Sometimes, the best presents are things you buy for yourself. You don’t have to wrap them, or wait until the 25th to open them. After resisting Tablet ownership for some years now, I saw that there was a cheap offer on the Amazon Fire Tablet, with a 10.1 inch screen. As I already have a PC, a laptop, and a smartphone, I obviously didn’t need to have it. But who only buys things they actually need anymore? Not me, obviously.
But wait. I do actually need it, as I want to be able to read my Kindle books. All those lovely books written by fellow bloggers that I bought for 99p, and have stored in my Kindle library. I could read them on the PC. I tried that, and it wasn’t a comfortable experience. I also tried reading them on my smartphone, but that was too small. The laptop is unwieldy, especially for reading in bed, so I was able to justify the moderate expense of this Amazon-dedicated tablet. Especially as it is far cheaper than the actual Kindle Paperwhite book reader I was originally browsing for, and has more features.
It was delivered today, in the box shown above. Like most things these days, it had no instruction book, just a charger unit and the Tablet. So I charged it up and switched it on. After connecting to the home wi-fi, it immediately knew it was me. I am still enough of a technophobe to find that very spooky. Seconds later, it had downloaded all my music and Kindle books, and was fast making suggestions about more things Amazon thought I should buy, or apps I should download. It also delighted in telling me that I now had ‘Alexa’, and I could ask the robot anything I wanted. Maybe not, so I chose not to activate that weird voice, thank you.
After some frustrations with getting out of screens, and going back to home screens, I was using it reasonably well. It’s like a huge mobile phone really, and nothing at all like my trusty PC.
Of course, it is far from perfect. But what is? The cameras, front and back, are dull and grainy. But I don’t care, as I have lots of digital cameras, so didn’t intend to use this device to take photos. The search engine is Bing, by default. But that doesn’t bother me either, as I can search a lot faster using my PC, with a keyboard. Leave it alone for a while, and adverts pop up, mostly for pay-to-play games. But that didn’t worry me, as to buy the Tablet without those adverts is much more expensive. And I can just swipe them away. Eventually.
Screen resolution is average, at best. Compared to my wife’s Samsung Galaxy Tab, or an Apple i-pad, it looks gloomy. But that is of no consequence, as the Samsung costs three times as much, and the Apple even more than that. For two-thirds of the price of a Kindle e-book reader, I reckon it’s a bargain.
Let’s just hope it carries on working.