Kindle Fire’s Specs:
- Can watch 18 million movies & T.V. shows on it.
- Listen to songs and read books and magazines on it.
- Have access to Amazon’s App store through it.
- Able to browse the web super duper fast using Amazon Silk.
- All your Amazon content is stored in the cloud for free.
- Has a color touchscreen and can be flipped for extra wide viewing.
- Has a dual core processor, which means it’s faster & stronger.
- Built-in email app gets your email off popular web-based sites like Gmail and Yahoo!.
- Can read PDF documents (and remember, they’re in color)
- And if you are an Amazon Prime Member you can enjoy unlimited instant streaming of 10,000+ popular movies and T.V. shows.
Some say the Kindle Fire is in direct competition with Apple’s iPad, and others are saying, “Are you crazy?”
Here’s how they measure up on the specs:
- The Fire is 7” while the iPad is much bigger at 9.7”
- The Fire is 50% lighter than the iPad.
- The Fire does not have a camera or microphone and the iPad does.
- The Fire uses only WiFi while the iPad is WiFi and 3G.
- The Fire’s battery has an 8-hour life while the iPad’s battery life is 10 hours.
- The Fire has only 8GB of memory plus use of cloud storage for Amazon content for free while the iPad’s varies depending on the model.
Clearly Apple’s iPad outdoes Amazon’s Kindle Fire, but how does this translate to a genealogical researcher? Well, there are 2 questions to ask yourself. First, what does a genealogist want to be able to do on a tablet or tablet-like device? Here's what I came up with [Feel free to leave me a comment if I forgot something.]:
- Research online
- Update online trees
- Keep in touch with family, friends, and the world through social media, including blogging.
- Read blogs.
- Handle your web-based Email.
- Be able to read genealogy and related books and PDF documents.
- Be able to take photos of family members, genealogy-related documents, heirlooms and books at courthouses, libraries, archives, at Great Aunt So N. So’s house, etc.
- Be able to record family members’ stories orally.
- Take notes at genealogical and historical society meetings and genealogical conferences.
- Participate in genealogy webinars.
- Share photos of ancestors, documents, and heirlooms with all your family members at the next reunion or Sunday dinner.
- Share your online tree with family.
- Share the oral family stories.
Don't forget the Apps
One thing to keep in mind is the Android Apps that the Kindle Fire can download are those only available in the Amazon App Store. If there is an Android app available elsewhere but it’s not in the Amazon App store, then it can’t be used on the Kindle Fire. In my opinion, this seriously hinders you because what makes tablets and Smartphones so handy-dandy are the apps. They bring ease and functionality to tasks that would otherwise be cumbersome in a browser on a small screen. And compared to the iPad, which has over 425,000 apps available to it, the Amazon App store has only several thousand.
However, taking a closer look at the Android apps available in the Amazon Store, there are ones for photo editing and productivity that can help to make your research easier, including the Evernote app. Therefore, part of your analysis of the Kindle Fire should include what's available in their app store.
That Pesky Budget
And the second question you need to consider? What can you afford? The Kindle Fire is just $199 while the iPad starts out at $500. And these prices are where things get a little murky. With the economy the way it is and if you already have a Smartphone, is the Kindle Fire a more affordable option to Apple’s pricier iPad for a genealogical researcher?