Kindle Fire or Netbook? Opinions, Please!

Updated on November 10, 2011
N.C. asks from Machesney Park, IL
10 answers

So, with Christmas on the way, we are trying to get our kids something that they want and that we know they will appreciate and use! Neither needs clothes and both have outgrown "toys" (well, my son hasn't really, but doesn't really want any more toys!) My daughter is in middle school and uses our computers a lot, to chat w/ friends, to do research and to play games. It drives my husband nuts because he has to "kick her off" to use his computer (for the same things she, socializing etc! LOL)

That being said, her birthday is 12/28 and she knows if we spend a lot on a lap top, netbook or kindle fire, she won't get much question is, which is better? Does anyone have a kindle? Is the Kindle Fire going to be internet friendly? (I know it's not out yet, but am hoping there might be some more tech savvy moms who might have some insight!) Anyone have a netbook? How is it? Easy to use? Fast or slow? She does love to read, but not sure how much she would use a Kindle. I should add that she is mature for her age and responsible, so she is ready for something like this...and her internet use IS monitored by us! I have all passwords and she knows she has to check w/ me on what sites she can use and so on.

TIA for any help!!!

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So What Happened?

Thank you all so far! You have given lots of great input and lots to think about! I did see an ad for a very reasonable and good quality/brand of laptop and I think I would be more comfortable w/ that for her to do projects and print homework, but am still considering a kindle fire or something comparable! Thanks again, Ladies! I knew I could count on you!

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answers from Chicago on

They're bringing out the Nook tablet (at $249) in about a week and lowering their price on the Nook color which is much like a tablet. After doing a lot of research, I'm set on one of those; I'm just waiting until some user reviews of the tablet come out. If I'm not convinced, I'll get the Nook color. It does everything I'd want in a tablet for a tiny price tag!

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answers from Minneapolis on

I bought my daughter a netbook a couple of year ago and my advice is NOT a netbook. It is gathering dust now because it is impossibly slow.

I was just reading about all the features on a Kindle Fire and now I want one! I have an older version of a Kindle and I use it everyday for reading. The Fire is much more like a tablet / Android phone combo. It can run all the apps that an Android phone can, plus be an e-reader, plus it has access to all of Amazon's content - streaming videos and TV shows.

So, it depends on what you think she will use if for most. If she needs to do internet research, I might look at an inexpensive laptop instead of a tablet. Or an older version of the iPad.

I recommend going to Best Buy when you have some time and trying out a Fire and finding an experienced employee and asking them to describe the differences between the Fire and a laptop.

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answers from Augusta on

What games does she play? if they are computer games with a disk neither one will help, neither have a cd drive.
If you want to get her a tablet go for the newly announced Nook Tablet, The stats are much better than the Kindle. and it has access to more books than the Kindle. If all she does is go on the internet , that's what a netbook is for. but it has no hard drive to speak of so she won't be able to save anything.

Personally , if you want to get her a net book just spend the extra $ and get her a cheep laptop. We got a great one on black friday at best buy for 300$ around 7 yrs ago and it still works it's SLOW but it works.

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answers from Sacramento on

I don't know anything about the Kindle. A friend has an older one, and loves it (one handed reading).

I have a laptop that I use at home. Laptop computers are not actually designed to go on your lap though... they heat up too quickly, which can cause issues. So, I have a tv-tray that the laptop sits on when I use it (so that I'm not tied to a desk). I like the size of the keyboard (though it's still smaller than my work keyboard), and the fact that it has a cd drive (as well as usb and a slot for my sd card). I use this at night to read fb, mamapedia, email, etc... while watching tv.

I also have a netbook which was handed down to me (so not my choice to buy). For travel, I much prefer the netbook over the laptop. Being much smaller and lighter, it's easier to put it into a bag and go. It doesn't take up as much space as a fullsized laptop, but that being said it also has a much smaller keyboard. Also, no cd drive (though it does have the usb connections). It boots up much faster than my laptop at home. It doesn't seem to heat up as badly as the laptop... I've actually even lay in bed watching tv while playing a midless game on the netbook... which was propped on my chest (yah, I was being very lazy).

All that being said, if you're going to go the expense route... have you considered an iPad. I have several friends who have iPad's, and love them. (I covet theirs, but I know they'd notice if they went missing all of a sudden ::wink:: ) One of my friends bought a refurbished older-gen iPad for a great price. The iPad does all the things the others do, and takes up less space than the laptop or netbook).

[We play roleplaying games which have a lot of big books to cart around. I used to bring my laptop so we wouldn't have to cart the books, but use the netbook for that now. I would really like to get an iPad, but just can't swing it. Did consider getting an ebook reader (though not a kindle) for my husband because he keeps killing backpacks with all the books he carry's.]

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answers from Washington DC on

Well the price points for all 3 are very different. The Kindle Fire being the cheapest of the 3. It really depends on what she wants to do with it (you don't say how old she is). My daughter has a lap top that she uses for internet and email. She has a Nook that doesn't work, so she's getting a kindle. My husband has a netbook and he likes the smallness of it, but not when he's trying to do big projects. I have a laptop and a kindle. I use them for very different things.

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answers from Chicago on

My 11 y/o daughter received a Dell netbook last Christmas. We both love it.I am using it now. My desk top hardly ever gets used (only for big projects). She uses the net book for her school projects. If she needs to use power point she uses the desk top. Because she is an avid reader, I have pre-ordered the Kindle Fire for her. She is in the process of saving up to buy it. So she will be very happy and surprised to get it for Christmas. My only concern about getting her the Kindle is she might be distracted by the internet while she is reading. We will see how it goes. Hope this helps.

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answers from Chicago on

I would say netbook; more possibilities and you can do kindle on a netbook too. I bought one for about $275 a couple of months ago. don't know much about the kindle fire though. Good luck!!

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answers from St. Louis on

There are a lot of things about the fire that I like. I would have got one but didn't because I was looking for something to read books so I went with the Kindle touch. I can't read my netbook in the car, too much glare from the sun.

Anyway I can't remember the name but it is set up to do all computing in the cloud, what that should mean is a much faster machine for its size. My netbook drives me nuts because it is slower than death. Most computing is done on the machine and as small as it is there isn't enough power.

So if your choice is fire vs netbook, hands down go with the fire. I will be getting a fire for my kids. I figure the color will make them want to read more than a regular Kindle. I can also download movies since I have a prime account which hopefully will make the little vagrants compliant on trips.

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answers from Chicago on

Have you thought about the IPad? I have an IPad and my 7 year old and 3 year old use it for everything. They read books on it, play games, use the internet and watches movies. They use it more than I do. I wanted a Kindle also, but my husband got me the IPad instead and I am so glad he did. It does so much more than the Kindle and is so much more portable than a laptop.

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answers from Chicago on

I think the Kindle Fire may be your best bet. I had a Kindle that I gave to a friend when I got a Motorola Xoom tablet. I absolutely LOVED my Kindle for reading, but I made the mistake of thinking that I could read on the tablet. So in my mind I didn't need them both. Unfortunately I found out real quick that nothing (except for a real book) compares to a Kindle. The tablet has a terrible glare, and I can only read on the tablet inside. Because of that, I'm going to buy another Kindle ... the new Kindle Touch. But I'm also getting a Kindle Fire for my son. He had an older laptop that became real slow, so we got him a netbook. The netbook wasn't any better .... terribly slow! So I've been looking at the Kindle Fire. It sounds like it's the best of both worlds. It's small and convenient to carry around. She'll have access to all the apps she could ever want. She'll be able to go online to all of the sites she loves, and she won't have to worry about storage because of Amazon's cloud. And hopefully being that they made the original Kindle, reading books on it won't be as difficult as with other tablets. At first I was just going to give my son my laptop and get a new one. But he LOVES my tablet, and always liked to read on my Kindle. So we're going with the Kindle Fire.

Hope this helps!

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