Guest blogger reviews the Kindle Fire

Patrick Wade suggested the iPad in a recent blog post. I suggested an Android tablet. Here, News-Gazette staff writer Tim Mitchell shares his early experience with the Kindle Fire from Amazon.

I’ve only had my Kindle Fire for a couple of weeks, but I’ve been pretty impressed with all the things the portable device can do.

The Kindle Fire is lightweight (about 14 ounces). It features a 7-inch color screen and wifi. It comes with a charger, and the battery on my machine works for more than seven hours before I need to recharge it.

So far I have used it for sending and receiving email, checking and posting to social networking sites, reading news, playing games and online shopping and browsing. Using a Kindle Fire is fun and easy. I haven’t traveled with it yet, but I plan to take it with me on out-of-town trips.

The device has a solid, durable feel, and the screen appears pretty thick. I did buy a clear screen protector separately.

The Kindle Fire is incredibly easy to turn on, set up and start using. (It took me longer to set up a wireless router to use the machine around my home than it did to set up the browser.)

Once you turn on the machine with the push of a single button at the bottom of the tablet, you will find seven sections at the top of the screen: news, books, music, videos, documents, apps and Web (which has a “favorites” feature). While some items can be bought (or downloaded for free) from Amazon, other content, including videos, music, photos and documents can be transferred from a PC by using a micro-USB connector.

While the Android Market is not installed on the device, the Kindle Fire’s Amazon Appstore contains thousands of apps to keep you occupied.
I should note that some of the more popular websites also have apps set up for the Kindle Fire, and you might find using the apps easier than going to the websites.

The Fire uses its own Web browser called Amazon Silk. It seems to respond to searches very quickly, and the machine remembers your most recent website visits.

The touch screen is very responsive. When it is time to type something onto a document, app or website, the onscreen keyboard is easy to use. While you can use your fingers to type, I find it much easier to use a stylus.

While I am still learning about many of the functions of the Kindle Fire, I really enjoy the tablet and recommend it to other people.

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