On November 15, 2011 Amazon entered the tablet market with the Kindle Fire. I had already pre-ordered mine because I was eager to see what a tablet priced at $200 could do and I didn’t already have an iPad2. I am normally not a first generation device kinda guy, but since I’ve been using Amazon for a long time and think they do a really good job of customer service my decision was pretty simple.
I’m going to give you a quick run down of why I bought a Kindle Fire and then you can decide for yourself if it’s worth the investment.
Price – $200
At $200, this is a very capable device. Does it lack some of the bells and whistles that the iPad2 offers starting at $499? Of course it does! I’m on a computer all day every day and so far I haven’t run into very many situations where I felt I really NEEDED the iPad2 for $300-$629 more. Is the iPad2 and amazing device? Absolutely! Would I love every second of owning one? Absolutely! But for now I think at this price to enter the tablet market most people will be very pleased with their purchase.
I think it goes without saying that Amazon has been in the game a long time and they originally started out selling books so for me to have basically any book at my fingertips anytime is nice. They have also started to let publishers determine if their books can be available for “lending“. If they are you can lend someone your book for a period of 14 days or they can do to same for you. Since Amazon has a desktop software to read any book you don’t even need to have a Kindle to participate.
If you are smart you already do a vast majority of your shopping online. However, when you shop online you have to pay shipping and wait an unknown amount of time before getting your product. It would be as quick as a few days or it could be a week or more depending on the vendor. Enter Amazon Prime and you get it guaranteed in 2 days. I’ve even gotten it next day before. This is not only awesome, but sometimes it’s a lifesaver if you need something asap. So if you do buy online often this is a must have for $79 as it will save you money and then you get services like Prime Instant Video and Cloud Drive which I’ll comment on later.
It can’t go without saying that the discounts over your local store are just too great to ignore. For example, I recently looked into getting a Canon 60d dSLR. I was at my local camera shop and asked how much it was. Their price was $1200. The exact same camera was listed on Canon.com for $999. The exact same camera was listed on Amazon.com for $899. Now you tell me where you are buying that camera from? Supporting the local economy is one thing, and I try and do it whenever possible especially when I go out to eat, but do I feel obligated to spend $300 just to support that local vendor? NOPE.
On top of that you have Amazon Protection if something happens when a product is sold through a third party.
Amazon Cloud Drive
Once you purchase Amazon Prime you will receive 5 GB of free online storage and unlimited access from any computer. You can store an unlimited amount of music in the cloud provided you purchased it from Amazon, but if you want to upload your own personal music, photos or videos you can and it goes towards that 5 GB. As you can see this is very nice since most of us have our own MP3 collections or have purchased music from another store. You can also purchase different amounts of data. I opted to pay $20 for the 20 GB so I could load up some personal music, photos and videos when I go on vacation and I don’t have Internet access. Their plans go all the way up to 1000 GB for $1000.
Amazon Instant Videos – Free with Amazon Prime
On top of Amazon Prime and Amazon Cloud Drive you also get UNLIMITED Streaming of Amazon Prime Instant Videos from your phone, Kindle Fire, computer, computer connected to TV or a slew of DVD/Blu-Ray players and my most recent purchase Roku. There is a lot of good content and it will constantly grow over time. You can also purchase most new shows or movies for a small fee. The Roku allows me to wirelessly connect to my home network and stream any content from 1000’s of sources. Amazon, Netflix and Hulu Plus are among that list.
Email PDF documents to your private Kindle email address
If you are like me and read e-books which often come in PDF format this feature comes in handy. You can send an email to your private Kindle email address which you will get during the sign up process. You then just need to attach a PDF with “convert” as the subject and they will show up under the Docs section. I use this all the time for content I download from the web or books I find in PDF format online. The conversion process enables you to be read it like a book with progress points instead of the normal functionality of a PDF which has no memory of where you were if you close it.
There are definitely more reasons why I’m glad I purchased a Kindle Fire, but as you can see there is some great value behind this product. To highlight that value take a look:
2yr Insurance: $49
Hard Case/Stand: $44
Amazon Prime: $79
20 GB Cloud Drive: $20
Steve Jobs: $15
As you can see I not only bought a the Kindle, with a cover/stand plus insurance for 2 years, but I renewed my Amazon Prime, added 20 GB of cloud storage, bought a book and a Roku for $496. To get the entry level iPad2 you would still need $3.
So I would say that is some serious value. What do you think?