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Sheldon the Kindle Fire - First Impressions
children of dune - leto 1
I love Sheldon the Kindle. So much.


It's almost the exact same size as the kindle keyboard. Screen has a black margin all around at one half the size of my fingertip for easy grabbing without smudging the readable area.


Touch speed I have no complaints so far. The onscreen keyboard is pretty easy to use and the keys are not impossibly small for my fingers, and my hands are not tiny, so YMMV.

Screen orientation

It flips about as fast as you turn it.


Easy to carry in one hand without effort, pretty much falling into the weight sweet spot that Kindle occupies on the higher end. The back is slightly rubbery for a pretty good grip bare, but I have to admit a naked Kindle freaks me out badly. My case doesn't arrive until tomorrow, but current estimates say this is going to be pretty much as easy as carrying my Kindle around.


Not terrible, not epic. Headphones work just fine.


Currently I'm in my home network and to clarify, this house is etherneted and wirelessed for both g and n, so given Time Warner Cable having issues, my speeds are usually decent. Speed on this browser is definitely above teh average I can get when I unplug the ethernet on my laptop and use wireless g. Load time for a previously viewed page when timed against my laptop is almost the same speed and possibly slightly faster and my laptop has good cache and a solid state drive and is fast. Therefore, I tentatively state the silk browser is really goddamn fast.

Home screen

The home screen is three separate sections; the top is teh search bar, below it are links to your stuff in teh following categories:

Newsstand, Books, Music, Video, Docs, Apps, Web.

All have two options at the top, Cloud and Device you can switch between. With my books, a touch downloaded them fast. Video has a link to your library at the very top left and then three sections, one for Prime movies/tv that includes--thank you God--all of Farscape for free viewing for Prime members. My God, my life is good. Amazon Prime videos cannot be downloaded and watched offline on the Kindle fire, but given a wireless connection, its', um, actually pretty fast. I took a break just now to watch the first ten minutes of Farscape ep 1.

Next down is a carousel--it really is. It basically shows what you were jsut doing (a cute pic of teh archive appeared and of the help menu and of farscape and of all my books. The third row is alll the apps you favorited.


HD Youtube loads...really fast. I mean, that was kind of disturbing. I couldn't access some vids including Tanglewood Tree for Fingersmith, Fascination for Billy Elliot and several X-Men vids and SGA vids since they aren't enabled for mobile, but any that were enabled loaded fast and all looked much better in HD than non-HD. I mean, seriously, beyond the obvious, the HD's were nice.

Tested successfully with the following:


I wish it had a 3G option, but 3G is fucking slow, and I use broadband at home, so not having it when I don't have access to my home network might lead to homicide when nothing will load, so. The browser is ungodly fast.


The screen and size are fine but a little cramped when the Fire is vertical; flip to horizontal on dashboard and it's magic. Reading fic vertical is of course fine. But if someone wants to write a skin for the Fire, pretty much everything can be solved with a quick margin and tab reduction and possibly a function to hide the dashboard or turn it into a hover menu or reduce it to less than a quarter of available space. For me, the Mobile skin wasn't quite right for the Kindle screen area, but the regular archive is perfect when I flip the screen, so I'm happy. Recent bookmark list requires no orientation adjustment, so it's basically anything with the div columns.

Most websites do slightly better in horizontal mode, but none so far are unreadable in vertical; this is like, about a thousand times better than my phone.

So far, and I have no idea why, I cant' get the download functoin working. It downloads but does not add to library and this is annoying.

To fix name, and whoo this is embarrassing, click on Synch in settings after changing it on Amazon. That does the trick.

If anyone figures out how to download fic to library--and if it is obvious, pretend it is not--then please to be dropping a line?

Sheldon and I are getting along fine, thank you. How is everyone else with their Fires? And more importantly, what are their names?????


Okay, for those, like me, who can't figure out how to get the entire fic from AO3 to Kindle, it's kind of weird. Download the book. It is now in the Download folder.

Download ES File Manager from the appstore. It's free. When downloaded, open it. You will see a list of folders, one of which is called Download. Open it and select the book by pressing down on it. If you have only books in there in multiple, on the menu, select Select All, then Cut. Or do it one at a time, IDK.

Using the top menu fourth icon, go up a level, then click on Books. When Books is open, you will see a strip of white and a tiny knob at the bottom of your screen that is where your book(s) are that you slide up to open. Hold down on the book(s) and then choose Paste.

Your AO3 books are perfectly functional and happy in the Docs folder. I am a hundred percent sure there is a stupidly easy way to do this, but its' like, 10:47 and I just want to read some fic. Calibre will automatically download your mobi files into Kindle Books folder that will appear in Docs. Yeah, no idea what is going on.

Sheldon and I are learning each other.

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/115966.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

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Eeeek! Mine is supposed to arrive on Nov. 17th (compared to the 21st which is what I was told yesterday) and I am using the time to decide on its name...


Thank you so much for the detailed review, this is very exciting.

(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
SO UM. Your old Kindle. I have a few questions! I'm not in the market for a tablet, but I do think the e-ink is cool and looking on amazon, those prices are right:

a) Regular? Touch? Keyboard? and do you have an argument in favor of any of those?

b) "special offers" - offensively irritating or unobtrusive? also, do they ever go away or are they there for eternity?

I've read cnet, obviously, but it's always nice to get a personal opinion!

E-ink is awesome imo. I love it so much. I love that the Kindle family bar Fire (I'm assuming) is not backlight so that I can read it when I have a headache w/o making it worse and w/o it interfering w/sleep the way backlight devices do (the blue light/backlighting makes your brain assume it's not time for bed yet and thus doesn't manufacture the appropriate hormones). You can't watch videos but you can also listen to audiobooks, play music, and have your Kindle read books that have the option enabled for text reading to you. You can also password protect it so that your fic reading habits are protected. :-) You can also surf the Internet, like on other mobile devices. I can read AO3 fic on the site on the Kindle after enlarging the font, not ff.net so much though--if you can read tiny type it's usable there too. I love the fact that it's light and fits easily into my purse.

I have the K3, what I'm presuming is now the Kindle Keyboard. It's the only Kindle I've owned. I think the battery life avg. about 8 hours and you can use it while it's recharging. The K3 I bought has 3g, which you don't have to pay monthly charges for; it's included in the buy price. It's kinda slow but you can check email and buy books even in areas w/o wireless to connect to and go to other websites too like AO3.

I'm not familiar with the special offers Kindle as I don't have one but I've seen people talk about the special offers that they receive via it, including special deals on Amazon ebooks that aren't available to you if you're not a owner of the special offer Kindle.

B/c it's not backlight, if you want to read it in dark places you'll need to buy a light for it and a cover is recommended to help prevent scratches--it doesn't come with one. You'll also want a screen protector for it to prevent scratches on the screen. It's awesome to read outside in, esp. on sunny days since no backlight means your screen is see-able, not washed out. You can also buy waterproof bags/covers to read it in the bathtub or on a beach. You can now download Kindle ebooks from your local library's website if they offer ebooks.

You may want to ask your question about comparing the various Kindles here: http://www.kindleboards.com/ They talk about everything Kindle there. And they may already have a FAQ covering the differences, IDK. I bought my K3 in Feb before they came out with the special touch Kindles, etc.

I'm in love with the readability app. It's on my browser and I just tell it to email the webpage to my Kindle and I read it there. http://www.readability.com/ It's awesome esp. for LJ fics that you can't find elsewhere like on AO3, which lets you download fic for your Kindle/ereader of choice. Unless you just want to copy and paste them into Word, save as pdf, use Calibre to convert to mobi (pdf text/font isn't really scalable on the Kindle ime--I prefer to convert pdf to mobi).

I love fanfiction downloader: http://fanfictiondownloader.net/index.php It lets you download fic from ff.net and other archives easily and converts them for reading on your Kindle.

Calibre is fun too.

(Suspicious comment)
Agree with just about everything you said.

Her name is Amanda and she's damn fast. And very pretty.

*nods* I was all "YOUTUBE IS LOADING AND NOT SKIPPING" which my phone even on my wireless network does not do. So happy!

Mine is supposed to arrive tomorrow. I'm so excited I'll probably scare the poor UPS guy when he shows up.

*grins* Mine was there when I got home. I lunged at it, pretty much. *g*

I did, in fact, name mine George, because I had to snatch it away from my 11 year old and clutch it to my chest. Which is leading me to think that maybe I should name my regular Kindle Keyboard Martha...

I'm still testing to see if this is going to be my default e-reader, so thanks for the tips on downloading AO3 files, because I was struggling last night, and resorted to physically connecting it to the computer and manually moving MOBI files into the documents folder. Low-tech solution, for certain values of the phrase low tech!

Now if I can just figure out how to convert and send my millions of RTF fic files, I'll definitely be in business.

This is the coolest thing ever!

Calbre accepts RTF as an input format (and also offers it as an output format). The downside is that you have to handle your fic conversion in batches, and it takes forever and a day, as you wait for the files to be imported into Calibre - then wait for them to convert - then wait for the MOBI files to save to your destination folder. (And you may find yourself tinkering with the metadata so the files will be labeled in your preferred format and sorting as you want them in your e-book reading program. Which adds another step slowing the process.) Still, at least it makes it possible to turn RTF (or HTML, my usual format when saving fic) into MOBI files, and I tend to not bother firing up the program until I've got a lot of fic to copy to my reader at once.

Mine's supposed to arrive today. I feel like I'm 5 and waiting for Santa Claus.

Edited at 2011-11-16 04:24 pm (UTC)

I was refreshing UPS all day yesterday. It arrived thirty minutes after I got home from work and I swear the last thirty minutes of work was like torture.

I have a Sony e-Reader (old!), a keyboard Kindle, and am considering getting a tablet, largely for reading online, checking email, blogs, social sites, etc.

I'm debating between getting a non-ipad tablet and the Fire in the near future. Having the Fire in your hands now, what do you think the big difference is--what would make you choose Fire over a tablet (or iPad)?

Fire vs iPad: it all boils down to what you want to do with it. There is no question that the iPad is more robust. More apps, more power, more screen space. It's also much heavier and costs a whoooole lot.

The Fire is much smaller--about the size of a 100 page mass-market paperback book--lighter, more targeted, and (of course) half the price of the iPad.

Do you have a lot of content on iTunes already? If you can swing the pricetag, you might want the iPad. If you have a lot of Amazon content or Amazon Prime try the Fire.

All I want in a tablet is to occasionally check webmail, check LJ, some Android apps/games without squinting at a tiny screen or sitting at my desk, so I went with the Fire. The Amazon Prime videos is just bonus at this point. I read in some reviews (and I agree) that there is no point in buying one of the marginal players, because the build/content/support just can't match. You could hop into a Barnes and Noble and check out the Nook Tablet (coming soon!). It's basically the Fire with higher specs (costs $50 more though). I do caution that B&N has minimal non-book content, though the children's ebooks on the Nook are the best kid ebooks around.

...and I think I didn't help you much. Um, sorry? ::sheepish::

I'm saving up for one, but if I can't watch TV or movies offline, it will be less useful than I was hoping, as I have no wifi at home.

Re: Future Fire (maybe)

You can download the ones you've bought, just not the free Amazon Prime ones.

Seperis, you seem to have beaten your Kindle Fire into shape. Tell me, is there a way to download AO3 files directly to Kindle Fire and then open them? I download the files and see them in the file manager, but not on the Documents or Books tab, and there does not seem to be an option to open them to the program that can actually read them...

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