Back when I saw the Kindle Fires emerge, I thought they looked like a pretty good media alternative.
Having a Xoom already which is classified as a Google Experience Device means that it gets updated pretty regularly and since its a WiFi model it seems to get the updates much faster than the 4G model on Verizon. What was it about the Kindle that made me almost buy it and that I am still considering? Well, Its not a tablet in the simplest state like the Xoom. It has no Android Market or Play Store or whatever on it by default. IIt does sport the Amazon App Store. It also does not run Ice Cream Sandwich which I think on the regular tablets is a huge performance and use increase and enhancement. What the Fire is though is a media device and not a tablet per se. If you want a streaming media device to take advantage of your Amazon experience than this is the thing. If you want the regular tablet experience, the one I am looking at now is the new 7 inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. This offers a much smaller tablet experience than the 10 inch jobs like the Xoom.
What draws me to this is the form factor. This fits into smaller space when traveling, it provides a great user experience still while maintaining the required defaults for access to the so-called Google Play Store. You can add in applications like Netflix or Hulu to watch the media and add in a MicroSD card and place your own movies on it. I did this with a whole group of movies I like watching. Call them “Mikes Old Time Favorites”. On the SD card on the Xoom, I can add in whatever movie I want after ripping it from my DVD collection. I can also use Netflix to watch it stream across the internet which is nice.
People do complain about the size factor though and it seems the 7 inch tablet form will be easier to travel around with. What I really want and am waiting to see is the tablet Google comes up with and its form factor. The real battleground will not be the upper level of tablets but the the tablets which pack in a huge value at less than $200. Once we reach that point with compelling alternatives; watch how the next year unfolds.
I may not get the 7 inch Samsung Tab 2. Who knows what will come next and its getting to be a great season for new releases already. We’ll just watch and see.