I received an unexpected Christmas gift. A family member had taken a look at my Amazon Wish List, and a couple of days after Christmas a brand new Kindle Fire HDX 7″ tablet showed up on my doorstep.
I’ve been playing with the little beast for a while now, and I have to say I’m impressed. It’s light – a bit over ten ounces, sports all-day battery life, great sound, (even on the native speakers, but especially through headphones), and is actually faster than my Asus T100.
First off, it’s not a production machine. The screen is too small, the apps too limited – nothing I use for writing is available – and the on-screen keyboard is impractical for anything much more complicated than short emails or texts. However, as a consumption device, it is excellent.
The screen is very bright, and with 1920X1200 resolution, it pushes 323 pixels in glorious color. I watched the Tom Cruise movie, Jack Reacher, last night (BTW, much better than I expected), and experienced no arm fatigue from holding the thing in front of my face for more than two hours.
It is naturally designed to read Kindle e-books, and does a great job of it.
The Amazon App Store is reasonably well-stocked, but misses a few of my go-to apps. No problem. I sideloaded Google Chrome, Dropbox, and Roboform with no problems, and all work fine. Everything else I need I was able to find in the Amazon App Store – Facebook, Twitter, Tumblir, Skype, Dramafever (to handle my K-Drama soap opera addiction), Hulu, Netflix, and, of course, all the Amazon content apps – Music, Video, Kindle Book Reader, etc. The native Calendar app automagically synced with my Google Calendar when I started it up, and the email app worked fine with my accounts.
Maybe it’s a sign of my geezerhood – I grew up and lived much of my life in what is, by today’s standards, a pre-technological civilization, but I find myself continually amazed by gadgets like this. This one, in a ten ounce form factor, combines the world’s biggest shopping mall with an on-demand television, movie theater, concert hall, stereo, bank, library, newspapers, and the entire Internet – and at a price in 1993 dollars of $119. Of course, you couldn’t buy something like that back then at any price, and even if you could, the infrastructure that supports it today didn’t exist.
This one gets tossed in my bike bag as a matter of course. I highly recommend it.
Want one for yourself? Here you go: