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O! For a muse of fire.
Member Name: London222
Advantages: Many functions. Easy to use.
Disadvantages: Mains charger not included.
I felt it was a bold move on my part - I have never had a tablet device of any kind before, but I have seen other people's and been quietly envious. My daughter's groaned when they heard I had ordered the device. "It's so middle-aged and middle-class," carped my eldest. I wasn't aware until then that my desire to own the product was mired in cliché and my finger hovered over the 'cancel order' button on my Amazon account on more than one occasion.
Nevertheless, the product was delivered swiftly and I received it in its distinctive slim, black box with the wedged end. The Kindle Fire lay before me shining, sleek and black in its packaging aside its USB charger. I plugged it into the USB port on my computer and let it charge for a couple of hours and then began to use it.
I had been sent an e-mail from Amazon prior to my Kindle Fire's arrival extolling its virtues and stressing how simple it is to use. Indeed, it is a simple device to use - even for the non-technically minded like myself. All I had to do was to register it onto my home Wi-Fi and go onto my Amazon account. All my previously purchased books were there in glorious colour - a surprise to see them in that format after using my black and white kindle for so long. I was also ready to 'surf the net' on this device through Amazons kindle browser which is called 'Silk.'
Basically, you can shop, play games, download apps, books from Amazon, play music, videos, buy digital newspapers and magazines, surf the web, check your e-mail and look at photos and documents from the Amazon Cloud on this device. If you have never had Lovefilm, Amazons streaming service before, you are given a months free trial with this device. I had already had a trial run at Lovefilm and didn't think it was very good so I didn't get that - but I am signed up to Netflix and you can watch that on this device instead once you download the app. There are loads of free apps for different services. Some apps incur a small charge. Usefully, Amazon offers a paid app for free every day. I haven't downloaded very many apps thus far - just the things I use a lot like Googlesearch, BBC iplayer etc. I have little desire to download 'Funny Sounds,' 'Baby nursery rhymes,' 'Top Gear News,' or 'Funny Jokes.' There are loads of apps and games - few of which I am interested in, but I am sure they are appreciated by many people.
Curiously, I found a few games suddenly appeared on my Kindle one day - at first this confused me, but then my eldest (she of the aforementioned derisive comment) admitted she'd had 'a bit of a go' with my Kindle. She grudgingly admitted that it was a better device than she had thought. (Ha!)
After having had my Kindle Fire for almost two weeks I have my own list of pros and cons with it. Overall, I love the functionality of this device - but I do have a list of niggles:
Although it comes with a USB charger it does not come with a mains charger and I soon found out it takes hours and hours to charge using the USB port - at least six hours if you've run the battery right down. This was very frustrating and I was forced to order a mains charger from Amazon which takes a fraction of that time. This is an extra cost you have to bear in mind if you order a Kindle Fire. Since you get a free trial of the Amazon Prime service (free one day delivery and the chance to borrow certain paid for kindle books for free) when you buy the Kindle Fire at least the charger was delivered quickly.
When I first got the device and started using it I thought the battery life was appalling. The battery life marker in the right hand corner emptied alarming quickly - I'd watch a couple of films and the battery would be almost gone again. I worried at first that there was something wrong with my Kindle - but then one of my children noted that I had the brightness and volume on maximum settings. Once these were toned down the battery lasts a reasonable amount of time. How long it lasts seems to depend on what you are doing on the Kindle. Although, I don't think this device would win awards for its battery life, I now use it intermittently throughout the day before it needs another charge and I am happy enough with it.
The screen is very reflective and you can't use it in bright sunlight. This is a shame as I had visions of me sitting outside on the sun-lounger surfing the net and watching re-runs of Relic Hunter on Netflix. Sadly, this was not to be.
I am slowly getting used to the touch screen. This is my first touch-screen device and I have stubby fingers - not a winning combination. I have sent multiple e-mails, blank e-mails, and found myself on some very weird websites quite by accident. I am also very ham-fisted with the keyboard which pops up whenever you tap into an area which can be written into. I don't think I am going to be using the device to post any reviews any time soon. I must order a stylus. Sigh - another unforeseen cost of this device.
Overall, however, I love the Kindle Fire. It has a clear, bright screen which makes it a delight to use as an e-reader and to watch TV programmes and films on. My Kindle is not HD but even so I am very impressed by the clarity and sharpness of the picture quality on this device. It is remarkably user friendly - when you open up the device you have a carousel of your most browsed apps/books waiting for you. I surf the internet with ease, read books, watch programmes. These are the functions which I personally bought this device to do and it performs these functions well. For the £139 price paid for this device I wasn't expecting something akin to a laptop but I have been pleasantly surprised by the versatility of this device. I am becoming quite attached to my Kindle Fire and foresee a long and happy association with it - if that makes me middle-aged and middle-class then so be it.
Summary: Easy to use - even for technophobes like me.
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