So, when the Kindle eBook readers hit the market, I resisted. I already had a magic device that allowed me to read books: It was called "books". I mean, sure, the Kindles did some neat-o tricks but, and I am speaking here as a hardcore reader who goes through books at a pretty serious clip, they just really didn't snag me.
Similarly the iPad and its various Android-based tablet competitors got mostly a great big "meh" from me. Especially once I got a smart phone. I mean, I've already got a perfectly functional netbook and a smartphone, so explain to me again why I needed to shell out five bills for an Apple or Samsung gizmo that basically did the same stuff?
Then Amazon released the Kindle Fire: a little quasi-tablet that was linked into the Amazon storefront à la the classic Kindle, only you could stream movies to it and run Android apps like a tablet. Sure, it didn't have 3G and GPS and cameras and suchlike, but, uh, my phone already has all that stuff. And the Kindle Fire was only $199, which covers for a multitude of sins.
Bobbi preordered one, and it showed up last week. I was impressed. Impressed enough that, when I noticed that Target had two left (out of a shelf display meant to hold ten or a dozen) I bought one myself last Friday. This thing definitely hits right in the price/utility sweet spot. And the Amazon storefront is seamlessly integrated, causing me to yell from bed the other night "I just bought an out-of-print book! From bed! It's like having McKay's in bed with you! Do you have any idea how dangerous this thing is?"
Anyhow, yeah, I've been assimilated. The Kindle Fire has achieved 100% market penetration at Roseholme Cottage, being owned by two out of two adult residents. It's not going to replace dead-tree books in my life, but it's certainly a handy and versatile supplement. (And if you're an Amazon Prime member, you can stream old X-Files episodes for free! I just watched "Musings of a Cigarette-Smoking Man" for the first time in years.)
EDITED TO ADD: It seems Alan posted up a review on Saturday, which makes the some of the same points from the other direction. If you already have a tablet 'puter and a Kindle, why buy a Fire? I can't think of a reason, although as he points out, its size does make it pretty portable.