For those who have yet to purchase a tablet computer, the Kindle Fire could be a good choice when you need more than your smartphone but don’t want to lug around a laptop.
The iPad dominates the market, but the Fire’s $199 price tag (compared with $499 for the iPad) has many businesses giving it a serious look.
While the Fire does not have a camera, features a smaller set of available apps and only has 8GB of storage, it does have basic tablet functions (web browsing, e-mail, the ability to view and edit documents) on a robust Android operating system. The Fire also has battery life of up to 8 hours, and its smaller size may actually give it a leg up over the iPad: It’s easier to hold with one hand, and can tuck into a binder.
There are a growing number of apps for banking and finance, social networking (LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter) and even support for Microsoft Office files. The free Box.net app lets you store any file you want in the cloud and access it from your Fire or other computer. There’s also Evernote, an app that lets you take text, video, audio or photo notes and sync them across multiple devices.