Why the Kindle Fire Beats the iPad 2 (For Me)

Illustration for article titled Why the Kindle Fire Beats the iPad 2 (For Me)

There are times when less is more in terms of technology. And frankly, at a $199 price point, less is definitely more.

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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.

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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.

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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+.

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DISCUSSION

frankystainz-old
frankystainz

I love this "Kindle Fire is better than iPad because it's inferior to iPad in every way" meme. Truly Orwellian. And when the many missing features are pointed out, the apologists gleefully chime in: "I like that it lacks essential features. That's my favorite part!" Of course, these are the same histrionics who insisted that Flash was an absolute vital necessity on a tablet. So, apparently less is only more when it's convenient in a debate.

Here's Amazon's marketing strategy, and largely adopted by its few fans: the Kindle is not a tablet, but it is a great tablet, but it's not a tablet, but it's a great tablet, but it's not a tablet, but it's a great tablet, and so on.

In other words, it's awesome because it is so completely gimped and feature weak. And held up next to the iPad when useful and denied as competitor to the iPad when it shows poorly, which is often. Apologists for this device are advancing and retreating in an inept and dodgy attempt at asynchronous warfare from the hedgerows.

Worth noting... a Nintendo DSi, a children's toy from 2008, has more features than the Kindle Fire. This device is not a decent tablet nor a decent "ereader," which is, of course, a tablet that just displays books.

It's a tablet alright.

Just a bad one. A bad one of many, many bad ones not named iPad.