Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD Review

This summer Amazon announced a new replacement for their $200 dollar tablet, the Kindle Fire. The new replacement device to be called the Kindle Fire HD. I received mine as an early birthday gift in September. The FIRE HD now comes in several flavors. The Second Generation non HD version  with 8 gigs of storage memory  7″ tablet sells for $159.00. The 64 Gig 8.9 inch with 4G connectivity for $599.  The model I have and reviewing is the $199 16G 7 inch HD model. The Kindle arrives packaged without a lot of extra goodies inside the box.  It comes with a USB cable but there is no charger, there is no paper manual. The metal and glass  construction of  Fire HD gives it a solid heft and feel. The unit comes fully charged and  preconfigured to your Amazon account. All that is required to do is to make the entries to enable the connections to your home WIFI.  Amazon’s Highlighted features are:

  • 1280×800 HD display with polarizing filter and anti-glare technology for rich color and deep contrast from any viewing angle

  • Exclusive Dolby audio and dual-driver stereo speakers for immersive, virtual surround sound

  • World’s first tablet with dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi for over 35% faster downloads and streaming (compared to the iPad mini)

  • High performance 1.2 Ghz dual-core processor with Imagination PowerVR 3D graphics core for fast and fluid performance

  • Over 23 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, books, audiobooks, and popular apps and games such asFacebookNetflixTwitterHBO GOPandora, and Angry Birds Space

  • Integrated support for Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! and more, as well as Exchange calendar, contacts, and email

  • Front-facing HD camera for taking photos or making video calls using Skype, Facebook, and other apps

  • Free unlimited cloud storage for all your Amazon content

  • Kindle FreeTime – a free, personalized tablet experience just for kids on the Kindle Fire HD. Set daily screen limits, and give access to appropriate content for each child

  • NEW Kindle FreeTime Unlimited – just for kids. Unlimited access to books, games, apps, movies and TV shows.Learn more

  •  Prime Instant Video – unlimited, instant streaming of thousands of popular movies and TV shows

  •  Kindle Owners’ Lending Library – Kindle owners can choose from more than 270,000 books to borrow for free with no due dates, including over 100 current and former New York Times best sellersI guess the biggest question one might ask “Is this tablet is the best one for me?”

The answer. of course is, It depends”

Amazons tablets strength is also its weakness. The Operating System is a modified Android Icecream Sandwich. It has been tweaked to work int the Amazon environment.  This is a particular benefit if one subscribes to Amazon’s Prime free shipping program which normally has a $79 annual subscription  fee.  We have found that the free 2 day shipping is well worth the Prime membership fee in itself, and Amazon is our prefered on-line retailer.  The free Kindle stuff is icing on the cake.  The free loaner library is mostly unknown authors, but there are some blockbusters there.  The Ian Flemming’s James Bond ,   Suzzane Collins’ Hunger Games and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.  There is a decent selection of free videos I find the movie selection is better (not more, just better) than Netflix. The Kindle HD is a very nice personal video player. The screen and audio is surprisgly high quality for such a small device.

The Perhaps the most disappointing thing about Kindle is the supplied web browser, Silk. I wish they had supplied a more developed browser like Firefox or Chrome, It doesn’t support Flash, or as other have claimed  Flash doesn’t support it. I have never been a fan of Flash, but there are still interactive web and you tube sites that demand it. while Silk can seem sometimes awkward it usually works pretty well and remains pretty transparent in its use.

Still the Kindle HD is primarily  an ereader, and it does an outstanding job at this.  Books are highly readable, there is a good selection of fonts and styles supplied, and the kindle is readable most any conitions ecept when a bright sun is behind you. The bright light will wash out the screen. While there are lots of free books and inexpencively priced books available, Sometimes the ebook prices seem out of line.  We are told that the publishers set the price.  I still purchase the dead tree versions when a bargain can be found.  I enjoy reading ebooks, and they have many advantages and do most of my entertainment reading on the ereader.  Occasionally it just pays to be the cheap deadtree paperback at Sam’s club or the used book store.

My biggest praise for tablets such as the Kindle HD is its use as an Adobe PDF reader. As a field service rep. I have lugged around hundreds of pounds of service and user manuals. A laptop and some labeled fashdrives helped a lot, but with an AC powersupply and limited battery life, even a laptop isn’t always user friendly.  Using a tablet with the free PDF reader program has made my life a little easier.  Another use I have remarkably handy is Skype.  If one can find a Wifi connection it can be really handy face to face communications. There is also a useful magic Jack app which is usefull when the cell phone isn’t working.

All in all the Kindle HD has been a very handy an convienient device, and has is one of those things that is essential to  my every day life at work and play.

 

One thought on “Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD Review”

  1. i can’t speak from experience, but i will pass along that i have pre-ordered my HD 8.9″ wi-fi and intend to get a paperwhite for my son for christmas. we currently don’t own a tablet or reader. based on what i expect our usage to be, wanting to disconnect from our tired pc and trying to keep the budget as low as possible, kindle was the obvious choice.

Leave a Reply