What bugs you the most about the Kindle Fire?
ChangeWave recently reported the results of a survey of Kindle Fire owners that tallied up the things they like and dislike about the device. While we don’t like to accentuate the negative here at EduKindle, we just found that the dislikes were much more revealing than the likes. What do you think the top “like” was? You guessed it: the price. The Kindle Fire really makes sense for anyone who just can’t justify the cost of an iPad, which, although it starts at $499, it is very easy to find the final cost as you leave the store at $650 or more. With the Fire, there aren’t any options that can drive up the price. This means, for educators especially, that you can buy three Fires for the price of one iPad.
But what’s missing from the Fire that people really wish they had even though they saved all that money? As the chart indicates, the absense of a physical volume control button on the device itself is the top complaint. (That does seem like a pretty significant omission on a “media” device.) Now this doesn’t mean that you can’t change the volume on the media you are listening to; it means that you have to do that on-screen, with a slider. So, if you are watching the super cool series The Wonder Years on your Fire, you have to bring up the menu on top of the video and adjust the volume that way. An external volume control means that you aren’t covering up your content with a menu while trying to get the volume right. This is what bugs people in the survey the most.
The rest of the list of dislikes looks like a features list for the iPad. No camera: advantage iPad. No 3G: advantage iPad. Not enough apps: advantage iPad. Screen size, microphone, and so forth: advantage iPad. And the location of that pesky on/off button is definitely a disadvantage for the Fire: I have experienced myself how easy it is to turn the thing off by accident by moving it in my lap or setting it down a bit clumsily.
For educators, the Kindle Fire represents a great, low-cost solution to the problem of how to put a capable, touchscreen device in the hands of more students. The Amazon App Store will catch up. Media plays pretty much flawlessly. And the reader offers most of the bells and whistles you have come to expect from the Kindle brand. Ultimately, the absence of a camera and a microphone probably limit the Fire’s value in the classroom more than any of the other limitations because they make it difficult for students to create things on the device, something critical to the most engaging classrooms.
What bugs you about the Kindle Fire? And what do you absolutely love? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!