Saturday, November 19, 2011

This 'n That: Catching Up, Kindle Fire Likes & Concerns

Hi everyone! Last week I posted almost every day and was rolling and this week I was only able to post one review. Well, yes... this year continues to plague my family with lots of emergencies. My dad was hospitalized for an emergency heart-related procedure. Although it was quite stressful at the time, the good news is that all is well, thank goodness! I am lucky enough to have three wonderful supportive brothers, a husband, sister-in-law and daughter that are there to help deal with the stress. My boss has been quite wonderful in allowing me the time to deal with all the family situations that have cropped up this year as well. Kudos and thanks to her! We are all trying to relax this weekend and hopefully will catch a break for a little while so we can be ready for whatever lies around the corner.

Throughout last week I did have a few distracting, happy moments provided by the arrival of my very special birthday present -- the Kindle Fire. Let me see... so far I have great news and some reservations about this wonderful toy. And it is quite a toy! It's a combination eReader and Pad (very similar to the iPad).

Reading and Device Features I like
  • Size -- it's the size of a paperback and it fits in my bag easier than my other Kindle (K2).
  • Bigger reading screen that allows me to read in portrait or landscape formats by just turning the device.
  • Easier and faster paging. 
  • Color covers for books arranged on shelf - makes it feel as if you're picking them off your own bookshelves. Seeing those beautiful covers makes me want to read books that have been in my old Kindle TBR FOREVER. 
  • The books keep the "New" label until they are opened and read. When sorting books by "most recent", the new books always appear first along with the books just read or recently opened. Love this! 
  • Cloud: Downloading books to the cloud allows me to download them to multiple devices (to both Kindles + my computer) and it allows me to see all my books, but download only what I want to read in a particular device. Love this feature!
  • Highlighting and Dictionary features are better than in old Kindle. Plus, there's the option of going directly to Wiki.
  • I love the touch screen (no breakable knobs parts), but there's a catch to this (see below).
  • Amazon Prime Member Free Library -- WOW, love books in that library.
Other features I love:
  • Music! Uploaded all my music to the Cloud
  • Newsstand -- Already have magazines and newspapers in there
  • Videos -- Great stuff! No videos yet.
  • Docs -- Can have documents in there. I still don't have any
  • Apps -- There are free apps and interface with Facebook, Twitter, and other sites. Can download more! I especially love that I was able to load all my email accounts and am able to read and answer them from the device. I also loaded my office calendar into the device already -- yeah, well.... *g*
  • Web -- Fast and easy... I've bookmarked all my favorite blogs, Goodreads and other sites.
Reservations or Concerns so far:
  • Books can't be sorted by collections. This is a great feature available in other Kindles. If this feature is available for the KFire, I haven't figured out how to use it yet.
  • No PDF Files! The Kindle Fire does NOT read PDF files. The other Kindles read PDF files that are loaded free of charge via USB cable. For the KFire they have to be sent to amazon via email for "conversion" so they can then be read. I have loads of books in PDF format still unread. Why change this feature at this point in the game? 
  • WiFi, not 3G: Books, magazines, music, etc... are downloaded to the device via WiFi services or USB cable. This is easy enough at home or if you have passwords for specific locations (office/friends & family's homes) or free public access, but if there are dead zones or there's no free public access there's no using the Web or multiple apps.
  • Screen is backlit: The screen to the reader is back lit just like a computer, which is great for reading in dark places. BUT, I haven't read a complete book yet so I'm not sure if this is going to affect my vision or give me a headache. This is a concern for me even though I've been told it's all good.
  • Glass-like screen: The screen is glass-like which makes it fragile and breakable (see warranty for this). I have a great case for it with a hard back but it's a concern for me since I take my Kindle everywhere with me. Also because it's like glass, it is reflective (unlike the old Kindles), it's not too bothersome but something I need to get used to.  
  • Battery Time: Charge on the battery only lasts for eight hours of straight reading and it takes four hours for the device to charge fully. Now, I know this is a long time for someone to read, but I read for eight hours straight (and more) on the weekends and if you're listening to music, running other apps, or have the WiFi on at the same time the battery runs down fast.
  • Distractions: I know this is a new toy, but so far I find that having all the different apps together with the reader distracts me from reading. My concentration has been shot! I begin reading a book but then I want to look or hear or see something else -- a bit too much stimuli! Maybe this will change later for me. 
So you ask, have I finished any books in the Kindle Fire yet? Well yes, I finished the one book I was reading when the device arrived, Chulito by Charles Rice-González, and I'll be posting all about this book later on. However, I've not been able to read any other books even though I've begun a few of them. Hopefully this weekend that will change.


  1. Glad to read all is well with your father. Thanks for your user comments on the Kindle Fire. I'm considering breaking down and getting it as my first reader and you've focused on "reader" rather than technical issues. It was helpful.

  2. Sounds like a great new toy and that you're enjoying it, so that's good :) Worst come to worst, you still have your regular Kindle.

    I'm not really crazy about the cloud... I don't know, don't trust it 100% but it's most probably just me LOL. and oh, it sucks about pdf ^_^; I can feel your pain!

  3. So glad to hear your father is OK. Thinking of you all.

    Glad you're enjoying the Kindle Fire :) What I want to get my hands on is the Kindle Touch, not the Kindle Fire, but unforunately Amazon won't ship either here. I'm hoping that will change after Christmas...but I'll probably stick with my iPhone until it dies :) Luckily Stanza is back - no more iPhone iOS updates for me until I know Stanza works!

  4. Ladies, thank you. My dad is recuperating quite well! Thank goodness.

    Kathryn, I'm glad this post was helpful. I hope to use the KF mainly as a reader too. Although the rest is wonderful that's the focus for me too. :)

    Nath, I am loving the toy-factor, lol! I am lucky to have my other Kindle as a backup. I can always read my PDF files there if I don't want them converted, right? I'll let you know about the Cloud and if it's reliable or not. This is new to me and I imagine that there are kinks and other things that will come up with further use. Enjoying so far though. (Still have NOT finished a book!).

    Orannia, I agree! The Kindle Touch seems to be a great choice! As a reader I think it's the best one to choose. It has 3G, all of the options and none of the distractions. LOL! Hope you get it soon. In the meantime the iPhone is not a bad thing. :)

  5. So good to hear your dad is doing better. It's stressful for everyone and great that you have a wonderful family for support. And an understanding boss. :)

    Great breakdown of pros & cons of KF. The no PDF files is a deal breaker for me. I don't want to be tied to Amazon for ebooks. Plus, I get many from the library.

    Hope there's some way to create bookshelves/files. It was great when the nook had the bookshelves function added.

    Does it still have the sync function like the old kindle? I have the kindle app on my phone & laptop and love that they can be synced.


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