There are times when less is more in terms of technology. And frankly, at a $199 price point, less is definitely more.
The iPad 2 is a great device. But I don't need a $500 tablet. The Fire gives me the features I want at a price point that's less than half of the iPad 2. I can check my email, browse the Internet, maybe play a few games, most importantly, I can read magazines in color on a Kindle.
I use a computer to work. While it's fair to say that the iPad can be used to create content, I really don't have time to tap away on a touchscreen when I have a perfectly good MacBook Air. The features that set the iPad above the Kindle Fire are wasted on me. I don't need those. I'll never edit a video on the iPad. I have Final Cut Pro for that. Taking pictures on a tablet is ludicrous, I have an iPhone for quick shots and a DSLR to make me feel like I'm talented. It comes down to features and price. It's too much, for too much.
The Kindle Fire fills that tiny tablet gap in my life. It only has the features I really care about at a price point that's reasonable. It's more than reasonable, it's pretty great. But more importantly, it's the color Kindle I've been waiting for. I don't care about built-in 3G. That's what Mi-Fis are for. The camera on our iPad was used the first week just to point out how horrible the pictures looked. The only downside to the Kindle Fire is the lack of
are the lack of external speaker and Bluetooth. But this isn't a deal breaker in my book.
Amazon has already sucked me into its Kindle-library clutches. I find myself trolling the Kindle store for books while sitting on the couch. Amazon's Whispersync has made it easy to add those purchases to the Kindle app on my iPhone. Now that I can run borrow books from the local library on the Kindle, I'm sold. You win Amazon. Here, take my money.
Apple was the first company to realize that a tablet computer doesn't need to be a full-fledged "computer" to succeed. All a tablet needs are the features that people actually use. Amazon just took that idea and ran with it. It won't be long before other companies attempt the same thing at an even lower price point.
My wife loves her iPad 2 and I'm happy I bought it for her. But the $199 Kindle Fire is the tablet I've been waiting for.
You can keep up with Roberto Baldwin, on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.