Since the announcement of the Amazon Kindle fire, over on the iPod touch forums everyone is talking about how the Fire stacks up to the iPod touch, and when I mentioned the Amazon Kindle Fire to my 12-year old daughter, she thought it sounded cool, but said "it does less than my iPod". In her mind, it was a Kindle that does video. I then mentioned that it also has a music player and can play games and her eyes lit up. She'd been saving up for an iPod Touch, and for the whole day after that, she has a hard time deciding whether to get the iPod touch or just get the Amazon Kindle Fire.

So to decide Kindle Fire or iPod touch? Truthfully, I think it's still a little too early to say. While the Kindle Fire might be able to replace a iPod Touch for some, it might not for others. Asking what you will be using the gadget for may help you to make the best decision.

I need to do a lot of reading with the gadget

The first thing to say here is that you can read newspapers, magazines, websites, ebooks and all sorts of literature on both the Kindle Fire and the iPod touch. The key here is, how much of that do you intend to do? The advantage, of course with a 7" vibrant color touchscreen and lightweight Kindle Fire wins out in this regard.

I just want to watch movies on the go

If you spend a lot of time sitting on trains or planes, you probably want to kick back with a movie, book, or a magazine. The Kindle Fire is the better media device of the two.

The iPod Touch is smaller and easier to carry, but the Kindle Fire offers much more to help pass the time. If you are in for a long trip, the larger screen will help save your eyes when watching movies rented from iTunes.

I want to use it as a casual gamer

The new Kindle Fire makes a deliberate move at being more of a multimedia device, with improved music features, the ability to watch videos, play games and, of course, read books and magazines in color. All of these features are facilitated by a 7-inch color multi-touch LCD screen, 1GHz dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP4 CPU, wi-fi capabilities and access to the Amazon Appstore. As third-party developers start to port their Android games over to the the Android-based device, the Kindle Fire's gaming experience should tower over the iPod touch's.

Amazon also confirmed the Kindle Fire and its fancy Amazon Silk "cloud-accelerated" browser will support Adobe's Flash player, which gives game developers another potential venue for web games. And no, iPod touch still does not support Flash.

I travel a lot for business

On the one hand, the Kindle Fire is smaller and lighter, and will some day support Office docs. On the other hand, uh, everything else? You can get a 3G  iPod touch, meaning you can connect anywhere. It has content creation tools so you can get a little work done on the plane. It's got Bluetooth and a front-facing camera that'll videoconference like a mofo. And its storage doesn't rely on the cloud, so you can load up as many Vin Diesel (business people, you like that guy, right?) movies as your eyeballs can handle on that redeye.

I'm on a tight budget

Designed mainly as a media consumption device rather than a touch computer, the Amazon Kindle Fire is $29 LESS than an iPod touch, you get a larger display, good battery life, better browsing experience (largely due to the size) with flash support.


If you need to make your decision today, then get an iPod touch. If you can wait until around November 20th, then we will know a lot more about the Kindle Fire. I cannot provide an opinion of the Kindle Fire that is based on day-to-day use of this product because it will not be shipped until after November 15th. The iPod touch is small so it may not meet your needs as an eBook reader; but I can say that I have used the Kindle reader app on my iPod many times during air travel. I like the Kindle app on the iPod while flying because the iPod back-lit.