Top Ten Reasons To Get Your Grad Or Retiring Dad A Kindle Fire

The graduation gown is off and soon junior will be heading off to college, or trade school, or work. Dad’s finally retiring and looking for productive ways to spend his newfound leisure time. Before you plunk down the cash to buy your graduate or newly-minted retiree a video gaming console, an iPad, a new smart phone or some other expensive piece of techno-gadgetry, consider this list of ten reasons why the Kindle Fire may be a better choice.

1. At $199, the Kindle Fire is a worthy gift but it’s far more affordable than an iPad, XBOX or other gaming console, an iPhone, or a Sony Vita or Nintendo 3DS.

You can get your own father, your spouse’s father, and your new graduate a Kindle Fire each, and you still won’t have spent as much as you would have on a 32GB iPad2. The latest handheld gaming devices, the Sony Vita and Nintendo 3DS, are only designed to play proprietary games and videos, and to provide stripped-down web browsing. A Kindle Fire will cost you the same or less than either of these devices, but will provide so much more versatility in terms of content and functionality.

A new iPhone costs much more than $199, and comes with some pretty steep monthly service fees attached. Doesn’t it make more sense for Dad or junior to carry a more basic, less costly cell phone for calls, texts and taking pictures on the go, and use a different device for games, reading books, playing music, web browsing and doing everything else a Kindle Fire has to offer? After all, if that expensive smart phone is lost or damaged, it’ll cost a whole lot more to replace than a Kindle Fire would have.

2. College students (and their parents) rejoice! Textbook publishers are starting to offer their wares in Kindle format.

No need to spend $200 or more for a textbook, lug that heavy thing around from dorm room to classroom to library, or use up precious space in a small dorm room or apartment when you can get your textbooks in digital form. All Kindle editions are priced lower than their paper-pulp counterparts, sometimes for as much as 50% off, and many are available to rent at a much lower cost than buying, too! Bonus: junior is far more likely to keep that textbook close at hand for study sessions and crack it open when he has a spare hour between classes if it’s convenient to carry with him.

3. There are hundreds of free classics of literature, inexpensive textbooks and many low-cost study aid apps available for the Kindle Fire – send junior off to school with a Kindle Fire and you can load it up with plenty of free and inexpensive tools for school success ahead of time.

There’s a TextVook for virtually any subject your student may be studying, and most of them cost two dollars or less! While of course your student will still need the actual assigned textbook (but you may be able to buy the Kindle edition to save some money there, too — see #2 above), TextVooks can still supplement the assigned text’s content and make for excellent resources when it comes time to write a paper. When your student needs a copy of a classic novel like A Tale of Two Cities or The Odyssey, you’re sure to find it among the list of free classics in the Kindle bookstore.

You’ll also find inexpensive study aids aplenty in the Amazon app store.

4. Does Dad’s bucket list include reading the great classics of literature? He can get them for free if he’s got a Kindle.

College students aren’t the only ones in the market for classic literature, and if Dad’s always dreamed of reading Dickens, Hugo, Hawthorne and Swift but never had the time, now that he does have the time, he can get them all for free. Bonus: with a Kindle edition, Dad can change the text display settings to enlarge the font or line spacing to make his reading experience as easy on his eyes as possible.

5. Video games are an expensive and sometimes time-consuming hobby – unless you’re playing them on a Kindle Fire.

Why spend $199 – $300 on a dedicated gaming device, plus $30-$50 per game, when there are thousands of game apps available for the Kindle Fire that run from free to $5 at the top end of the price range? True, there will be no marathon, online, multi-player campaigns of Halo, World of Warcraft or the like with a Kindle Fire, but is that really how you want your new graduate spending his or her free time anyway?

As for retiring Dads, studies have shown that playing casual games that involve wordplay, number sense or solving puzzles helps to keep an aging mind active, and may even stave off Alzheimer’s.

6. You can share your Amazon media library with your Dad or grad, and save a lot of money.

As we explained in this post, it’s totally legal and legitimate to share a single Amazon digital content library across multiple Kindle devices in the same family or household. You can have your own Kindle Fire, then buy another for Dad or your grad and so long as it’s registered under your Amazon account, all three devices will have shared access to a single, centralized content library.

No need to buy three copies of a book you all love when you’re sharing a digital media library: buy the Kindle book once and all three of you can keep a local copy on each of your Fires. Just purchased a game or app you think Dad will enjoy? Tell him about it and he can download a copy to his own Kindle Fire at no additional cost to either of you. Want to share a great new MP3 album you’ve bought with junior? He or she need only tap on the Music tab to have a listen.

7. You can share your Amazon media library with your grad to control media purchase expenses.

Maybe your grad is a movie or music nut, and you’re concerned about her monthly expense budget being blown on iTunes or in her local Best Buy store. If she has a Kindle Fire and shares your Amazon digital media library, you can enable parental controls on her device to prohibit purchases. If you don’t want to exercise that level of control, sharing a digital library still means that when she does make a purchase, you will know about it because as the primary account holder, you will receive an email receipt for every purchase made from her Fire.

8. When Dad or your grad has a Kindle Fire, you can easily gift apps, games, books, music and videos in the future, at a fraction of the cost of buying physical media (e.g., hard copy books, discs containing music, video games and movies, etc.) and without having to hassle with shipping.

If you share a digital library you can buy or download the gift item yourself and then just send Dad or your grad a note to say the new content is now available to be downloaded to his or her Fire. If you maintain separate libraries, gifting digital media on Amazon is as easy as clicking the “Give As A Gift” button.

9. You, your grad and Dad can all share a single Amazon Prime account to get shared access to free Prime Instant Videos and the Kindle Owners Lending Library.

Up to four people in the same family or household can share a single Amazon Prime account. All your Fires will have to be registered to a single account, and that account must be registered for Amazon Prime membership. But with those pieces in place, up two of you can stream Prime Instant Videos simultaneously (though they must be two different videos, you can’t both watch the same Prime Instant Video at the same time) and among the three of you, a single Kindle book can be checked out of the Kindle Owners Lending Library for free each month.

Note that the two-device limit on Prime Instant Videos only applies when trying to watch Prime Instant Videos simultaneously – if Dad wants to watch The Wild Bunch at 9am, you decide to stream His Girl Friday at noon and junior starts watching Doctor Who at 9PM, the two-device limit won’t apply.

10.  Even if Dad or your grad is far away, you can play games together if you’ve both got a Fire.

Many turn-based game apps are “social”, meaning that they allow for players in distant locations to play against one another. For example, EA Games’ Scrabble, Words With Friends, and Draw Something will all allow you to play against a specific rival and even chat with one another on-screen if you’re both logged in at the same time. Both of you must have the app on your Fires, but if you’re sharing a digital library you’ll only have to buy the app once.
$199 is a considerable chunk of money, but with all these benefits and types of cost savings, the Kindle Fire is still a value that’s tough to beat!


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