Maven logo MVP logo

Boulder Computer Maven Newsletter - October 2011

Dear Friends,

This is my customer newsletter, containing information that I hope will help you use your computer more enjoyably, safely, and efficiently. Previous newsletters are available on the newsletters page of the Boulder Computer Maven web site.

This month's topics are Amazon's Kindle electronic book reader, Amazon's new Kindle Fire tablet, and Apple's iPad tablet.

I now offer the same patient, expert, individualized help with the iPad and Kindle that I've always given you with your Windows computer. Perhaps you're thinking of getting one of them, or even of replacing your Windows computer with one. Or maybe you're planning to give one as a holiday gift. I can help you choose the best one for yourself or your gift recipient.

If you change your E-mail address, please send me your new one. If you don't want to receive this newsletter, let me know, and I'll remove your name from my mailing list.

If you have questions or comments or want to schedule an appointment, please call me at 303-444-8247.

Best Wishes,
Steve Winograd

Helping People Use Computers in Boulder for Over 25 Years

blue bar

Amazon Kindle

The Kindle is specifically designed for book reading, and it does it very well. With its E Ink display, text looks just like a printed book, and it's readable even in direct sunlight. Available in five models, and priced from $79 to $189, it's smaller and lighter than the average paperback book, making it easy to hold in one hand and read for hours without getting tired.

As you read, you can easily look up any word using the built-in dictionary, highlight passages for future reference, and create bookmarks to pages that you want to return to later. The Kindle has a built-in text-to-speech function and can read your books aloud in a very good electronic voice.

The Kindle has over a million books available for purchase and over two million more free, out-of-copyright books. More free books are available from Project Gutenberg. You can even download books to your Kindle from the Front Range Downloadable Library with a library card from Boulder, Broomfield, Lafayette, Longmont, Louisville, or Westminster.

You can also copy documents (text files, Microsoft Word, PDF, etc) to the Kindle from your computer and read them on the Kindle.

Amazon Kindle Fire

Amazon's new Kindle Fire tablet is available for ordering now and will ship starting on November 15, 2011. Priced at just $199, it's a bargain compared to other tablets.

The Kindle Fire is about the same size as the Kindle but weighs almost twice as much. It can do everything that the Kindle does and much more, with built-in programs for web browsing and E-mail, and a high-resolution color touchscreen designed for watching videos.

Over 18 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, and books are available for purchase, as well as over 17 million songs from the Amazon MP3 store. You can add an Amazon Prime membership (30-day free trial, $79/year) to enjoy unlimited, commercial-free streaming of thousands of popular movies and TV shows.

Apple iPad

The iPad, Apple's wildly successful tablet, has something for everyone, from pre-schoolers to great grandparents. It's smaller and lighter than a laptop computer and easier to use. It comes in two colors and six models, and prices range from $499 to $829.

The iPad comes with programs for web browsing, E-mail, pictures, videos, music, book reading, maps, games, calendars, and more. The App Store offers more than 90,000 other programs, many of them free or low-cost, in virtually every category. There's even a Kindle app that lets you read Kindle books on the iPad. You can take pictures and movies and make video calls with the built-in microphone and dual (front-facing and rear-facing) cameras, and you can play all of your iTunes music.

But no description of the iPad can show you how revolutionary it is and how much fun it is to use. You've got to see it for yourself!

Should I Buy a Kindle, an iPad, or a Laptop Computer?

Here are some things to consider: