Santa brought me a Kindle Fire this year.
I had a Kindle already but it’s about four years old. It’s one of the originals where pretty much all you can do is read text on it. No touchscreen – just buttons. It’s a tad clunky but I didn’t know any better until a couple of my tour participants in Burma showed me their Kindle Fire. And I was smitten.
Just when I didn’t think I needed another piece of technology I have to admit that I love love love this Kindle. Of course I still also love you, printed books. But for travel? How could I not carry just my little Kindle rather than all those bulky paper products?
But, I have to admit that it isn’t just being able to download books that makes me so in love. I’ve discovered, and I mean really discovered, RSS feeds.
I honestly never understood how people found time to catch up on news and other blogs. When I’m on my computer, I’m working. And when I’m not working, I don’t want to be connected to the computer for exploring other sites or reading news.
But with the Kindle, I installed the Feedly app and, using the search function looked for travel, news and technology sites. I bookmarked and sorted some of my favorites (Tnooz, Wired and, of course the WaL blogs!) into categories and now when I’ve got 15 minutes, or at the end of the day while lying in bed, I can just sit down and scroll through some headlines in a really beautiful interface. It’s joyful!
And for the important articles that I want to return to or send to someone else, I can simple email them directly from the Kindle.
People have asked why I didn’t just go for an iPad. Well, at double the price, I couldn’t justify it. The main reason for me having a Kindle is to have books to read when I’m traveling and while I have definitely appreciated some of the bells and whistles of the Kindle, I knew I didn’t need a mini computer. (I know, the Kindle IS a mini computer, but you know what I mean.)
What I Love
- Backlit and adjustable screen brightness so I can read anywhere.
- Touchscreen to easily move from page to page in my books and also scroll from book to app to websites.
- While the battery life doesn’t last as long as my earlier version Kindle (which could go a month or more without being charged), it does seem to last through the week without needing a charge. And it charges quickly when it is plugged into a power outlet.
- Android apps available for most anything I need (Facebook, RSS feeds, Twitter, etc.).
- Intuitive interface.
Not So Much
- Even though I keep removing items from my “carousel,” (the items that show up on the main screen), they keep appearing so I have to keep removing them.
- Likely an Android issue but the auto-correct sucks. Type the word “it’s” (common, right?) and it keeps plugging in Ian (I hardly know any Ian’s!). As on my iPhone, where I can tap my word to keep it, the Kindle provides a list you choose from. Sometimes the word I want isn’t in the list of suggested words so it just keeps auto-correcting to the wrong word. Argh.
The Kindle HD 7″ goes for $199 on Amazon. If you’re a book reader and a traveler, it’s a must have.