Wait, $199?? Thats it? :-o
Yeah, Amazon launched its pretty hyped Kindle Fire a few weeks back and here we are, still confused if we should get it or not. With all the pretty and sometimes cheap tablets around in the market, one gets easily confused as in which one to buy. In situations like this, it is always suggested to list down why exactly you need a tablet, if you need it at all. I, being a college student look for a few basic things (and its the same for most of us). What I need to do is :
- Browse Net. (Send Mails/Facebook/Twitter/Youtube and all)
- Read Stuff (Newspapers/Magazines/E-books/Lecture Notes)
- Watch Movies (Series/Documentaries/Online Tubing)
- Play Games
Amazingly, Kindle Fire checks through all of my Checklists, except for one, Videocalling (No camera, you see!). Then, I console myself that its more than enough for 200 dollars. Now to decide upon the Pros and cons, I browsed through most of the consumer complaints related to it and here the ones that concern me :
- $199 price tag.
- Awesome Cloud Support and availibility of Amazon services.
- Great hardware for its price.
- Exceptional Screen Quality
- Silk supports Flash. :D
- No Android Market
- No Proxy Support
- Its no iPad
- No 3G/Bluetooth
- Just 8 gigs
Pros make me all happy, but no Native proxy supports bothers me a lot. My College, like most of the institutions, offers Wi-Fi access through a Proxy and without it the Kindle Fire would render mostly useless. I can make do with 8 GBs of memory (Of which approximately 7GB would be available for use), but no expansion slot also makes sound dull.
Taming your Kindle
Fortunately, there are some pretty nice fixes (read Hacks) for it. The proxy can be fixed by either rooting the device or by installing Firefox and using its proxy support, but the apps requiring a net connection won’t work in the later case. Amazon also released an update for Kindle in mid December which fixes most of its V 1.0 problems. There is even a hack to access Android Marketplace on Kindle and install custom ROMs on it instead of using Amazon’s UI. Some useful links for the above mentioned things are as follows :
Proxy through Firefox :
Installing Marketplace :
Installing custom ROMs :
I wouldn’t mind applying all these hacks and fixes considering the price of it, specially when it serves my purpose. I have hardly seen anyone who hasn’t rooted their Android or Jailbroken their iOS device. The Silk browser and the cloud services come pretty handy and for a college student it can be the next best thing (I am not very hopeful about the Aakash tablet, until I use one myself.).
Amazon hasn’t yet opened a store for Indian customers and still does not ship Kindle Fire to India (Stupid, isn’t it!). But there are a few services available through eBay which import Kindle Fire and sell them in India. One can can pretty decent deals there ranging from Rs.14000 to Rs. 16000. But do check the feedback of the seller before buying. The shipping time may vary from 10 to 20 days as the device you ordered is first imported to India and then shipped to you.