How does a Kindle Fire 7 compare to high end tablets?
Amazon Prime Day starts tomorrow – Monday 16th July at 12pm, and the Kindle Fire is often an item to get big reductions on, especially if you aren’t bothered about the latest model. I managed to bag a Kindle Fire 7 with special offers on Black Friday 2017 for an amazing £30, a price that may seem too good to be true when you consider a new iPad currently retails around the £300 mark.
Last Christmas my in laws were considering buying an iPad for my husband’s 89 year old grandma so she could do online shopping. Knowing that it probably wouldn’t be used for much more than this, I advised that they would be much better off with the Kindle Fire. But because “iPad” has become a word like “hoover” – the object as well as the brand – they were unaware any cheaper choices existed and I think this could be true for a lot of people – particularly the less tech savvy or older generation.
What does “with special offers” mean?
You could be forgiven for thinking, as it is £10 cheaper than the non special offer model, that this is just some sort of £10 off offer. However, it actually means that sponsored adverts appear as your screensaver when the tablet is locked. I was a little bit dubious about this when I realised what it meant but I have to say they are not intrusive and don’t bother me at all – after all, it’s only on the lock screen so you can’t see them when actually using the device.
The fire operates on the Amazon Store so the apps available can be limited compared with an Ipad or other high end tablet, however it still has a wealth of availability including all the usual “essentials” such as Facebook, Netflix and Spotify. A full list of free and paid apps is here on the Amazon Store. Of course, you can also access all of your kindle books on this device if you are an existing Kindle owner like me. I really like the way it syncs the pages across your devices so you can switch across and not lose your page. Of course, I can do this on my iPad using the kindle app but it is worth pointing out that this is a feature, since other Kindle models can be much more expensive.
I was also really pleased that I could access Spotify and Netflix as my primary use for this tablet was for travelling. I downloaded a couple of films and tv show episodes for a flight and they worked perfectly.
Size and Design
The tablet is 7” which is a nice size. It seems a little bit clunky compared to an iPad and is noticeably thicker than both an iPad and other Kindle E-reader models, but still slim and easily portable. The screen doesn’t seem as vivid and bright as an iPad, but it is perfectly usable.
Speed & Performance
The films and tv shows downloaded rapidly. Browsing speed is a little slower than an iPad, but nothing that would hinder you. The touchscreen keypad is more fiddly than an iPad at times but again nothing major.
This is the only area I feel is a major negative compared to other tablets. Even when not in use and locked, the device does not hold its charge for more than a few hours. I have found this has been a barrier in terms of how much I have used it day to day as if I go to pick it up and it is dead then I will obviously reach for my phone or the IPad instead. It lasted fine while watching films on a 3 hour flight but obviously needed charging up later that day.
For £30 or even £50, the Kindle Fire 7 is excellent value for money if you want a basic tablet for browsing, shopping, streaming, casual gaming and social media. The only major issue is the battery life, everything else that compares unfavourably to an iPad I feel is fairly reflected in the collosal price difference.
I don’t think it would replace our iPad but as an additional tablet it is fantastic. I already own a Kindle voyage e-reader that was around £160 and its only capability is for reading books, so it is incredible that the Fire offers this same function in addition to being a full colour tablet as well. (I do much prefer reading on an e-reader rather than a screen though).
Verdict – if you want a basic tablet, or something for a child or elderly relative this would be a much wiser purchase than spending hundreds more on design and performance. You can’t really go wrong at this price!