Thursday, May 26, 2016

Review: Amazon Fire Tablet

I finally got the chance to put my new Amazon Fire tablet through its paces this last week, having spent that week detained at UCSF's Long Hospital. For starters, I'd almost say I was delighted- as the ladies like to say. I'm not sure I'd say it excelled at anything, although I was surprised from the start at how well it worked with one thing: movies.

I got up the first morning and turned it on only to see what seemed like an advertisement asking me if I wanted to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It gave the option of downloading or just watching it. I decided to just watch, having nothing else to do that early in the morning. It said it was free so, after checking for any fine print, I pressed the button to start the movie and was impressed from the start. 

It started right up. No delays- do they call that buffering?- as I'd expect even on this computer. I was almost startled by the fine detail and the color. I couldn't put it down, despite not being a big movie watcher. The only downside, as with all things cell phone and tablet, was tilting my head down to watch it gave me a stiff neck.

But I survived and finished the movie feeling I'd really made a score for $57.00 delivered. Then I tried some other things; checking e-mail and such. E-mail worked fine and seemed more efficient than my new smartphone. Replying to messages was problematic at times as if I accidentally touched the tablet or screen in the wrong place, whatever I'd been working on would get booted off the screen and I'd have to go find it. But, the Android operating system- love it or hate it- would usually save whatever I'd been working on right where I left off.

I don't know I'd say the tablet excelled at anything, except movies. Typing, as one would expect, was a pain, just as it is on my cell phone. And a few things seemed to be missing, bookmarks for one. It allowed you to bookmark pages, but I couldn't find a list of bookmarked pages anywhere. That turned out to not be too big of a problem since if i just started typing  the name of a web site, the system would automatically insert the rest of the title, then a list would pop up with recommended sites I might want to visit. Still, what if you couldn't remember specific names?

About my second to last night at UCSF my assigned nurse and I were talking and I mentioned my tablet. She asked me what kind of tablet I had. I'm surprised she hadn't seen it as it was charging on the table next to my bed. When I told her I had a Fire, she said she had one, too. We went on to discuss some of the pros and cons of it with her main complaint being she didn't like the keyboard. I had to agree, but that's what you get with tablets and cell phones.

I didn't see her again but wish I had if only to ask her a question. One thing that seems difficult, if not sometimes impossible to do sometimes, with the tablet is to copy and paste things. I found if I held my finger over something a small window would pop up that said Copy. Then you could find an empty field, hold your finger over it and another small window would pop up that said Paste. 

Except that didn't work for web site locations. I tried and tried to copy and paste the location I linked to on my last Hate Hillary post, to no avail. I finally had to wait until I came home to finish that one and I'm not sure I got the right link since I couldn't find the source of the original link even on the tablet.

That was fun talking with the nurse about something we had in common and I guess that makes us almost family since we both have the same tablets.

But, the complaints I'd read earlier on about regarding missing pixels on the screen or the tablet being slow, I didn't experience at all. For the price, I'd recommend it, but beware the stiff neck.


At 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buffering is when you click a video and it downloads more than it needs before it begins playing, so that when your Internet speed dips, it can keep showing you the video without frequently stopping and starting to grab more bits of the video.

What you experienced sounds like preloading the video. Some of the video was likely downloaded beforehand (possibly when the tablet was charging or you thought it was in sleep mode) and the tablet merely hoped you would choose to watch. Or, it preloaded the video during the tablet's bootup sequence.

For anyone who has a monthly data cap (DSL and Suddenlink users), this can be pernicious because you're using some of your data allowance whether you want to or not.

At 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update with user critique. I just might invest yet.

At 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does a menu pop up when you tap the upper right corner? If so, "notes" or "marks" might be your bookmarks?


Post a Comment

<< Home