The argument for having both a Fire tablet and a Kindle EBR (E-Book Reader)
My most popular post for this week is one that I wrote more than a year and a half ago:
It has been consistently popular, and is my top post overall…even though at this point, it refers to two older models.
It’s a comparison between reading on an EBR (E-Book Reader) and a Fire tablet.
When I wrote it, I assumed its main use would be by people making a choice between one device type and the other.
I think that’s likely still the case…although I think it’s now more likely to be a question of which additional device to get for someone who already has (at least one) device.
That makes for a simple question: why have two devices?
The arguments against having two are pretty clear:
- It costs more money…the cheapest Fire tablet (Fire, 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)) is about $50 normally, the cheapest EBR (E-Book Reader…Kindle, 6″ Glare-Free Touchscreen Display, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) is about $80 (although on sale at time of writing for $20 off, $59.99)
- It’s harder to carry two devices around than one
- You have two devices to charge
- While you can synchronize Kindle books between the two devices, it isn’t seamless…you have to connect to wireless, for one thing
- Synchronizing personal content is another matter…some things can be done, but others can be problematic
- You may want a cover each, chargers, and other accessories
- They will probably need updates at different times…you are needing to maintain two devices instead of one
However, I, like many of my readers (I assume…I’ll ask you later in the post), use a Fire tablet and an EBR…every day.
I have the now discontinued Kindle Fire HDX and a
I use them in two different ways.
I would actually say that over time, the EBRs have become more reading focused (and therefore have diverged more from the tablets)…or at least, more sight-reading focused.
The newer ones don’t do audio at all, so no music. Unfortunately, that also means no audiobooks, and no text-to-speech (TTS), which is software that will read text out loud to you (I typically use that for hours every week in the car), although publishers can block TTS access (and some do on some titles, but I think it is not as common as it used to be).
They also don’t do “active content”, a special type of EBR game (and some were utilities).
The Voyage (and the All-New Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers ((at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*))
have lights that shine towards the screen, not towards your eyes. You read from the light bouncing off the screen…the same way you read a paperbook. It’s the most comfortable reading experience I’ve ever had…including paper.
I read it in bed before falling asleep…a tablet wouldn’t be as good for that for me. I haven’t tried the new “Blue Shade” functionality, which might make a tablet better than it is now for bedtime reading…it’s a selling point for the
Still, I doubt that would be as comfortable…and it’s nice to only have to charge my Voyage every two or three weeks.
I have to say, though, it stays in my headboard except when I’m actively reading it (or charging it).
When I go out, I only take my Fire.
I want my Fire for other things…although I especially want it for that TTS. I do sight read on it as well…for example, at lunch, I may do a bit of exercise in my office and I do like reading while I do that. 😉
I also use my Fire for my morning
read (it takes the place of what used to be a newspaper). In fact, here is part of my morning routine, which would only work on the tablet:
- I check my local news station app, ABC7 San Francisco (especially well designed, I’d say)
- I check the CNN app
- I check Flipboard
- I check my WordPress app (in case comments came in while I was asleep)
- I use my favorite browser, Maxthon, to check the Amazon Appstore, the Kindle Daily Deal, and usually BoxOfficeMojo
- I check the IMDb app for news, although I will have seen some of the stories in Flipboard
- I turn on the family room light
Some other things that I couldn’t do on the Voyage:
- I read Entertainment Weekly with a Kindle subscription
- I read Fortean Times in my Zinio app (which I got from the Zinio site…not available directly from the Amazon Appstore, but Amazon allows us to install apps from other sources
- I shop 🙂
- I use the clock app for a nightstand clock (and sometimes when I’m addressing a group)
- I check the weather (although I usually use our Amazon Echo ((at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) for that))
- I check my Google calendar
- I play music (most often for other people)
- I print to a wireless printer (I use PrinterShare Mobile Print ((at AmazonSmile*)…it costs about $10, but I got it for free at some point)
- I check e-mail
- I read documents, including PDFs…and I’ve used it for PowerPoints
- I go to other websites
As you can probably tell, if I was only going to have one at this point, it would be a Fire tablet. I use it in many ways, and the reading on it is okay.
I do like reading on the Voyage better…and fortunately, you don’t need to have only one type. 🙂
One last point: when the first Kindle EBR was released, it cost nearly $400. Now, eight years later, you can get both a tablet and an EBR for less than half of that…
Now let’s find out about you. 🙂
I’m interested here in what you use, not just what you own. It’s also okay with me on this if you use a different brand…say, an iPad instead of a Fire.
Oh, and I’m fully cognizant of the fact that you might use something else…a phone, a laptop, and so on. 🙂 Picking “neither” in the poll isn’t meant to suggest you aren’t reading (or consuming other content).
Have other comments about this? Want to share your experiences? Feel free to tell me and my readers by commenting on this post.
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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help!
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.