Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tech Tip Tuesday: Kindle a Fire

Kindle FireIt is very hard to believe that it hasn't even been 2 years since the first mainstream Tablet hit the market. There had been forays and there have been other handheld devices and of course Handheld PDA's have been around a long time, but these tablets are new.

The newest is the Amazon Kindle Fire. Many people saw Amazon gearing up for this for quite a while. With their first forays into reading apps, then the launch of the Amazon Cloud Music Player and the Amazon App store for Android Apps they had positioned themselves perfectly to launch an Android based tablet.

They did just that and right in time for the Holiday season. The Kindle fire is an Android based device with Amazon's rich media resources behind it. In addition to being able to easily buy books and music you can also rent movies and with an Amazon Prime account you get streaming videos. @ 79.99 a year this equals $6.67 per month and is lower than both Netflix and Hulu.

The device is good but doesn't have quite the feel and heft of some of the other tablets out there. It is light but feels fragile in contrast to the new Kindle Touch or the Kindle with a keyboard which are both light but feel sturdy. Also the interface isn't quite as responsive as other Android devices and absolutely pales compared to iOS devices.

Still for $199.99 this has the potential of being a wonderful 1 to 1 device in the classroom settings. It's compatible with many of the eBook lending services, you can have multiple devices attached to a single Amazon Account. It falls short in the creative area since there is no camera, and I would like to see a GPS for use in classroom geo-spatial activities. So grab a screen, read a book, and Kindle some learning.

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