Friday, February 7, 2014

Comparing Kindles

I am not an electronics person and was stunned when my husband gave me a Kindle way back in 2010. Since that Kindle was working just fine, I was even more astonished to receive a Kindle Fire HD three Christmases later. I've had a month to get used to my new toy and to discover some key differences between the two e-readers.

The Kindle Fire is a sleek and shiny gizmo that allows me to read books with full-color photos. It also enables me to check my e-mail when travelling. I love it that book covers are visible when I'm swiping through the carousel, which makes them seem more like real books somehow. I love it that it has a free app for playing Killer Sudoku. And I like how easily it manages my music (IF the music is from Amazon). Plus you can highlight text in FOUR different colors.

The Kindle Fire can be compared to an electric car that has a very short battery life and needs continual re-charging (especially if using wi-fi). Even when I avoid the internet, I have to recharge the device every few days. And it takes quite a while to charge up fully.

The old Kindle (keyboard model) is like a no-frills economy car that keeps on running. I take it with me on the subway every day because it's lighter in weight and because its battery life is much longer (two weeks as opposed to two days). And because it uses side buttons (vs. touch screeen) I can hold it and control it in one hand while using my other hand to keep my balance while holding onto the overhead bar). It can fully recharge in about an hour. And because it's not so spiffy looking, I never have to worry about it being stolen.

As I said earlier, the color pictures are a nice kick, but trying to read magazines on the 7-inch KF screen takes effort since you have to amplify and maneuver each page to read the tiny print. My son showed me how to download movies, but I'm not really interested in watching films on tiny screens.The Kindle Fire has several annoying features. Swiping through the carousel (books list), it is easy to accidently open up a book you don't want to read. Then there are those ever-present ads (unless you pay $15 to have them removed.) I appreciated how I was able to categorize my books on the old Kindle. Haven't found a way to do that on the new one yet.

The Kindle Fire HD is a fun-loving, fickle friend (that sometimes won't turn on or reboot after multiple tries). The Kindle keyboard is my dowdy but faithful companion that starts up quicker, recharges faster and lasts longer. I love them both.

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