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Quick Review: Snugg case for Kindle Fire & Amazon Basics Stylus

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If you read my review of the Snugg case for Apple iPad 3 then you know that I liked it so much I ordered the Snugg case for Kindle Fire.  The Snugg(s) are available at Amazon.com – free shipping and no tax.  At the time I added the Snugg for Kindle Fire to my order the marketing machine at Amazon suggested I add an Amazon Basics Stylus.  The capacitive stylus does the job of your finger on touch screens without leaving a mark (Hasn’t someone said to you, “That will leave a mark?”); well fingers do leave marks on shiny tablet screens.  So, yes, please add the  Amazon Basics Stylus to my shopping cart ($11).

The Snugg for Kindle Fire arrived today.  It’s the same design as the Snugg for Apple iPad 3.  Fits like a glove.  The Fire is securely held.  The border of the case around the Fire appears to protect the Fire if dropped from a low or moderate height (not tested, of course – send me your Fire and I’ll give it a try).  Pretty much everything I wrote in my Snugg for iPad 3 review applies to Snugg for Kindle Fire – including the smell of the case which is still lingering with the iPad Snugg case.

Amazon Basics Stylus

The Amazon Basics Stylus was an impulse buy recommended by Amazon during the ordering process for the Snugg.  I found that the Stylus is a great addition to the Kindle Fire when using the web browser, typing, and using some applications.  Given that the Fire has a smaller screen than the Apple iPads, the use of the Stylus gives you much more precision in screen gestures.  If you are one of those with larger fingers that often miss the letters on the virtual Kindle keyboard then the Stylus is for you.

The Take

The take on this one is easy.  The Snugg case for iPad 3 and Kindle Fire are both “buy” at a price point of $29.95.  If purchased from Amazon the order is fulfilled by Amazon and shipped free under Super Saver shipping.

My only nit pick on the Snugg for Kindle Fire is that it does not have a loop to hold a Stylus.  Snugg for Apple iPad does have this convenient loop that keeps the stylus with the case and with the device.

If you have the Fire you’ve invested $200 in your digital life.  If you have the Apple iPad then that’s at least a $500+ investment.  So spend the $30 on a decent case to protect these investments.  The Snugg for Kind Fire and Snugg for Apple iPad are well made, look professional, and do the job at a very reasonable price point.

Written by frrl

April 10, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Quick Review: Snugg case for the Apple iPad 3

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A couple of weeks ago I ordered an Apple iPad 3.  I took Apple up on their offer on having my iPad custom engraved if I purchased it on-line.  Little did I know that in choosing this option, the iPad would be shipped  from China.

So, in addition to getting an Apple iPad 3 I also got a tour of China via FedEx shipping.  My Apple iPad 3 had quite a journey.  It’s first location was CHENGDU China (website), then to GUANGZHOU China (website), and then through ANCHORAGE Alaska to MEMPHIS, TN then up to the midwest to my home.  I took advantage of learning about these cities in China via Wikipedia and Google Earth.  Thanks Foxconn (website)

With that journey under its belt, I was wondering what shape the box would  be in when it arrived.  Well, the FedEx guy arrived in the morning with the box and it was in remarkably good shape.  I opened the box and extracted my new Apple iPad 3.  It was the best of all possible worlds (read).

Protecting your new Apple iPad 3

After the iPad took a journey of thousands of miles from China to my home  it would be irony if it were to meet its end at the last nanometer.  So I went looking for a case to protect the Apple iPad 3.  You would think this would be easy – but there are literally a hundred choices.  And, do iPad 2 cases fit the iPad 3?

I took a look at the Apple cover that magnetically attaches to the iPad 3 as my first choice.  Forget it.  This may protect the face of the iPad but not the rest of it.

To cut to the chase, I picked the Snugg case for iPad 3.  It’s available for $29 at amazon.com with free shipping and no tax.

Here’s the skinny

Neutral

The packaging does not indicate that this is for any specific model of the iPad (iPad 3 is thicker than the iPad 2 by a tad)

Pros

  1. It is well made.  Flawless stitching.  Fits the Apple iPad 3 like a glove. 
  2. There is a velcro flap that tucks under the iPad when inserted that holds it securely.  The device will never accidentally fall out.
  3. The hole for the iPad 3 outward facing camera is in the right place (some iPad 2 cases will have a hole that is not properly aligned
  4. Most (see Cons) of the iPad 3 controls are easily accessible
  5. The iPad 3 fits inside the case, meaning that, if dropped on its edge, there is some amount of protection.  The expectation is that the case will absorb the shock before it hits the metal of the iPad 3 itself.
  6. It has a loop for a stylus – if you use a stylus rather than a finger
  7. The cover has magnets that keeps the cover closed
  8. Wrist strap to grab and secure the iPad when not using it in a fixed position

Cons

  1. The claim is that this case is leather.  I don’t think so.  At least I don’t think this case came from a cow – more like it came from petroleum.
  2. The case has a distinctive smell.  Kinda like a new car smell.  I have owned this case for a couple of days and it still has the odor.
  3. The slide switch and the button on the right side of the device are a little hard to get to when the iPad 3 is in the case
  4. I could do without the Snugg logo on the inside of the case.  Why not give me a place to put business cards or some other use?  The Snugg logo is on the outside of the case embossed in the material.  That should be enough free advertising as I carry it around.

The Take

The take on this one is a “BUY”. 

In fact, after having the Snugg Apple iPad 3 case for a few days I decided to buy the Snugg case for Kindle Fire.  Oh, Kindle Fire.  Yes.  the “other” tablet.  Move over Fire, there’s a new Sheriff in town.

Watch a quick video… this is for the iPad 2 Snugg case… identical for iPad 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U68E0FCfypM

Written by frrl

April 5, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Making Kindle Fire Speak: Kindle Fire ebook reader text to speech capability

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( How to make iBooks on Apple iPad read a full book to you – here )

My huge disappointment with the Kindle Fire was its inability to read aloud a book.  That is, text to speech.  This is a feature I use constantly on my Kindle e-ink  reader.  If you are like me, you can multi-task.  Do one thing and listen to a book in the background.  Or, for some books that require a bit of concentration, sit back and just listen attentively while Kindle e-ink  reader reads to you.

Let Kindle Fire Speak !!

There is a free Open Source Android book reader application that uses the internal TTS (Text to Speech) capability of the Kindle Fire to read a book

You can read the blog article here –
http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/tom-keating/android/text-to-speech-tts-on-kindle-fire.asp

and you can get the software here –
http://iweb.dl.sourceforge.net/project/crengine/CoolReader3/cr3-3.0.55/cr3.0.55-32-arm-mips.apk

Installation

The application, Cool Reader, is not delivered by the Amazon App Store.  You must install it manually – which took all of about 15 seconds.  I downloaded the application from the web browser on the Kindle. (Click the link above if you are reading this posting on the Kindle Fire).  The file is about 3MB.  After download I navigated to the Kindle downloads folder and then tapped on the installer package.  The installer started and asked to confirm the  install the application.  A few seconds later, Cool Reader was installed.

Please realize that getting apps in this way you are bypassing the Amazon App Store and any application vetting and security screening Amazon might do before applications are placed there for distribution.

The Take

My Kindle Fire suffered no ill effects from the manual installation of the Android application (so far, that I know of)

Cool Reader’s ability to pronounce words is not as crisp and clear as the Amazon Kindle e-ink e-book  readers… but it does work.

Enjoy your Kindle Fire’s new ability to read a book to you.

Read other articles on the Kindle fire on this site – https://frrl.wordpress.com/?s=kindle

Written by frrl

March 26, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Review of the Amazon Kindle Fire – First Impressions

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Updated on Friday November 25,2011 with additional comments and links to Kindle Fire Tear down and articles

On Sunday November 20, 2011 I toddled down to my local Best Buy, laid down $208,  and bought a Kindle Fire.

On this particular Sunday there was a feeding frenzy at Best Buy – despite what they tell me about the economy and the fact that people do not have disposable income.  There were plenty of people disposing of their income on this particular Sunday.

Also, this  particular Best Buy has decimated the retail space dedicated to desktops.  The floor space that was dedicated to the display of desktop machines that I saw about a month ago has been reduced to about 1/3 its original size.  Tablet’s and laptops now fill that space.  When I went looking for the Kindle Fire I saw just about every other conceivable tablet on the market being displayed.

Although I went to buy the Kindle Fire, seeing all the other tablets on display, I decided to look around.  I asked the “Blue-shirted one” if they had the Kindle Fire in stock and how many they had.  He said they had the Kindle Fire and pointed to a cage of stock above the wall displays.  I looked up and saw they had about 200 boxes of Amazon Kindle Fire – so I had time to look around.

When I finally decided on the Fire I stood in line to ask the Blue-shirted one to get me one out of the cage.  I was the third in line.  “How many do you want”, he asked.  I said, “Just one’.  The guy in front of me bought six (6) Kindle tablets.  The woman behind me bought one.  When the manager saw the Blue-shirted one coming down the ladder with an arm load of Kindle Fire’s he went off to the store manager to inquire if there was a limit of how many tablets a person could buy at one time.  While waiting in line to pay I watched as the stack of about Kindle tables in the cage was diminished foot by foot.

Can hundreds and thousands of people be fooled into buying a Kindle Fire?  Is the frenzy an example of marketing genius?  Or does the marketing hype deliver on the promise?  Does Apple have anything to worry about?  Is the Amazon Kindle Fire an iPad killer?

After playing with the Amazon Kindle Fire for a few days – here are my first impressions

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by frrl

November 23, 2011 at 8:40 pm

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