If you are considering spending your hard-earned money on an iPad to improve your productivity you may be interested in knowing that there is yet another option now available. The Kindle Fire has many of the same features as an iPad but at only a fraction of the cost.
Some things to consider:
Do you really need the larger size of the iPad, or will a smaller more portable device meet your needs? The Fire is 7.5" x 4.7" vs. the larger iPad at 9.5" x 7.31". The Kindle is about the same size as a paperback novel (only half the thickness) while the iPad is closer to the size of a piece of notebook paper. A Kindle will fit much better into a purse or an inside jacket pocket and it will be much more comfortable since it weighs 31% less than the iPad.
As with most things electronic, as you lower the size or the price you can gain portability but you will inevitably sacrifice capabilities. The Kindle Fire is first and foremost an e-reader. Granted, it is an e-reader on steroids as it can play movies, music, games and run apps in Amazon's customized Android OS. The Fire has access to nearly 17,000 apps through Amazon including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, and ESPN ScoreCenter. You can enjoy games, including Words with Friends, Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies and more. All apps are Amazon-tested on Kindle Fire for the best experience possible.
The iPad has access to over 140,000 apps so there is sure to be an app to fill your needs. There are apps for Business, education, entertainment, games, lifestyle, news, social networking, travel, and on and on and on. The iPad is very versatile. It will solve a myriad number of productivity goals.
As an e-reader, the Fire has access to over one million titles. The Kindle Store contains the largest selection of the ebooks people want to read including New York Times® Best Sellers. Most new releases are priced at $9.99. With Amazon's Prime membership, Kindle owners can choose from thousands of books to borrow for free - including over 100 New York Times Bestsellers - as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates.
Wow! That is a lot of available reading. Here's the catch. Remember, I mentioned that the smaller price of the Kindle sacrifices some capabilities. Amazon had to work hard to keep the price of a Kindle as low as possible and means some features had to be left out. One of those is 3G access. The Kindle is only available with Wi-fi. And it has only 8GB of internal memory (approximately 6GB available for user content). That's enough for 80 apps, plus 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books. In addition to the on board memory you will have access to the Amazon Cloud. You get 5GB of free online storage to store anything you want, and you can access it from anywhere. Just remember that you have to have your media on board before you leave your wireless hot spot.
There are over 100,000 movies and TV shows, available to stream or download, all just one tap away. Amazon Prime members enjoy unlimited, commercial-free streaming of over 10,000 popular movies and TV shows. However, there is an additional charge for Amazon Prime of $79 per year; the first month is free when you purchase a Kindle.
With the iPad you will have 16GB of storage with the options of 32GB and 64GB. The iPad is a computer vs. an e-reader. You also have the option of adding 3G connection capability. This will push your cost for an iPad from $499 for the 16GB/Wi-fi model to $829 for the 64GB/Wi-fi/3G model. With the additional cost of an iPad vs. a Kindle you do get many more features: a 9.7" (diagonal) touch screen, cameras (front and back), longer battery life, built-in speaker, and a microphone. If you are tech savvy and comfortable with the additional features this is definitely a plus.
For those who may want a simpler interface the Kindle Fire is intuitive and even first time users will quickly find the music or books they may be after. When reading, the Fire will be easier on your wrist and hand with its lower weight but when it comes to video the iPad has the advantage of a larger screen.
When comparing price, size, portability, ease of use, weight, and visual experience, hands down the Kindle Fire is the winner here, and will probably cut into Apple's iPad2 sales. With such great quality, access to nearly unlimited content, and reduced cost compared to the iPad, the Kindle Fire is the hottest hybrid e-Reader/tablet available today.