Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review

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Kindle Fire HD

Kindle Fire HD

This is a podcast review of the Amazon Kindle HD 7inch model which goes for $199 at Amazon.com. This is the base model HD edition with 16 GB memory and Wi-Fi.

The old Kindle’s screen broke, and this was what seemed like the next best thing to buy as a replacement.
This was a replacement for a Kindle that with a broken screen. The Kindle Fire HD promised a lot of extra functionality in addition to being able to use the old Kindle functionality.

Let me start by saying, that overall we are very pleased with the device, especially for the price. And for anybody looking for a device in the 7 inch tablet size then this would be a good choice for most people.

The screen resolution is quite good and it presents a great looking picture. The weight and size of the device seem just about right and the device feels good to the touch. It does seem a bit more delicate than the original Kindle, but that might just be the glass screen. Given that we broke the Kindle’s screen, both devices need to be protected if used on a regular basis.

We really like the integration with the Amazon media offerings. We got immediate access to our Kindle archive and could now access all the Amazon prime content too, and that is one of the really important upgrades in functionality from the old Kindle. Being able to watch video and surf the web with ease is really nice.

The audio and speakers are real plus as well. I’s a significant upgrade from what we had on the old Kindle and that makes it very a useful device for listening to either audio books or to listen to music.

The other great thing is the calendar and contacts functionality as well as the ability to sync with Gmail. The device also is email capable, which really upgrades the usefulness of the device from a basic e-reader.

In short, there’s a lot to like about the Kindle Fire HD.

On the negative side, it starts out with a bad first impression. The package does not include a power adaptor which meant we had to dig out the old Kindle’s adaptor to get the thing charged. It also means that our all black Kindle Fire is plugged into a white charger, which is ok, but not elegant.

The second initial impression issue is how to turn the device on. It’s not easy to figure out, but after a quick Google search I found a button on the right side (in landscape mode) that is pretty much invisible, but does turn it on. It’s also a bit hard to find quickly, which may be a bit of an annoyance going forward.

The other thing I don’t like is the lag in going from the horizontal to landscape views. The switch is too slow which is really noticeable and impacts usability somewhat.

While the UI is much better than my Android’s UI, it is not exactly intuitive. You have to be willing to touch the screen and experiment to find out where controls are. I think this is something you will get used too, but it would be nice if it were simpler.

The battery life is ok, but nothing like the original Kindle which was like the energizer bunny. It seemed to last forever. This battery is satisfactory and really ok if you are near a power source regularly.

The e-reader is good, but I don’t like it quite as much as the screen on my old Kindle. You have a choice of white, sepia or black backgrounds. I’m not yet sure if I will use the white or the sepia backgrounds, but will keep on testing to find which I like better.

Overall, I have to say I recommend getting a Kindle Fire HD if you are replacing a Kindle or if you need a good solid tablet at the $199 price point. However, if price is not an issue then step up and get an iPad.


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