New Kindle Fire data plans: Good deal or not?
There's not much that can be streamed from the web with Amazon's basic 250MB a month plan for its new Kindle Fire tablet.
Thu, Sep 06, 2012 at 9:27 PM
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, introduces new Kindle Fire HD Family during an Amazon press conference on Sept. 6. (Photo: Joe KlamarAFP/GettyImages)
Amid the dizzying array of Kindle models and options today, Amazon announced a 4G-equipped edition of its Kindle Fire 8.9-inch for $499 (the model includes 32GB of storage, plus a few other perks). But the basic data plan it's offering is $50 per year for 250 megabytes a month. (Larger plans are listed, but not their prices.) [Can I Get a Smartphone Without a Contract?]
Plus, you're paying $200 more just for the 4G capability. (The standard version 8.9-inch Kindle Fire is just $299.) Let's say you have this Kindle Fire for two years. Including the extra cost of the device, you're paying $150 per year for the data service.
So what can you do with 250MB? Not much. You won't be downloading or streaming movies. According to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' own presentation, just the standard-definition version of "The Hunger Games" runs 785MB. You'll have to do that over Wi-Fi from home, not over 4G from the road.
That leaves everyday tasks like Web surfing. But even here, you're pretty limited. The average size of a Web page is now about 1.1MB, according to the site HTTP Archive. That's fewer than seven Web pages per day.
Otherwise, you could do a bunch of emailing and Facebook updating. But is that worth paying for at all, since you probably already have a smartphone for that?
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