Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Initial KINDLE FIRE impressions

I rushed home after a long day of push 0's and 1's through my company's network and was thoroughly exhausted.  But as I journeyed home to my abode in South San Jose, I started to become energized, because I was promised in a shipping notification from the folks at AMAZON that my FIRE had shipped and would be with me before the nights end!

As I trudged through my garage door, I quickly scouted the room for the object of my desire, sidestepping the obligatory hello and hug from my children.  I was a man on a mission and no amount of child/parent relation was going to get in the way.  (just kidding, Mom - I hugged them - then shoved them on their way).

After a cursory scan of the room, I found nothing! I moved on to the other room and again found nothing... I then began the waiting game as I figured out, the device had not made it yet.  It wasn't until after dinner and dishes that I 'happened' to check the front door (for the 37th time since arriving home) and found the package of my want, waiting.

I brought the box in and tore into it like a young bear finding a package of ding-dongs at a campsite.  What I was met with was not only a well put together presentation of the product (a-la-Applesque), but it was totally made of biodegradable products and hence totally recyclable - nice.

The FIRE was jet black on the back and the front, and simply came with an AC Adapter (using micro USB architecture) and a note card (quick start guide) with some notes on it (I ignored this).
I then ripped off the cellophane wrapping and pushed the power button and was met with a KINDLE/ANDROID SLIDE TO UNLOCK.  It is a very nice display and has crisp colors and fast response to my finger swipe and movements.

The first thing the FIRE wanted to do was join a wireless network, after which it wanted to check for an update.  I obliged and started the download - it was slow, but thankfully the KINDLE recognized the download was progressing slowly (I am sure because a lot of FIRE's were being turned up tonight) and it prompted me to CONTINUE or ABORT FOR LATER.  I chose to continue - what the heck.
After the update - the unit rebooted and started back up where we left off - and low and behold - it was already ASSIGNED to me - so no registration necessary.

Found all my books that were IN THE CLOUD and downloaded several of my current books I am reading (I multitask like I am turning television stations).

I then proceeded to jump into the APP store and I do have to say, I am very jaded by the Apple APP STORE - Apple's store is easier to navigate and browse and find things.  I searched for several apps on the AMAZON APP STORE and they weren't to be found - not sure if this is a limitation imposed by the apps that can be placed on the FIRE, but at $200.00, this is going to be a HOT ANDROID device - so Amazon/Google better get off their arses and do right by this device.

As a reader - the FIRE has a superb screen with multiple options to make it easier on the eyes - with FONT SIZE, FONT STYLE, 3 different color schemes, etc. etc.  The drawback is that the unit feels skinnier than the last KINDLE (3rd generation) that I have.  So I have used the Kindle 1 and the Kindle 3 (full size, gray keyboard) and now the FIRE.  I am afraid the unit will not work outdoors, and when we return to the beach this next summer, I won't be able to see it clearly (so I will keep my Kindle 3 as backup).

The unit is very responsive (as I stated) and I even setup my e-mail on the unit, not like I really need ANOTHER DEVICE with my e-mail on it.  I also downloaded a few fun apps to toy with and experiment as this is my first ANDROID device.  Now, if Apple had created something similar to this (in price and size), I would have totally picked that up instead - because, in reality, I could use an iOS device... with the KINDLE app.

Hope this helps a bit and I truly hope to have an updated review after using it for several days.  Mean time - here are some pics of the unit:

Kindle SWIPE screen to open device

First Screen - My Amazon Shelf - has books, apps, music, etc. all in one place

Here is an example of my NEWSSTAND - with some journals I subscribe (pay) to

Here are my books - notice these are IN THE CLOUD and the JAMES GARNER BIOGRAPHY in the lower right corner has a grayed out ARROW - means it is in the cloud and not on my device yet.

BEAUTIFUL opening page for my latest download from Joe Haldeman - gorgeous colors...

Bottom has an audio jack, power jack and power button

Top of FIRE has two speakers - more important for the VIDEOS and MUSIC you can play on this device

Ariel view of the FIRE (notice the finger smudges)

Had to download an album to the device to test the audio - what better album than the GREATEST VIDEO GAME MUSIC from the London Philharmonic Orchestra!!!

...and FACEBOOK app running on FIRE