Today's guest blogger is Michigan family law appellate lawyer Scott Bassett. Scott has many talents, including bass-playing in a jazz band and he is the consummate techie. In fact, I never purchase hardware or software til I have checked with Scott. Scott consults with law firms through Affinity Consulting and writes a blog for them. Today Scott reviews iPad vs Kindle Fire. He says:
"iTablet computers can be useful productivity devices for lawyers - if the hardware and software are up to the task. From my use of a Kindle Fire over the last week to read and annotate transcripts for an appeal, do legal research, manage email, and edit documents, I must conclude that it isn't up to the task.
"While it is less than half the price of the cheapest iPad 2, it is clear to me that the iPad is a much more useful device for lawyers and a much better value. There were few useful apps in the Amazon App Store and the hardware and operating system were sluggish compared to the iPad. This is not to suggest that the Fire may not become a good device for content consumption (after a few software upgrades). It just isn't well suited to be a laptop replacement for lawyer productivity tasks.
"In checking online to see if my concerns were expressed by others, I found this review that is consistent with my own experience. It goes into considerable detail. http://www.marco.org/2011/11/17/kindle-fire-review
"In the few months I've used an iPad, I have found it useful in my practice on a daily basis. Today I found yet another useful app called Notability. It is on sale for 99 cents currently. It is designed as a note taking app allowing both typed and handwritten notes plus audio recording. But the best feature for me is the ability to import PDF files (such as transcripts) and annotate them with highlighting or handwritten notes. They can then be emailed or synchronized to your computer using Dropbox.
"Overall, if you are looking for a tablet computer to increase the productivity of your practice, avoid the Fire. The iPad still seems to be the best option. Things move fast in this market segment, so that could change. But it will take more than hardware to displace the iPad. What Android currently lacks in its tablets is the type of unified ecosystem that Apple offers."
Read more of Scott's tech legal hardware and software reviews and helpful hints on the Affinity Consulting Group Blog here.