I’m really excited to try out Amazon’s newest tablet computer the Amazon Fire. I love my Kindle Keyboard however it is not yet the perfect e-reader. In looking at the new specs for the Amazon Fire this new offering may come pretty close. Amazon has also updated it’s entire e-reader line with three other e-readers at much lower price points. The Kindle, the Kindle Touch and the Kindle Touch 3G all of which have no keyboard. The Kindle Fire incorporates a multi touch screen like the iPad, however it is the same overall size as the Kindle Keyboard , albeit slightly thicker with a color screen.
I dont’ really see the Kindle Fire as an iPad2 competitor. This model is really more of a Barnes and Noble Nook killer. The Fire will allow users to access basically everything Amazon has to offer in their store plus Android Apps, streaming music and movies, email and the Web. I do see Amazon coming out with a version that will directly compete with Apple’s iPad, possibly by Christmas 2012. In order to compete with the iPad, Amazon will have to add a few more capabilities such as 3G connectivity, front and rear facing cameras, more internal storage and a microphone. Some people don’t like the size of the iPad and adding those capabilities in both the 7″ and 10″ inch screen sizes will be a great combination.
Not everyone wants an iPad to read books on, frankly I find the iPad much to heavy and large to easily read a book. It would be nice however to be able to read magazines in color and to easily visit a link in a blog or PDF, the Amazon Fire will allow us to do this very well.
So as soon as I get my hands on an Amazon Fire in November I’ll give a more complete review along with how it may or may not help patients with low vision. The Amazon Fire and the other new Kindle’s will ship on November 15. You can pre-order yours here.
As with most doctors we are constantly on the lookout for items we feel may help our patients. The Amazon kindle has been out for a few years now, however they recently upgraded it. The Amazon Kindle, holds a lot of promise for patients that have poor vision as a result of macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma or any ocular condition that impairs vision.
What I like the most about the Kindle, for patients with low vision, is that it uses a high resolution screen with very high contrast letters, black print on a white background, just like a book, however, most importantly you can increase the size of the letters. Changing the font size is a great option for patients with impaired vision that want to read books. As you can see in the photo the Kindle is about the size of a paperback book, however it is as thin as a pencil, weighing in at just over 10 ounces, which is less than a paperback book.
Most new bestseller books are about $10, however many books are less than that. There are currently 250,000 titles in the Kindle library. It takes about 60 seconds to download a book wirelessly with the included wireless network (using Sprint’s Cellular Data Network), no WiFi necessary. The Kindle holds 1500 books, with your library backed up by Amazon, so if you have to make room for a book and years later want to reread it you just download it again at no charge.
I also like the kindle for patients that find it difficult to hold a heavy book or have a hard time turning the page such as those with MS or patients that have had a stroke. The Kindle also has a text to speech option so it can even read to you. Subscriptions to major newspapers are available as well.
Let me know what you think. I would appreciate hearing your thoughts.
Posted in Ehlers-Danlos, Low Vision, Macular Degeneration
Tagged aid, amazon, electronic book, kindle, kindle 2, Low Vision, Macular Degeneration, paralysis, stroke, text to speech