Saturday, November 19, 2011

Amazon Kindle Fire and the Whole Amazon Universe

I sold my old Mac on eBay, and pocketed enough money to buy a new color reader -- even after the exorbitant eBay fee which was over 9%. Anyway, I want a better way to get my news or magazines.

I like my second generation Kindle. I like the size of it at 5 x 8 in and 290 g. The screen (9 x 12 cm; 108 cm^2) could be bigger for viewing pdf files though. The iPad's screen at 15 x 20 cm is a lot better at 300 cm^2. The new Kindle Fire's screen is 10.7 x 14.2 cm or 151 cm^2, or 25% bigger than my Kindle, but half as big as an iPad.  The iPad 2 weighs 539 g and the Kindle fire is 414 g.  The Nook Color is almost the same size and weight as the Kindle Fire -- 14 g lighter.

A important advantage of the Kindle Fire is that it can show free video for Amazon Prime members, which I am. There are a large number of pretty interesting titles, like the first season of Lost or 24. My problem with video is that I never have time to view it. I could also see it on my Mac easier. My Mac Air has a 432 cm^2 screen, but it weighs 1392 g.

I saw the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet at Best Buy, and they were the same price. The Kindle Fire worked well, but the magazine text was hard to read.  It looked like the source file was too low in resolution, and the pages were stored as images. The Nook Tablet's screen was harder to work, and seemed less touch sensitive. The Nook has a faster processor and more storage. It should be faster.

Both the Fire and the Nook Tablet glow in the dark so I can read at night, but they have fairly short battery life compared to the ePaper versions.

Amazon is also allowing Prime Members to borrow one of 5377 book titles for free, and a large number of TV series and old movies.  Since I am an Amazon Prime member this is a good deal. This is a pretty good reason to be in the Amazon ecosystem.

In Summary: Color readers are best for video and color books. The magazines are OK, but not great. The newspapers are better on an iPad because Android does only offers a few newspapers as apps like the NY Post. For real books, the ePaper readers are better because they are lighter and have much longer battery life. For text, one does not need the weight or the big screen. The Nook Tablet is better for surfing the web, but Barnes and Noble does not offer the extra sweeteners that Amazon does like the Prime Service.

I'll let you know what I buy.