Tablet Computers: Why the Kindle Fire Is Not Just Another Ereader

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Do you believe the new Kindle Fire is a tablet? There seems to be a misunderstanding whether the device is a tablet or just another ereader. This question came up once the rumors began about Amazon introducing another tablet and of course once it made its debut. There are some who refer to the device as an ereader and is considered a serious competitor to the Apple iPad. If that's true, then shouldn't it be known as a tablet?

If you compare the features of the Kindle Fire with the iPad 2, it is quite obvious they are not in the same league. Although, the new Kindle cannot be compared with the iPad's features across the board, it does have some qualities that are either comparable or better than some of the tablet computers in the market including the iPad.

What's interesting is that the size, hardware and software features may be different among the tablets, but the fact remains that most have the capability of being utilized as an ereader. This article will discuss why the Kindle Color should be taken seriously as a tablet computer.

Size doesn't matter with these devices. One reason the new Kindle Color may be having a hard time gaining acceptance among tablets is its size. Most tablets are 10 or more inches in size. Ereaders are usually seven inches or smaller. It seems once the seven inch ereaders were re-designed with faster processors and an upgraded OS the name change to tablet became inevitable.

Tablet portability is important. The ability to carry a tablet in a purse or book bag is essential. Although, the ten inch tablet is larger, it is sometimes carried in its own carrying case or book bag because it is too large to be carried in a purse or even in one hand.

The tablet and ereader have the same connectivity capability. Tablets and ereaders can connect using 3G and/or WiFi. Connectivity is important depending on how you want to use your tablet. If you want always on internet access, then a 3G tablet is for you. However, if you can connect via your home network or other WiFi connections then 3G is not necessary. Plus, with 3G there's a cost involved with your chosen data provider for access. The Kindle Fire is a WiFi only device. The Apple iPad gives you a choice of either WiFi or 3G or both.

What is a media consumption tablet? Ereaders are for reading eBooks, magazines, and newspapers and may allow audio listening, whereas some tablets take it a step further. Tablets offer the same, also includes the ability to watch video, movies, TV shows and music. The Amazon tablet is known as a media consumption tablet because of its close integration with Amazon. It is designed to make downloading and consumption of media content easier for the user.

Tablets are now being manufactured to allow multi-touch screen use for the selection of apps and use of an onscreen keyboard. Additionally, some tablets are designed not only for personal use, but also for business productivity. The Kindle tablet cannot be used for productivity; it is strictly a digital media hog. Although, it is not as versatile as other tablets, the fact that it has the capability for video, movie, TV and so much more ensures its place in the tablet computer category.

What about storage? Neither the iPad nor the Color Kindle has an expansion slot for storage and neither has a port that can be used for an external storage device. Both use a micro USB connection for charging the device. The iPad comes in three storage sizes, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. If you want additional storage with the iPad you will have to pay for it. The Kindle Color on the other hand has 8GB of internal memory, but all its content is backed up on the Amazon Cloud. Users will be able to download and delete content on the Cloud like on a storage card or external drive. Because of the Cloud, additional storage may be a moot point. One other point, the Kindle Fire has a micro USB port and like most of the Kindle family, the device can be accessed for file transfers and downloads using a micro USB cable.

The Kindle Fire has some redeeming qualities, but because it does not have a camera, microphone which limits participation social chat, but the tablet itself takes nothing away from being an entertaining and versatile device. Despite the fact the Kindle Fire does not have similar features like most tablets; it does have some great differences that separate it from other tablet computers.

Some of the more notable features of the Kindle Color tablet are the Amazon Silk which is the fast and efficient web browser that is integrated with the device and the Amazon Cloud. The other neat thing is Whispersync where users are able to watch a video or TV program, pause it and then go home resume watching it. This can be done through HD TV, Roku or TIVO. Additionally, Amazon offers a 30-day subscription in Amazon Prime that features access to commercial free instant streaming of movies and TV shows.

After outlining the features of the Kindle Fire, it's as if the device is actually straddling the fence because of its versatility and features. It doesn't hint at replacing your laptop, but does become the best ereader, portable TV/movie theatre or favorite gaming device all rolled up into a seven inch tablet. For more information on tablet computers visit my blog at

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