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Confessions of a Kindle Fire-aholic

My husband bought me a Kindle Fire and I have to say that there are several reasons why you cannot go wrong with this device.

First, it's price. At $199, you cannot go wrong. And the Kindle Fire is definitely a mobile device, as its 7-inch multi-touch display screen allows it to fit neatly into my purse. 

The Amazon Quick Silver Web browser that is installed on the device is super-fast, making the browsing experience on par with my expectations, which are extremely high given my profession. There?s a wide range of applications to choose from ? both free and paid. 

What I liked the most was taking my device out of the box and seeing that my Amazon account, including payment information, was already saved on the tablet. Erin O'Neill Schultz over at Google once said that the greatest value you can give a consumer is to save that person time. I have to say I agree.

But do not be fooled, the Kindle Fire is not a communication device. It is a media consumption device that is a great way to entertain yourself while on the go or just hanging out on the couch after the kids are asleep. 

Some stuff I feel it obviously lacks, like the ability to connect to a 3G/4G network, a camera and it is not GPS-enabled. But overall, for $199, you absolutely cannot go wrong. 

I cannot wait until I travel somewhere, especially for conferences and such, as I expect it will be much easier to have the Kindle Fire in hand instead of schlepping around a huge laptop bag. With access to my email, the Web and all my favorite apps (Facebook, Angry Birds, LinkedIn, Netflix, The Weather Channel), I will surely opt for the Kindle Fire over a laptop. 

My husband is a tech junky and I say "junky" because it actually may be a problem. We have so many remote controls for all the various technology hooked up to the television that sometimes it takes me some time to get the TV on. So, when the iPad came out, we had to have it.

We sold it to a friend three months later. I think in total I used the device about 10 times. Don?t get me wrong, it is a great device. But the fact that it did not fit into my bag made me leave it at home and so I would very rarely use it in the evening. 

Now, I am not trying to say Apple does not rock. It does. I love my iPhone. I will never trade it in. Ever. But when it comes to tablets, I am loving this Kindle Fire. 

I spent 3.5 hours on it after taking it out of the box. I downloaded apps, played games, surfed the Web, clicked on ads, watched videos and even started reading "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaac (better late than never). I have no complaints in terms of user interface and experience.

What?s more is the Kindle is great for business professionals. You can email documents ? including Word, PDF and Excel ? directly to your Kindle so you can read them anytime, anywhere.

The Kindle Fire supports AZ, TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4 and VP8 formats.

The device has a fast dual-core processor and free cloud storage, which means forget about buying more memory.

Kindle Fire gives you free storage for all your Amazon digital content in the Amazon Cloud. Your books, movies, music and apps are available instantly to stream or download.

Amazon promises up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, with wireless off.

Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as Web browsing and downloading content. I have not had an issue with the battery. 

Overall, I think that we?ll be seeing a lot of these smaller, inexpensive tablets hitting the market in 2012, taking market share from the iPad, which I feel is incredibly overpriced. 

Marketers need to keep their eye on the Kindle Fire. The advertising experience is superb. I love how USA Today?s Kindle Fire app is sponsored by Volkswagen and the sponsorship is not all in your face the entire time you are consuming content. 

When you open up the app there?s a ?sponsored by Volkswagen? banner and that is it. There are no ads once you are in the app. 

I think that consumers are going to love the Kindle Fire, which means that marketers need to have their eyes on the device as well. 

Final Take
Giselle Tsirulnik, deputy managing editor, Mobile Marketer