For several months I was curious about the experience of reading an e-book using a tablet. I had been reading several e-books on my Kindle application using my desktop computer with its wide 21″ screen, and it was pretty cool. The only problem was that I had to be glued to my office every time I wanted to read. If I wanted to read in the living room or the back porch, I couldn’t do it. The desktop was too heavy to carry around, and I didn’t own a laptop. I still don’t own one—feel don’t need it.
The most logical option to get around this problem, was to buy an electronic book reader; and there were several interesting alternatives out there. After researching the subject, I came to the conclusion that the best reading experience would be with an Amazon Kindle using a Wi-Fi communication software called Whisper. The electronic ink was amazing. It was a blast of fresh air in the stuffy confines of software for reading e-books.
The price of a Kindle back then was $139.00 in the U.S. and $181.34 in Panama. I didn’t have the money, so I kept on reading my books in my office. Then I was in for an unexpected surprise. On September 28, 2011, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, announced the Kindle Fire at an amazing price of $199.00. Besides being an e-book reader, it was an MP3 players, a movie player, a Web browser; all in full high-resolution color. I immediately said, “This is it. This is what I want.”
On October 7, I placed the pre-order for the gadget and contacted a new company in Panama called Aeropost to bring it home. The tablet was finally shipped by Amazon on November 17 and arrived in Panama on November 23rd. The costs in Panama were:
- Air Freight: $13.00
- Insurance: $3.00
- Taxes: $34.12
- Customs Handling: $10.00
- Total Costs: $60.12
The price tag of the Amazon Kindle was $199.00 and a plastic cover to protect the tablet’s glass sold for $29.99. So the total cost of my Christmas present was $290.11. I had been saving for this baby for several months and it’s finally in my paws. I’m getting acquainted with it, and after a few days, will post my experiences with it.
Today, I’ll just include several pictures depicting my experience unpacking the tablet and waking it up. Here we go.
Snapshot of the package containing the Kindle Fire and the plastic protective cover. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
After opening the carton box, I found two packages inside. One was the box containing the Kindle Fire, and the other was an envelope containing the Kindle Fire MicroShell Folio graphite cover by Marware. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
This is the packing containing the protective cover for the tablet. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Snapshot of the plastic container which housed the Kindle Fire. The tablet was packed inside a protective clear plastic pouch. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Snapshot of the opening or welcome screen. When I first saw it, the time and date were there. The letters and colors are top notch; crisp, bright, and crystal clear. I'm very impressed with the high resolution of the screen. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
To start the registration process, you first have to connect the AC power cable to the wall outlet to ensure you have sufficient charge to complete the process, then you press the power button on the bottom of the gadget. The process will only request two things to the user; the time zone and the Wi-Fi network. After that, the whole process is fully automatic. It takes less than five minutes for its completion.
When the software was being downloaded, you I read the following message: “Hello Mr. Omar Upegui R. Congratulations, your Kindle is registered. The latest Kindle software is being downloaded. Once complete, it will only take a few minutes to restart your device and install the latest features.” As you probably know by now, the Fire Kindle uses the older Android 2.3 kernel (Gingerbread), intended for smart phones.
I loved the personal touch of Amazon registering the gadget beforehand. It had my name on it—Omar’s Kindle— and all my e-books were already neatly installed on the device. As soon as the software was installed, I was ready to download books, music, videos, surf the web, and receive the latest software updates. This is what makes Amazon great—its outstanding customer service.
The gadget also came with the following apps:
- ESPN Score
- The Weather Channel
- Words With Friends Free
- Help & Feed Back
You can download more apps, but that’s another story for another day. I haven’t used any of these apps yet, but will do in the next couple of days and share with you my personal experience with the tablet.
Snapshot of my blog, Lingua Franca, using the tablet's Silk Web browser. The pictures were crystal clear and the fonts were sharp and crisp. Exactly the way I expected them to be. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Snapshot of the digital shelf will all the e-book I have purchased from Amazon. This was my main reason for purchasing the Kindle Fire. I wanted to read books outside of my home office in an almost weightless and convenient device. I think this is what I was looking for, at an affordable price. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
The Kindle Fire is great for people who want to consume Amazon content, whether that’s music, movies, videos, or books. It does offer some games, but it simply doesn’t have the breath of games that Apple offers for iOS devices. The same goes for Apps in general. Apple is still king here and likely will be for a long time. Good Day.
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