What I use for writing: a review of the Kindle Fire

“Kindle Fire” by nhayashida is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“Kindle Fire” by nhayashida is licensed under CC BY 2.0

When I'm out and about I like to try and make the best use of my time, either by reading, using my Kindle, or writing, using my phone. (See 7 useful features of a Kindle, and Review of JotterPad, a writing app, respectively.)

However, I don't much like using my phone for that. Why not? Partly because I want to make sure I have enough battery left for essential stuff like texting and phoning, and partly because I don't fancy being mugged for my phone.

So I looked around for an alternative solution, and was attracted by the Kindle Fire. This is a small tablet computer, at a fraction of the price of an iPad or similar -- the version I bought is a Kindle Fire 7" with 16Gb; it cost me £60 plus £15 for the case. I thought, if someone does grab it off me and race off, I'd have lost 'only' £75 and would still have all my contacts and still be able to make phone calls.

Before buying it I checked to make sure there was a version of JotterPad in the Amazon apps store: there is.

I also asked in the Facebook group for ICT and Computing teachers whether anyone had a Fire, and what they thought of it. Their comments were very useful.

So, I've been using it for a week or so now. What's my verdict?

Well, as several people pointed out, the quality of the camera isn't wonderful, which is a little disappointing because I was hoping to use it to make short videos. I'll try again, in better lighting. Still, I wasn't expecting miracles for £60!

As far as writing is concerned, it's very useful. The response is a bit slow, so until I became used to it I kept typing the same letter twice because I thought it hadn't worked the first time. But it's fine on the whole. My phone has an advantage in that you can swipe the letters rather than tap on them, but I have found that I can still type pretty quickly on the Fire.

And when I've had enough, there is always the option to watch a video. I have to say I was very impressed by the quality of the picture.

My only regret is that I didn't buy one sooner.

Amazon Kindle Fire (affiliate link).