For my birthday my awesome wife surprised me with a Kindle Fire HDX 7″ (aff link)
tablet. I’ve been eyeing the Kindle Fire for a while now, so it’s an understatement to say I was pretty excited when I unwrapped it. While there are already a lot of reviews of the Kindle Fire, I thought I’d still post my own impressions of the device.
Kindle Fire HDX vs. The iPad
I’ve had the first generation iPad for almost 4 years now. While it’s old, a little clunky and the iOS no longer supports most apps, it has been a faithful companion for all these years. It’s helped me get a lot done, not to mention entertain me. In short, I’m used to my iPad and very comfortable using it.
The biggest, most obvious difference between the two devices is the size. My iPad sports a whopping 9.7 inch touchscreen, while the Kindle Fire comes in at a respectable 7″. It is a big difference and one that will take some getting used to. Even the current iPad mini has a 7.9″ display.
App Selection & Quality
The next difference is the number and quality of apps available. Simply put, Apple wins this one. While the Amazon app store does have most of the apps I use, it is lacking (no Google Chrome, for example). The apps that are available, however, are just as good as the ones I use on my iPad.
The UI on the Kindle HDX is smooth and straightforward. The only problem I had was finding the settings menu (swipe down from the top). The carousel is a very convenient way to access my most frequently used apps.
My only complaint with the Kindle HDX is the user cannot organize apps into folders like you can on the iPad. While not a deal breaker by any means, it is a small annoyance.
This is where the Kindle Fire really shines. It’s designed to be a content-consumption device. If you’re already in the Amazon ecosystem (as I am), then the Fire is perfect because it seamlessly allows you to buy, view, listen to, read, watch all the content you want from Amazon. And considering Amazon has a HUGE selection of ebooks, plus tons of streaming videos and music downloads, there’s no shortage of stuff to buy.
The iPad is more of a “jack-of-all-trades” device. It can be used to consume content, but it doesn’t limit you to just Apple’s ecosystem in the way the Kindle Fire does. I’ve also used the iPad for work/productivity tasks as well. The Fire can perform these other tasks quite well, but it was designed to consume content of all types. I probably won’t be using it to write a novel.
Final Thoughts On The Kindle Fire HDX
I’m still getting used to my new Kindle Fire. I’ve only had it a few days so it’s really premature to say either “It’s the best thing since sliced bread” or “It’s just okay.” So far I’m really impressed and the pros do outweigh the cons.
One thing I didn’t mention above is the Fire’s display quality – it is amazing! Pictures, movies and everything else is crisp and clear. It blows my iPad out of the water (I have the 1st gen iPad, so I can’t speak for the later models).
Hopefully, after using the Fire for a while I’ll try to come back and post an update. This post is just some general first impressions I had, but I want to put it through its paces before making a definitive judgement.