The appeal of the whole “Post-PC World” concept that accompanies is rise of the Tablet PC is the extreme simplicity of use. The lack of power inherent in the portable design doesn’t come into play as much as one might expect, since you are obviously limited from the start to things that don’t require heavy use of full keyboards, mice, etc. This basically means that devices like the Kindle Fire are ideal from conception as a means of leisurely computing and nothing more.
Now we all know somebody, no matter who that might be, who is either unwilling or incapable of using a computer in any meaningful way. My family has a couple of them. I figured that the ideal way to gauge the user-friendliness of the Kindle Fire‘s interface was to get them to take a test drive on it. The results were impressive. To understand the nature of the reviewers here, it is worth noting that one of them initially refused to even consider it because of how confusing and overwhelming trying to use an iPad was. I’m told that birthday gift didn’t last a week.
It’s fun. I can get all my stuff by clicking on the word for what I want and then next time it’s waiting on the screen for me. The buttons for the game look silly next to my books, but if you read a few things they go away. The best part was the button shelf (Favorites Bar), so that I didn’t lose the important stuff. The magazines don’t make sense though. The screen is too small for that. I think I’ll be keeping mine.
I really only want something to read on. I tried the old Kindle, but it was too dark for me. This one is pretty good. I figured out how to get books from the library and they’re easier to read at night. I don’t think I’ll ever watch movies on it. They look good, but the screen is way too small. I’d rather use my TiVo. I’m glad they made a Kindle like this that was small enough to read on still. I’ll probably take it with me on planes.
This one is a lot easier to hold than the iPad. I know people like that one, but it just did a lot of things I don’t care about. This lets me check my email, read books, and doesn’t make it seem like I should be doing more. I’m going to give it a try and maybe even learn how to take it to the library.
Obviously I prompted a little bit there about likes and dislikes, but you get the picture.
In terms of the Kindle Fire‘s simplicity of use, not much else could have demonstrated things better for me. It’s going to be a common gift this holiday season as a result. Remember that Amazon has a 30 day return policy for Kindles, making it possible to audition even when you’re not 100% sure that it will go over well. I don’t think that the family I talked to are getting every possible use out of their new tablets, but that doesn’t mean they failed to enjoy.