway!

    vinsarama[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I've been DYING to get a kindle...not sure if I'm ready to spring for a Fire but I'd love to give your old one a home :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Wow! You are quite generous! And thanks for your review. I haven't decided on whether I want to get a Kindle Fire or not until I find out if they have any problems, but I would love to have a regular Kindle!

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower
    +1 Twitter follower: @jwitt33

    jwitt33 at live dot com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Great review of the Fire. As Julie said, very generous. Thank you for giving us a chance to win a Kindle.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks for the report on the Kindle Fire. I've been curious about it, and it's good hearing firsthand info plus the disadvantages/advantages.

    Can you read on it outside if the screen glares a bit more?

    ReplyDelete
  30. the gadget guy in me loves the idea of an ereader...the bibliophile still loves the feel and smell of books. i have books, but no kindle. please do toss my name in the hat for your old one. cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Great review, I've always wanted a Kindle... Haha, thanks for this great giveaway!

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follow (CYP @ A Bookalicious Story)
    +1 Twitter follow (@CYPyeti)
    +1 Tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/CYPyeti/status/137682221485129728

    CYP
    cypsays_hi@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. I'd love to play please.

    +1 for comment
    +1 blog follow
    +1 twitter follow

    lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  33. i am really disappointed to learn the fire won't read your stories to you. that is the one feature i was most looking forward too.

    thanks for the review and count me in for an entry!

    @antonioangelo21

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thanks for the Kindle Fire review! I had decided I wanted to get a Kindle for Christmas (since I've been relying on the Kindle app for way too long), but I'm still debating between a regular Kindle and the Kindle Fire. Crossing my fingers I might be a lucky winner here :)

    +1 Comment

    +1 New Blog Follower

    +1 Tweet About The Contest (https://twitter.com/#!/kimberlyFDR/status/137739703691640832)

    +1 New Twitter Follower (@kimberlyFDR)

    ReplyDelete
  35. +1 Thank you for this awesome giveaway! I've always wanted a Kindle but my parents cannot afford it, so I've never requested them to buy one for me.

    +1 Blog follower

    +1 Twitter follower

    +1 Tweeted:
    https://twitter.com/#!/aikchien/status/137747639847489536

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  36. I have had a Kindle with wifi for about a year and have loved it...the rest of my family is catching on so it would be great to have another one around the house!

    I followed you on Twitter
    I tweeted the giveaway

    ReplyDelete
  37. +1 Would love to have a Kindle Fire, how awesome!

    +1 Blog follower-Lisa Richards

    +1 Twitter follower-@alterlisa

    +1 Tweeted:http://twitter.com/#!/alterlisa/status/137761829886758913

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  38. That is awesome. Had my eye on these, but no budget for it. Thank you for passing it onto someone that is very kind and awesome of you.

    +comment
    +GFC Teril
    +Twit @TeriCrusley
    +tweeted https://twitter.com/#!/TeriCrusley/status/137789830817005568

    terilhack at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thank you for sharing!

    + comment

    kasuranna at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  40. Count me in.

    +1 for comment
    +1 blog follow
    +1 twitter follow

    sarah AT sarahgrimm DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  41. It's an amazing giveaway, thank you so much. your review is very interesting, I haven't bought one yet.

    +1 Comment

    +1 Blog Follower (Melliane)

    +1 Tweet About The Contest (http://twitter.com/betweendandr/statuses/137863894487138305)

    +1 Twitter Follower (@betweendandr)

    ellana_(at)hotmail(dot)fr

    ReplyDelete
  42. I am not sure if this giveaway is intended for international follower as well. If it is, I'll be more than happy to give a shelter to your kindle!

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower
    +1 twitter follower

    aliasgirl at libero dot it

    ReplyDelete
  43. If this giveaway is international, then please, enter me too. Almost all of my books are ebooks, and I read them on my computer, which means, that I can read only in sitting position at my desk. I'd love to have a Kindle)))
    Thanks for great giveaway!
    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower as Sofija Kapranova
    +1 twitter follower as @soni_sonik

    kapranova.sofija@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thanks so much for posting your thoughts on the Kindle Fire, I've been interested in this product since I first heard about it, but had my concerns...all of which you just flew out the window for me. Could I put my existing itunes brought mp3 tunes on it? Yes! What will the reading experience be like with no eink screen. Well, sounds like your a happy bunny with your reading experiences. Considering your giving away your old kindle, that speaks volumes! OKAY. I Want a Kindle Fire. Now to find that Santa and sit on his lap hehe.
    And good luck to everyone who has entered to win Suzanne's old Kindle xxx and don't forget to those who don't win, a Kindle basic is now under $80 -- I bet if you've all been good, Santa may treat you :)

    ReplyDelete
  45. wow amazing giveaway. :) thank you for this opportunity :)

    +1 comment

    +1 blog follow thenorms_12

    +1 twitter follow @thenorms

    +1 RT https://twitter.com/#!/thenorms/status/137909080428777473

    ReplyDelete
  46. I just saw this! I'd love your gently used Kindle. What a thoughtful (and useful) contest!

    +1 re-tweet

    (I was already following you on Twitter. )

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Such an amazing giveaway! You do so much for your readers. Thank you so much! Can't wait for Royal Street!

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower Spaz
    +1 Twitter follower SpazinOL
    +1 tweet: https://twitter.com/#!/SPAZinOL/status/137964868610441216

    zsaz1029.at.yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  48. Awesome! Thanks Suzanne! I'mm copying and pasting your instructions for future reference. It's something that will definitely come in handy!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    +1 GFC follower
    +1 comment

    ReplyDelete
  50. Coolness! I am still stuck on my paperback, but I have the kindle and nook PC apps on my computer and find myself reading on there just as much as my paperbacks, so I think it's time to get a kindle! lol. I was thinking about the fire, but might hold off until a new version comes out with 4g. For now, just something portable to read my books on will do just well, and if I could win won, that would be AWESOME!

    +GFC Follower
    + Comment
    +Twitter Follower
    + Retweeted about giveaway

    Thanks for the fab giveaway, and enjoy your fire!!!

    ReplyDelete
  51. (I am @NotAnotherRblog on twitter, btw!)

    And just looked up your book on amazon! I read more historical, but have been looking to try some paranormal and urban fantasy!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Awesome giveaway! Especially since it's open to international entries too :)

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follow

    chibipooh(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  53. I'm very curious about the Kindle Fire, but I love that I can read my kindle in the sunshine...

    Can you see the screen in the sun with it back lit?

    THanks for the review!!!

    Lisa :)

    ReplyDelete
  54. Epic giveaway! :)

    GCF: Midnight Book Thief
    followed on twitter: NightBookThief
    tweted: http://twitter.com/#!/NightBookThief/status/138245056204242944

    ReplyDelete
  55. 1 for comment
    1 for gfc
    1 for twitter
    1 for tweeeting the contest

    ReplyDelete
  56. +1 Here's my entry for this week! I hope I'll be its new owner!

    +1 Blog follower - Aik

    +1 Twitter follower @aikchien

    +1 Tweeted:
    https://twitter.com/#!/aikchien/status/138479796157034497

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  57. I think I'd even Kill for a Kindle! Thanks for the chance to win!

    +1 GFC Follower
    +1 Comment

    mleger0546 AT rogers dot Com

    ReplyDelete
  58. I don't have a Kindle yet. I use my Android phone, so this would be really cool!

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower
    +1 twitter follower
    +1 retweeting the contest

    :-)

    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  59. Thanks so much for thiw awesome & generous giveaway. I love to win this to give it to a friend who also loves to read but don't have a kindle yet.

    gfc follower: izlight
    twitter follower: izylight
    Twitted:
    http://twitter.com/#!/izylight/status/139947360217337858

    Thanks,
    mizzykhayla(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  60. oh God, how earth did I miss this? O_O Thanks to the lovely Andrea, she told me so here I am. Your kindle fire sounds great!
    Thanks for the generous giveaway :) Fingers crossed!

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follow
    +1 twitter follow
    +1 retweet.

    luarroyave(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete