At the beginning of 2012 I purchased a Amazon Kindle Fire. My reasoning was that along with being a great medium for books and music it also would provide a means for my kids to research and study on the go. At home we have one good laptop (mine) and a rather ancient and slow desktop (kids) In the evening my laptop becomes my high schooler’s tool of choice for homework. My middle schoolers are then forced to use the old machine to do research and documents. It does the job but it can also be a source of frustration. The kindle gives them a way to work on their studies and do the occasion web searches they need to answer questions for their project. I have also found a number of books, reference materials and app’s that help them with their subjects. In particular I like the ability to e-mail documents to the KF and have them auto load into the tablet when it is turned on.
Although the KF was originally purchased as a tool for homework I started taking it to work with me during school hours and started using it for work. I discovered it was a great way for me to carry reference material at my day job and not have to rely on printing out hard copies of documents or instructions every where I went. Along with documents I now have reference books, diagrams, videos and web search capability (at least when in a WiFi hotspot) in a very small easy to carry package. So far I have been very pleased with the result. So much so That I decided to keep the KF for myself and purchased an Ipad 2 for the family.
The reason I decided on the Apple Ipad 2 were for all of the reasons stated above plus the $100 reduction in price since the Ipad 3 (or whatever they are calling it) came out. I purchased the base line black, 16GB WiFI only model at $399 plus tax. We have had it now for about a month and I am very pleased with it also. There are a number of app’s that both the KF and Ipad 2 have in common. But I have to say there appears to be more dynamic education and reference app’s for the Ipad than for the KF (android). The BBC Wonders of the Universe app is particularly well done. I also like the Minds of Mathematicians, Khan Academy and Itunes University in particular. These four apps make the price of the Ipad more than worth it for me.The fact that the Ipad won’t do flash is quite irritating but you learn to work around it. It certainly wasn’t a deal buster for me. I also love the fact that HBO Go is available on the Ipad!
As far as storage goes, the Ipad definitely has more even in the base model. Both units have cloud storage (Amazon cloud for the Fire and Icloud for the Ipad). Both have worked seamlessly for me. Both can also connect to a computer via a USB cable. The advantage of the Ipad is that it has bluetooth connectivity and also can access files on other computers in your newtwork via file browser app’s. The Fire does have file management and browser app’s but they are not as robust as those offered for the Ipad.
All in all they are both fine devices. The Kindle Fire is a great lightweight tablet that certainly has uses for school and for work if you are looking for a way to carry interactive reference materials. The Ipad 2 has most of the same capabilities that the Fire does plus a great deal more that the Fire cannot do. The trade off is the smaller package and the $200 price difference.
If you have had experience with both of these tablets let me know what your experience has been. I would love to hear from you.