Yes, You Can Afford a Tablet


Piggy bank

Have you told yourself you can’t afford a tablet? Have you viewed these as a luxury or an unneeded extra digital tool? Maybe I’ll pique your interest today in the 7″ Kindle Fire, which is my favorite. Maybe your laptop and phone is all you really want and need; that’s fine, but the Kindle Fire is a powerful tablet for an amazing price. This month’s post in the 2016 Byte-size Series explores the cost and the possible uses of this affordable Kindle Fire, currently $49.99. (Amazon also offers other sizes and HD tablets. Compare Kindle Fire tablets here.)

What’s the Real Cost?

There’s no additional data cost; use your home or any available wi-fi to connect with Amazon’s Whispernet. You might have a shipping cost. We have Amazon Prime, so I didn’t pay for shipping (we’re “grandfathered” on to our son’s Prime account through Amazon Household).


For you, 8 GB of internal storage and Amazon’s free cloud storage is probably plenty, I added a microSD card for up to 128 GB more storage space (would cost you about $12). If you pay for no ads on your tablet (about $15 more) and buy a microSD card, you’ll be spending $77, plus shipping and tax. I also bought a $25 case as well. A child-proof case is the same price. (I’ll mention the 99¢ Swype keyboard app in Monday’s post, part two, as a must-have to quickly swipe or speak text.)

Depending on your needs, optional Bluetooth headphones, speakers, and keyboards are available.

You might save some money over time with the purchase of eBooks over real books. (Also, you’ll save room in your home.) Keep your eBooks in Amazon’s cloud and download them when you’re ready to read. Also the cost-savings of using Skype on your Fire may recover the price you paid… Interested now?

Why Would You Want a Tablet?

I’ve used a Kindle Fire for several years and really love it. It came with an Office Suite app for occasionally reading and working with Office files; I also set it up to receive my email on it for a quick check and reply to some messages. The Kindle Fire tablet is not my main tech tool for work. Most tablets can’t replace your laptop for multi-tasking and productivity. To do that, you’d need a more expensive tablet than the Kindle Fire. (Business News Daily recommends these seven tablets for business.) I’m sure most of you reading this post won’t want a tablet for the heavy-lifting of your work.

You can do many of the same things on your smartphone or laptop as on a tablet. Also, a tablet is more portable than a laptop and less portable than a smartphone, so, why have one?

Thinking through how you might use it will help you decide if you’d consider a tablet a luxury or a useful tool. A tablet has the obvious uses, both offline and online (email, social media, video, photos, games, surfing the Net, reading, and listening to music). Let’s consider a few more. I’m thinking about the Fire as I write these scenarios, but generally, the following is true for all tablets. (Before I move on, for Fire apps, you would be downloading Android apps from Google Play store to the Fire.)


Take your YouVersion Bible on your Fire to a Bible study and check a passage in several translations. Use the friends and images features to minister to others from the Word.

Personally, I often would much rather have my Kindle Fire with me for a meeting.

Use your Kindle Fire instead of your smartphone for some uses in order to make sure your phone has enough battery life to make it through the day. I understand the Fire’s battery life will last a long time, but I haven’t thoroughly researched this point.

Evernote, Feedly, and Pocket apps also have extensions for Google Chrome; save content from your laptop and read it later on your Kindle Fire. (More about these apps on Monday).

Download evangelistic short films, such as La Búsqueda, from Jesus Film Media.

If you want to watch a movie or read an eBook, pull out your Kindle Fire and put your feet up on the sofa. Bonus: no burned legs from your laptop.

Use a recipe app to keep all your recipes on your Fire. Food Network and PepperPlate have different functions and have been recommended to me.

Listen to podcasts or your music collection. If you like, store a lot of music on the Fire. You might also be interested in radio through iHeartRadio or TuneIn. For example, here’s “The gospel-shaped church” podcasts on TuneIn.

Subscribe to newspapers and magazines on your Fire. USA Today and AP Mobile are free newspaper apps.

With Fire’s Second Screen, watch an Amazon video on a compatible TV, using your tablet as a remote.

You might be able to imagine other times when the quick convenience and portability of a Kindle Fire would make it the tool of choice over your smartphone or laptop. I will actually write an additional post on Monday with more specific ideas for apps and uses. You won’t want to miss it! Search the Internet for more best apps for Kindle Fire if you can’t wait.

Do you have a Kindle Fire? Share with us how you use it.

The Byte-size Series

Each byte-size series post is meant to be easy for you to do.  For those who might want to go deeper on these topics, check out these articles:

  1. You might be interested in Love My Kindle Fire. Search the site, follow on social media or through the blog, or receive a newsletter. You’ll find any and everything you need to know.
  2. Amazon’s support information for the 7″ Kindle Fire.
  3. If you’re the techie type, try this idea for creating a GPS function by rooting the Fire and enabling a mock location. Comment below to let us know if this worked for you.

Byte-size series icon

The Byte-size Series:

Each byte-size series post is meant to be easy for you to do.

  1. Priority Inbox for Gmail and using lists in Facebook
  2. Your web presence and your online MO
  3. Email subject lines
  4. Google Apps and search tips
  5. You could afford a tablet
  6. 5 Easy Tech Ideas You Didn’t Know You Needed
  7. Saving Facebook Posts… for Bloggers, Too
  8. Painting a Bigger Picture for Your Ministry Partners
  9. Easy Tips for Cropping Photos with
  10. Your eTools for Your Myers-Briggs Type
  11. Facebook Live Is an Easy Ministry Tool


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