Amazon_Kindle_Fire_vs_iPad_Mini_crop_01_610x373It’s a good thing I don’t travel often or I would have most likely purchased another tablet long ago. Trips, either business or personal  can motivate you to add new gadgets in an attempt to entertain yourself or deliver increased productivity. My current tablet, a Samsung P1000 or ‘GalaxyTab’, still does its job. It can browse the web, utilize many Amazon and Google Play apps, and delivers plenty of value. Needless to say, the Android Gingerbread 2.3 software is old tech now, we’ve had our share of stability problems, and I feel I’ve gotten my money’s worth from the device. The other motivator? When your spouse and children take the tablet and use it more than you do. When that begins to happen and you find the tablet being left in different rooms in the house on a daily basis, you know it’s time to expand.

After plenty of research, because I’m a research fiend, I ultimately want to own the Google Nexus 7. It appears to deliver on everything I am looking for in a tablet but there are heavy rumors that a new version will be announced this year. The Nexus 4 phone is so impressive, I can only assume that the next Nexus 7 will be just as amazing, except in tablet form. The seven inch tablet seems to be the best overall standard for hands both large or small and is sized well in order to enjoy any reading material or multimedia, yet it’s still portable. The idea of a 9″ or 10″ tablet sounds great at first but the added cost, my fear of breaking it, and knowing that it offers no other real added benefit, leans me more to the seven inch standard.

Although I’m upset with the Amazon Associates service from a website or blog owner perspective, I still am an avid Amazon consumer and Prime member. My family enjoys the services they offer which include free two day shipping on many items, streaming video, and the Kindle lending library. (Amazon Prime membership is $79/year) The bad part I think is that in order to take advantage of the Kindle lending library, you have to own an Amazon Kindle. Not the Kindle app, which you can install pretty much anywhere, you need an actual Kindle device. The Kindle Fire HD is priced almost identically to the Google Nexus 7 but has slightly less hardware and a custom Android package. Without being a Prime member, I see little to no value in being a Kindle owner but Amazon delivers a lot of content and makes it very easy to purchase media while also providing a kid friendly interface (see Kindle FreeTime) and although I know it’s not the best tablet on the market, its use, capability, and Amazon’s tremendous customer service are what sold me on the device. Another huge item for me? I really like being able to plug in my device via USB and manage files locally. I want to be able to add many pdf’s, solution briefs, product information, books, comics, etc. that I don’t always download from an app store. I really struggled with this using my iPhone and an iPad so Android devices are more ‘me’. Yes, I know there are ways you can do those things with Apple devices but I just like the way Android works out of the box and don’t like relying on iTunes to manage all of my content. You also can’t argue that the iTunes store and apps are quite extensive and the devices seem very stable from my experience. This post isn’t supposed to be a comparison though, just sharing my thoughts on why the Kindle Fire HD should work well for myself and my family.

So that’s it. Really looking forward to spending time with this device and perhaps I’ll have a product specific review in the near future. Do you own an Amazon Kindle device? How has it been working for you? The paperwhite model also looks very appealing if you just want a text based reader.

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