I Love My New Fire (But I’m Keeping My Regular Kindle)

I promised I’d let you know if I ever bought a Kindle Fire, and two weeks ago I did.

I love my Kindle Touch, and we’re definitely keeping it–the Fire is an addition to our family gadgetry. I’ve had the Fire for 2 weeks now, and I’m ready to tell you what I think.

Why I LOVE the Fire:

The Kindle Fire is gorgeous, fun to use, and easy to navigate. If you’re used to browsing the web or navigating your smart phone, I think you’ll find the Fire’s navigation very intuitive.

Reading ebooks on the Fire is a pleasure. The “bookshelf” layout is beautiful and makes it easy to find what you’re looking for. Surprisingly, paging through books feels very similar to paging through regular paper books–it’s easy to just “flip” through the pages.

Highlighting books on the Fire is amazing, and I love being able to quickly scroll through my highlights. If I log on to my Amazon Kindle page, I can even see highlights from ebooks I borrowed from the library–after I’ve returned them.

Sadly, my photography skills don't do justice to either of these devices.

I also read a lot of PDF ebooks, and these are much easier to read on the Fire. (Although it’s worth noting that you can highlight PDFs on the Touch but not on the Fire.) Obviously, images look much better on the Fire: check out this side by side comparison of pages from The No Brainer Wardrobe.

The Fire is a tablet, and I’ve loved using its features to check my email, stream Pandora radio, listen to podcasts, manage my social media accounts, fire up the tiny timer, watch movies, and more. I’ve only had it two weeks, so I’m still learning everything it can do!

About those movies: I’d be lying if I said my kids haven’t watched a lot of videos on the Fire already. (And by a lot, I mean 30-60 minutes a day.)  We can stream a large selection of movies for free with our Amazon Prime membership, and we’ve been taking advantage of that. Ahem.

Why I’m glad I still have my Touch:

The Fire is definitely a computer screen, so if you limit screen time before bed like I do, you won’t want to use it then. (On the other hand, many people love the bright screen because they can read it in bed without a light.)

The Fire’s bright screen also means it’s nearly impossible to use in the sunlight, where the Touch–with its e-ink screen–does great. I do a lot of reading outside while my kids play, and I always choose the Touch for this reason. I can also easily hold the Touch in one hand, but the Fire’s a bit to heavy to manage that comfortably.

There’s also the issue of distraction potential. With all its capabilities, you can be tempted to check facebook instead of reading that book you sat down to finish. This just isn’t an issue on the Touch.

Why the Fire is going to cost you more than $200.

You’ll really want Amazon Prime to go with it. Amazon knows this, so they include a free month of Prime with your Fire purchase–they know you’ll be hooked.

Prime members can watch a large selection of free videos instantly (via wireless only). You can also borrow one book a month from the Kindle lending library.

You’ll probably want a cool case to go with the Fire, especially if you watch movies. I’m thinking about a case like this that will not only protect my Fire, but also fold back to support it upright.

What’s your experience been with e-readers and tablets?

Recommended Reading:

My Thoughts on the Kindle, One Month In. My initial review of the Kindle Touch. The comments on this post are really excellent.

What to Do When Your Productivity Tools Are Your Biggest Distractions: A Two-Step Plan. Here’s a simple plan to stay on task when you’re using your computer/phone/tablet.

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  1. Sara says:

    My thought is that when I asked my husband whether I should order a Kindle Touch with some bonus money I have, he said I should get a *cover* for one! I can’t wait until Sunday!!!!!

  2. Maggie S. says:

    We shop B&N and I started out with the Nook Tab. Ever since then, I look longingly after the simple touch, because, I figured out instinctively that such would be the case. Thanks for the confirmation.

    Now, I am thinking if I were to get the Kindle Touch, I could pic up the titles that aren’t available in b&n.

  3. That “distraction factor” is the whole reason I went with the Touch instead of the Fire. My goal is to read more nonfiction, and if I had access to email/facebook/movies/etc I would probably never read anything.

    The other reason is that I wanted something for long car trips, since my folks live 18 hrs away… sun streaming in the car windows would make it really tough to read on the Fire.

    • Anne says:

      Oh, I hadn’t thought about sun streaming through the car windows, Elizabeth. Thanks for bringing that up so we can make informed choices about our gadgetry 🙂

  4. Grace says:

    Sounds pretty good, but I don’t know if it would be worth it for me and my family. I can do the online stuff on my computer or phone.

    We have a Kobo Touch (through Chapters Indigo), and it is amazing. It it more like the Kindle Touch. We live in Canada and we found that the Kobo has way more selection for Canadians than the Kindles do. It has even helped inspire my husband to read more. I think this is true of all ereaders, but one of my favourite things is how you can get ebooks from the library. As if I needed more holds to be in line for, haha.

  5. Andrea Howe says:

    I have a Kindle and my hubs won a Fire recently and he does have Prime on it. We have had Prime for years actually because it is so convenient for saving on shipping charges. My kindle is still great, but man I do like that he has a light at night when were lying in bed reading. That’s the best feature I think, but not enough to make me spend the money to upgrade!

  6. Jennifer Haddow says:

    I have the cheapest kindle (push buttons to turn pages), and I love it for reading, but often I wish I had splurged on the fire for magazines and color pictures in kids books. Maybe one day I’ll get one. Here’s a tip on your cover, though. Check ebay – on amazon, the cover I wanted was $29.99. On ebay it was about $7. I know you love a good deal as much as I do (and maybe more lol).

  7. Missy Rose says:

    Wow, this is so perfectly timed for my husband and I. We’ve been thinking about getting a Fire, mostly for him to be able to use while at the gym, etc and then I would take over his older Kindle Touch … Thanks for all the info!

  8. I totally agree with your reflections on when you use your Kindle touch. I just have a basic Kindle, but really prefer reading books on it rather than on my recently acquired iPad. However, the iPad is great for browsing, catching up on my feeds, social media, email, etc. I love having no distractions when I’m ready to read a book, because otherwise I get easily distracted!

  9. Jill Flory says:

    A kindle is on my ‘want list’! It may wait awhile though as we are really trying to emplement a strict budget for awhile. Thanks so much for this post – it answered some questions I had!!

  10. I love my fire, but I think we might eventually get a touch too. I did have trouble with the screen outside and it drove me crazy, but i found if I made it brighter I could see it even in the sun, so you might try that.

    Agree… to all the above. So thankful I have one. Especially since mine was a gift cover and all 🙂

  11. I just bought a Fire last week, after much dithering over whether or not to get any sort of Kindle, and if so, which one to get.

    I love how much easier it is to read both Kindle books and PDFs than my iPod touch with the Kindle app. I haven’t yet let my son know that he could watch videos on it, because I know that as soon as I do, he’ll want to watch Bob the Builder all the time.

    It’s not perfect, because of the weight being too much to hold one-handed (a must if I’m going to use it while nursing), and the glare making it hard if not impossible to use outside, but I don’t think those drawbacks are enough to make me also get a Touch.

    Overall, I’m really happy with it, and am sure that I’ll be even more so as I figure out how to use it better.

  12. HopefulLeigh says:

    I still love my Nook Tablet, especially since I figured out how to get library books on it the other day. It was great bringing it along instead of my laptop on the last trip I went on. I could access my email, blogs, etc., as well as books. As much as I’ve grown accustomed to eReaders, my preference is still physical books.

  13. Carrie says:

    I don’t like eReaders either. My mom bought me a Nook several months ago and I thought I could grow to like it, but I just don’t. Different strokes I guess!

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