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Amazon Kindle Fire Review

Facebook Marketing All In One For DummiesSo I got my Amazon Kindle Fire in the mail yesterday. While teardowns and the like report general unremarkable results, I'm going to argue with them and say that, for many, this is the Kindle we've been looking for.

First, in short, it does everything Amazon says it does – and it does it well. The bookstore is perfect, the video is crisp, the app store integration FINALLY GIVES ITUNES A REAL COMPETITOR, the web browser is fast enough (my iPad still beats it, even without Amazon Silk), the audio sounds great, it's the whole package.

When the iPad first came out everyone said it was more of a consumption device than it was a productivity device. While in some ways I agreed (it was an issue of software, not design at launch), I can't find a better term for the Kindle Fire than a media consumption device. If you're looking to do any productive tasks on this device, a) it's gonna be slow, and b) you're missing the point of the device.

Kindle is all about consumption. Kindle is all about consumption. Kindle is all about consumption.

Amazon sells things that people consume. Their move to the digital realm of consumption not only makes sense financially but also kicks some serious butt in the delivery speed arena the whole green thing (lot less dead trees shipped by airplane in my Kindle copy of Facebook Marketing All-In-One For Dummies) In the digital realm, they sell books, video, apps, and music through a Web interface. The Kindle Fire delivers all of these perfectly.

As I shared in my initial thoughts about the Kindle Fire, my kids originally approached the concept with great interest. For them devices are for consumption and the laptop for creation. Both of them love the thing because “it does everything” – and they're right, in the consumption realm at least.

Secondly, it's solid. It “feels” great while not attempting to hope people won't notice it's not an iPad. I'll be reading more books on this than anything else and can see dropping it in my go bag as I go on trips.

Finally, it's a Generation 1 product. I can already list improvements (man, the Android world needs their version of AirPlay) that will probably be made in the future, but they're, simply, improvements. Amazon got it right, on their first attempt. Great job.

Is it an “iPad Killer?” Nope. They're not the same device. For people who bought the iPad only to play Angry Birds, read a few books and watch a few videos – this is the device for them.

If Apple plays to their strengths, they'll continue to focus on the iPad as the tablet that it is. At $499 they better make sure it also enables media consumption (same is true of their desk/laptops), but that shouldn't be the focus.

If Amazon plays to their strengths, they'll continue to focus on the Kindle Fire as the media consumption device that it is. Try to make it something other than that and a) they'll lose their profit center and b) they'll lose their focus.

I'm thrilled with it. You?

For fun, here's a quick embed of my Amazon Kindle Fire Unboxing. If you can't see it below, the link will take you right to the YouTube video.

Apple’s “Latest Creation” Event (the iPad) – My New Media Perspective

Thanks to Leo Laporte's Phone, and Gdgt's live photostream, we got an almost live look at the launch of the (surprised?) iPad. Other great pieces include Wired telling us it's more about content, Cali Live, and TechCrunch's live stream.

My thoughts:

The iPad name. Branding is a tough thing, but if anyone can pull it off, Apple can. Lots of folk can have slates or tablets. Only one company can have an iPad. Now they can (and will) charge more.

Mentioning YouTube but not Hulu, etc. I predict here that as this effectively has the ability to kill the purchase of content for the television, … I predict Hulu will try to ban (or severely restrict) the playing of Hulu content on the device. There will be hacks, don't get me wrong, but, .. yeah, Hulu ain't gonna like this at all.

Regular mentioning of Podcasts on this bad boy. Nice, but I believe this is more of a positioning statement than anything else. It might be me, but it sounds like Steve is telling some “big media” types that we can do fine without them. And, actually, I agree.

No Flash? That's what Engadget is telling us. Answers the Boxee/Hulu question – and forces us to download content for the iPad. Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

The iPad Econony.” Steve started the event with thoughts on how Apple is the “biggest” mobile device company on the planet. There is an iPhone economy (and nothing even comes close). I think they're going for the same thing here. Hubris or brilliance … we'll see.

Ability to use existing iPhone apps. Obvious, but extremely powerful. There are a couple of iPhone apps that I would use a lot more if I had more space (OmniFocus, Mail, Calendar, InstataPaper, Evernote, etc.) iPhone changed the way we used phones. Mix that power, already built in, with Steve's comment that netbooks are lousy and we have an interesting new space.

Microphone jack. New media creation device.

The Demo. Yes, MLB has been leading the pack on this one, but those who own there media can all learn from this model of making sure their media is available on every device. An app for your show for the iPad is a LOT MORE (impressive and important) THAN AN RSS FEED.

iPad v Kindle (iBooks). Part of Kindle's charm for me is the epaper bit (and the eyestrain that it doesn't cause). I like where Apple is going, but I'm not sure how buying an iBook, only available on my iPad, is better than buying a Kindle book, which I can read on the Kindle, iPhone and iPad. Pricing will be a big issue here. Of course, you can buy MP3s on Amazon that work great on the iPhone – and we know where their positioning is.

iWork for iPad. Don't underestimate brilliance of this one. If we can get an Office Suite with battery life for less than an Office Suite with laptops (with less battery life), we have a winner in the Enterprise? Remember, the promise is 10 HOURS of batter power. And at $9.99 each, yes, they're making an Enterprise play …

$30 for unlimited 3G. No contract. But … AT&T. No commitment. But … AT&T. Remember too, this is a GSM chip so you won't able able to move this over to Verizon without buying a new iPad. Hmmmmmm.

Price. Starting at $499 for 16 gig. $129 more for the 3G options. Most expensive 64gig and 3G – $829.

No camera. Nothing about USB. Not everything you need … but very nice.

125,000 million accounts and credit card numbers. This is a major audience ready to buy your stuff. Will you make it available to them?

Summary: So, she's gorgeous and (relatively) cheap and a game changer. She doesn't have the stuff we need to entirely bring her into the world we know (Flash, Camera, etc.). She is also very obviously a v1 product but color me impressed. The enterprise play and the cheaper access option (and the Apple halo effect) mean that it's going to get a lot of play, quickly. She won't be the streaming cable cutter like some buzz, but very impressive none the less.

We have what it takes to establish a 3rd category of products … We think we've done it.” (Steve Jobs)

Did they?

ISYOT Effect – Paul Colligan Paul Colligan asks the simple question – “Why be ‘somewhere' when you can be ‘everywhere?' via the ISYOT effect. In this video, Paul examines the ISYOT effect and how it's attainable (and cheap) in the 2.0 Web. Content created using the New Media Content Creation Model at a live event.