As the only person I know who still actively makes use of their library card, I was long overdue to check out a Kindle. Hundreds of e-books at my fingertips? Yes, please! I’m also a fan of anything that allows me to experience music in the highest quality possible, so when I was offered the opportunity to take a look at the new Kindle Fire HD 8.9”, I was definitely interested. However, as a longtime Mac user, I was also hesitant. My computer is a Macbook, my phone is an iPhone…could my tablet be a Kindle?

I don’t own an iPad, so I can’t offer any direct comparisons between the two devices, but I’m not entirely sure a comparison would even be fair. The Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ costs $269 on Amazon while the iPad 2 retails for $399, so while they are both tablets, saying one is better or worse than the other feels like comparing a Honda to a Mercedes. Both will get you to work safely and comfortably, so your choice in vehicle depends on how much you’re looking to spend and how important various extra features are to you. Such is the case with the Kindle and the iPad.

The X-Ray for TV/movies feature in action

All Mac vs. PC concerns aside, once I took a moment to acclimate myself to the software, I was able to navigate the Kindle easily, and soon after powering it up, I was surfing the internet, downloading apps, and watching videos. After spending some time with the Kindle Fire HD, however, I still can’t say whether or not I would buy one, but again, I never felt compelled to buy an iPad either. When I’m out and about, my iPhone suits my technology needs just fine, and I practically live on my Macbook at home, so there aren’t too many situations where I could see the need for another device.

The Dolby Audio dual stereo speakers proved to be much more clear and powerful than the speakers on my iPhone 4, though, so if I were looking to livestream a concert while chilling by the pool, the Kindle would be my method of choice. No straining to hear or see anything on my iPhone and no concerns about being out $1,000+ when I inevitably splash water on my Macbook.

Kindle Free Time

The Kindle would also be the ideal solution if I were a parent looking for something to keep the kids happy (and quiet) during car rides (a task made easier by the Kindle Free Time free parental control setting that allows parents to customize content and set time limits for their kids). Again, high enough quality to be worthwhile, but not so expensive that it would throw the monthly budget out of whack if a juice box got spilled on it.

All this to say that I would recommend the Kindle Fire HD to anyone who is looking to buy a reliable tablet, but isn’t committed to the Mac brand or the pricetag that comes along with it. Dollar for dollar, the Kindle Fire HD is a worthwhile purchase, and hey, with a Kindle, I could save quite a bit on those overdue library book fees.

For more info:

Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ on Amazon