Can Kindle perform like a business laptop?

We all know what it’s like trying to squeeze precious extra minutes into the working day by using a laptop on our daily commute. A new survey by recruitment consultants Randstad found 7.5% of employees in Britain now work on a laptop, smartphone or tablet during their commute, compared with 4.8% in 2008.

While there are plenty of devices available, we thought we’d put the less obvious choice of a Kindle Fire HD through its paces for compact on-the-go business working. Amazon focuses on the Kindle Fire’s business credentials such as connectivity and ability to connect to office wi-fi, although the pre-installed OfficeSuite app only allows you to view and read files.

We wanted to see how it coped with some heavy-duty writing and editing to help speed up company magazine production. So here goes…

Challenge: Five hours of note-taking at a seminar that needed to be written up quickly straight afterwards to hit a tight deadline for a client magazine.

Why bother? This was a situation where the smaller the device the better for unobtrusive note taking at a client event. We wanted to replace pad and pen with electronic copy ready to start working on during the return train journey.

What extras do you need? We bought a wireless keyboard that was simple to synch and downloaded the OfficeSuite Pro app with Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Good points? Typing quickly was fine once fingers were familiarised with keyboard and the Kindle responded instantly. The touchscreen was easy for navigating around pages and highlighting text. Wi-fi was handy for emailing files back to the office as a back-up.

Not so good points? You’ll probably need to be near a power point for recharging.

Anything else? If you don’t mind looking like you’ve borrowed Action Man’s computer then it’s a compact alternative – and when you’re not typing you can always read a book.