I dropped my Kindle at the school the other night and it’s permanently broken. I had to figure out quickly what to do because I have preached from my Kindle for nearly a year now and can’t imagine going back to using paper. So I purchased the Kindle Fire this past week.
The Kindle Fire is an absolutely amazing device and anyone who wants a reliable, beautiful, sleek, solid, fast tablet need look no further. But reading on the Kindle Fire is not a pleasant experience. That’s not Amazon’s fault. The Kindle Fire has an LCD display and the difference that makes in one’s reading experience is substantial. It is easy to take for granted just how advanced Amazon’s E-Ink display really is (the one they have used on all other Kindles before the Fire). It is just as easy to read on a sunny day at the beach as it is in the dark (with the convenient book-light case you can purchase for it). It puts very little strain on the eyes (none that I could ever sense). It’s a joy to read from.
LCD, on the other hand, strains the eyes almost immediately. The brightness of the screen can be tweaked, along with other settings, to make the experience less unpleasant, but degrees of unpleasantness are the best you will ever get. If your first device was a Nook Color, or perhaps even the Kindle Fire, you almost certainly cannot comprehend the amazing difference in the reading experience between LCD and E-Ink devices.
As I said, I preached nearly 50 sermons from my previous E-Ink device. Today’s sermon on the Fire was a little frustrating. It didn’t look as clear. Also, since there are no hard buttons, it was hard for this left hander to turn the pages as I had to reach all the way across to the right side of the screen and tap. If you are looking primarily for a reading device, skip the Kindle Fire. But if you are looking for an iPad and would like to save money, this device will probably be perfect for you. It doesn’t have 3G, but it has WiFi. If you have a phone with a data plan and want to get a book when you’re not near a WiFi hotspot, just download it onto the Kindle app on your phone and it will sync to your Fire.
Summary: Before you spend tons of money on an iPad, take a serious look at the Kindle Fire. But if reading is your top priority, skip it and go with one of Amazon’s other readers.