First Look At Amazon’s Fire 7 With Alexa

Available almost everywhere for fifty dollars, Amazon’s Fire 7 is a great buy. It’s a definite upgrade if you use a small screen phone to access the web, and a book reader that is on par with much more expensive tablets like the iPad. Really, there’s not much to dislike when you are spending only fifty dollars.

Although I don’t own an iPad Mini, casual users thinking Apple may want to try the Fire before they spend hundreds of dollars on the Mini. Base model storage is only eight gigs to begin with, but you can boost it with a memory card to get what you need. The Fire 7 is WiFi only and it connects easily to your home network. Video playback is good.

Setup is amazingly easy and quick. In a creepy way, it knows if you are an Amazon user and suggests quietly that it has your purchase account information ready to go. I didn’t even have to enter my Amazon password. To help you along, you can hold down on the home button for a second or two and it will call up Alexa to answer your questions. It also accesses any Kindle e-books that you’ve bought from Amazon. They appear on the Fire with little to do on your part.

Text resolution is excellent. A good book reader as long as your book does not require a great deal of pan and scan. Photos are bright and cheery although the built in camera is not on par with the Apple. What is? Sound is poor. I’ll continue to experiment with the Fire and let you know what I find.

Below: the Fire and my old iPad2. Screen resolution on the Fire is comparable, although probably not as good as Apple’s new “Retina Display” on current iPads.

By thomasfarley01

Business writer and graphic arts gadfly.

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