Amazon.com Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
Amazon.com Tablet PC / eBook Reader Reviews
Amazon Kindle Fire HD
I previously owned the first edition kindle, and upon seeing the advertisements for the kindle fire hd I decided to purchase one for myself. I purchased it for £159 at the time but since the release of the kindle fire hdx iv seen some for as little as £119. Im an avid reader, so a kindle is perfect for me, as the books are so much ... cheaper than if you were to purchase them in shops. Iv found topsellers for as little as 20p!!
The 7inch screen is a very fair size, the same as a book I would say. Taking no time to get used to when crossing over from a normal book. The lcd screen is completely touchscreen, this function makes it very easy for all users to work. Its very light and durable weighing just 345 grams! Amazon states that the display is '20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic', allowing children to use without the constant worry of breakage. The backlight is adjustable to allow bed time reading, also preserving battery life.
The battery life on the kindle is one of the best iv seen around, with claims that it lasts in some instances upto 11 hours. Its rivals such as ipad, nexus and galaxy tab only lasting between 8-9 hours. The kindle has a full battery charge time of 4 hours, however it will charge whilst in use. The only disadvantage iv found with this is that you have to purchase a separate high speed charger, which cost me an extra £20. Which I don't believe you have to do with any of the others. Otherwise they give you a usb cable with the kindle, but in my opinion takes lightyears to charge!!
Unlike the first edition kindles, on the kindle fire you can install apps, and games. There very easy and quick to download. Upon signing up to the app store it will allow you to insert and store your card details for any future purchases made. The app store contains many games and books that are free to purchase, however it operates on a one click purchase system!!! Which as im sure you are all aware this can be money drainer. Especially is young children get their hands on it. So I would highly recommend that you set up the parental controls to prevent any mass purchase buying. Amazon will email you a confirmation everytime that you make a purchase which iv found very useful.
You can watch your films, (using a Netflix app or any other account you access), catch up with programs, listen to music, or audio books with the Dolby Audio Dual Stereo Speakers. These give a great surround sound effect for such a small machine.
The kindle fire has a front facing camera, however they do not have any camera software installed which I found very strange!! You can download this from the app store though, at cost or there is free apps. I downloaded a free app, and purchased one at around 69p I believe and they both do the same job. With the camera you can take and store many pictures on your kindle. Also you can use Skype, once the app is downloaded.
Free with the kindle you get a free months trial of amazon prime, which entitles you to one free amazon book a month, from the 'kindle owners lending library'. This is means for one month you get next day delivery on all items purchased from amazon, which is a bonus!! Also you receive free unlimited cloud storage, for all your downloads from amazon. In addition you will get 5gb free storage for all your pictures, videos and digital files.
To summarise I think that the kindle fire hd has a lot more to offer than any of its rival tablets and e-readers. From the battery life to the durability. All the features are far superior in my eyes than any other. For anyone who doesn't have one they really are a must buy. For only £119, your getting the best tablet and e-reader all in one.
10/10. Hope you've found this review helpful
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Amazon Kindle Fire HD
I have always been sceptical over the E-Readers and Kindle's on the market as I love the feeling of having a book in my hand - the smell, the texture and seeing how far you are through etc. Therefore, I was overly eager to get a Kindle. I was then given one as a present on my last birthday as I had asked for a tablet and was given the ... Kindle Fire HD 7". I figured (not ungratefully) I would probably use it more as a tablet than as an e-reader but I have been proven wrong! I am a convert!
The Kindle Fire HD is a lovely little tablet. With a 7" screen its not a big as the Ipads of this world, but not too small that you can't easily browse the net or watch a film on it. Like an Ipad you can download countless apps, sync it to your email and facebook accounts, Skype and play games all along with it being an e-reader.
Specification wise it has a 7" screen with a 1200 x 800 res, Dueal Core processor, Duel Stereo Speakers and has around 10 hours use. At just 345 grams its light enough to easily hold in one hand, and measures 191 x 128 mm. Priced at around £139 for the tablet from Amazon the Fire is a nicely priced tablet and one of the cheaper ones on the market compared to the Ipad's. However, cheaper does not mean the quality is lower, in fact the Fire feels solid and of great quality and reliability!
The screen is sharp and has vivid colours, the sound is clear and the operating software is quick and bug free. It connect to the internet via Wifi and loads up pages quickly. It can hold countless book, apps and photos without it slowing the tablet down. The app store has a lot of choice - not quite as much as Apple but still a decent selection, however the majority of good apps are chargeable and are more expensive the Apple's App store.
As an e-reader you can personalise the page colour, writing and text size and how the book appears as a whole meaning you can customise it to your needs. The brightness of the screen can also be changed easily making the Kindle Fire easy to read in both daylight and a night.
The battery life is great and mine will last days and days before needing a charge. Although I find to charge the battery does take a while.
I love my Kindle Fire so much! The Kindle makes reading easy, is smaller and lighter than a lot of books, easy to take with you and great for holidays if you are a big reader like me - 1 little tablet as opposed to 3/4 heavy books in a suitcase! A little tip is to also keep an eye out for the free books such as the old classics like Wuthering Heights etc as these are always free and great as part of your collections.
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Amazon Kindle Touch Wi-Fi
~*~The Product ~ "The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbours, kindle it at home, communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all."~*~ The following product specifications are from http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B007HCCOD0. I will be explaining how these and ... more relate to my personal usage experience of the Kindle.
Display: Amazon's 6" E Ink Pearl display with optimized font technology, 167 ppi, 16-level grey scale
Size: 166 mm x 114 mm x 8.7 mm
Weight: 170 grams
System Requirements: None, because it's wireless and doesn't require a computer to download content.
On-Device Storage: Up to 1,400 books or 2 GB internal (approximately 1.25 GB available for user content)
Cloud Storage: Free cloud storage for all Amazon content.
Battery Life: A single charge lasts up to one month with wireless off based upon a half-hour of daily reading time. Keep wireless always on and it lasts for up to three weeks. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as shopping the Kindle Store, web browsing, and downloading content.
Charge Time: Fully charges in approximately 3 hours via the included USB 2.0 cable. UK power adapter sold separately.
Wi-Fi Connectivity: Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication or Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS); does not connect to WPA and WPA2 secured networks using 802.1X authentication methods; does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks.
Content Formats Supported: Kindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion
Documentation: Quick Start Guide (included in box) [PDF]; Kindle User's Guide (pre-installed on device) [PDF].
Warranty and Service: Kindle is sold with a worldwide limited warranty of one year provided by the manufacturer. If you are a consumer, the limited warranty is in addition to your consumer rights, and does not jeopardise these rights in any way. This means you may still have additional rights at law even after the limited warranty has expired (for further information on your consumer rights, click here). Use of Kindle is subject to the terms found here.
Included in the Box:Kindle, USB 2.0 charging cable, and Quick Start Guide
~*~My Usage Experience ~ "To waken interest and kindle enthusiasm is the sure way to teach easily and successfully."~*~
My son purchased this for me as a gift and has now announced he wants to up-date this for a more elaborate model. But I am so happy with my Kindle. I feel that Amazon has done very well in efforts to keep this a very competitively priced ereader by keeping the features simple.
~ 'From Start to finish'~
When I received the sturdy card board package form Amazon, inside the device was securely contained in an ivory coloured plastic recyclable container that fitted around the shape of the Kindle. The screen was covered with a plastic film to prevent damage to the surface. Surprisingly so, apart from the 'quick-start' guide that came with the Kindle, it does not actually contain much detail. There are instructions on how to charge up the kindle but little else on the functions of the gadget.
I found far more beneficial material about the Kindle's features by logging onto Amazon! As my Son is very good with technology this didn't pose a problem for me. My Son went through each setting and feature with me and then he asked me to operate the various Kindle functions to ensure I could comfortably use it with confidence. But for those that need to start from scratch, there is actually a wonderful comprehensive manual stored on the actual Kindle.
This manual that is stored in digital format on the Kindle itself is entitled 'Kindle User's Guide' and it is so clear and extensive. I just click on the link and the first page immediately appears. The introductory paragraph states that the 'guide will familiarize you with many Kindle features, and can generally be read in' a brief time. It contains everything you need to know in getting started and finding your way around the device. If my patient Son hadn't been available at the time to take me through the Kindle's features, these easy to comprehend instructions would soon have got me up and running.
~ 'Weight Loss'~
My Kindle is a fair bit lighter than the more complex designed ereaders. It weighs in at 168g which is so light to hold. When I am lying in bed reading from the kindle, I do not need to rest the gadget against anything. The feathery lightness of this device is so easy to hold whist I'm reading, at times, for long periods. As a comparison, it is only 29g heavier than Apple's iPhone 4, a mere 137g. But what is rather ironic is, that despite its lightness, this little tool is pretty robust! I have dropped it on laminate flooring and the plastic exterior has shown no signs of damage and there has been no indications of internal harm either. But I don't think the Kindle could cope with consistent accidents. BTW best not tell my Son this happened! :~)
~ 'Low Key' and 'Font of all Knowledge'! ~
To access the keyboard I need to use the access button for this feature to activate the on-screen keyboard. There are two tiny circular buttons each, either side of a larger square button. The one next to the central button to the left of the kindle has a miniature keyboard symbol, this is the one that when lightly pressed will bring up the screen's keyboard. This feature takes no more than a little over 3" in length x 1 ï¿½" in height on the lower part of the screen.
Unfortunately, there is no touch screen feature to be found on this gadget as in contemporary phones etc. But, the numbers, letters and symbols are very easy and quick to locate, simply by tapping the arrow keys that go in four directions, north-east-south-west! To close the keyboard from the screen, I only need to touch the same circular button I tapped to gain entry of the feature. The keys are arranged in an a less convenient alphabetical format which I first felt a little disappointed as I am used to the QWERTY setting on my keyboard connected to the computer. But it was surprising to me how quickly one gets used to a change in format after regular use of the Kindle. Sadly, the display is only in black and white so it does lack visual variety appeal that colour would furnish.
Another feature that I love about my Kindle is the practical font size and font style choice. I can choose between a full eight font sizes and three font styles. I like a larger font as I normally read when I go to bed. I am generally tired so I can increase the font size by clicking onto the book I am reading, press the button next to the 'home' button on the far right. A box comes onto the screen and I scroll down to the second setting 'change font size' using the square central button, then I press the center of the same button revealing the font sizes available. If I want to read during the day or in better lighting, I don't even need to use my glasses! :~)
~Kindle Store, Wi-Fi, magazines and newspapers~
I will begin under this sub-heading by mentioning that although my Kindle may seem rather sparse in memory, '2 GB internal, approximately 1.25 GB available for user content' as opposed to the maximum 32gb on the previously mentioned Kindle Fire HD, I can still store so many books that it would take me over four years reading a book a day! So I am very content with the memory my simple Kindle affords. This Kindle gives me full access to the online Kindle Store. I am thrilled that I can download an amazing amount of material. As an example, the Kindle can hold 'up to 1,400 books'! I love logging into Amazon as there is an enormous selection of books. In fact, Amazon states that I have 'Over 1.5 million books, newspapers, and magazines' at my disposal! I can choose classics, older novels, latest releases and so much more. I can pay from nothing to as much as I can afford on books.
One particular utility that I am really enthused by is that once I have purchased a book for my Kindle, I can read it from other equipment such as an iPhone or the PC. Having several choices available to me to view the material means that not only can I choose where and how I want to read the book but it doesn't cost me any extra. Owning my basic but flexible Kindle means that I don't need to go out to visit my local library if I choose not to. Amazon have made available a 'Prime membership' facility so that, even with my cheaper version I can choose from over 200,000 books to borrow, one each month for free. I am able to purchase a wide variety of newspapers such as 'The Telegraph'; I can even buy newspapers on subscription. There are a copious amount of magazines available to buy. I love the 'Real Food and Health' magazine that is only ï¿½1.49p a month! All I need to do is log onto http://www.amazon.co.uk, click on 'Kindle Store' in the search bar, and choose which category I want.
My Son downloaded 'Aesop's Fables' for free on my behalf. I obtained 'The Critique of Pure Reason', also free on the Amazon Kindle book store. I have since down loaded many more books. I even purchased some very reasonably priced quiz books to play on the Kindle. I am able to access the Kindle Store directly from my Kindle with my live Wi-Fi connection, downloading straight to the instrument in a matter of moments. Of course, one can also buy the eBooks from their PC and then transfer them to their Kindle via a USB cable, but the former is so much less fuss! Charging my Kindle is simple; I just use the same USB cable.
~ 'The Energizer Bunny got arrested. He was charged with battery'!~
Apparently, this model has a reduced battery life from other more expensive ones such as the Kindle Fire HD which has an impressive 'Long battery life, with over 11 hours of reading, surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music on a single charge'. But I really don't find this presents me with a real problem as with a claimed three weeks of life with Wi-Fi on or a month with Wi-Fi off, this isn't be a big problem at all.
When I fully charge up my Kindle it will last up to two weeks with me reading an hour per day. But, if I keep the wireless on, it last even longer! I will say though, that when I have used the Kindle to browse online shopping, downloading etc., the battery life soon depletes. I tend to use my PC for things like online shopping so this doesn't really pose a problem. If I did want to use the internet through the Kindle, I'd like to apply it for games but this basic Kindle doesn't have the utilities to accommodate this kind of usage. I normally look on the large monitor of my PC to choose books from Amazon for my Kindle so my battery life is conserved for a good amount of time.
If I'm babysitting over my daughter's house, I will often take my Kindle and I can read for a considerable time without ever having concerns over the battery running low. But be warned, if you do require more storage space, there is no memory slot facility on this Kindle to add more! Another issue I feel is worth mentioning is that this Kindle, perhaps surprisingly though, does not have an audio player feature so I'm unable to listen to audiobooks or even music! This is quite frustrating to me as I do enjoy listening to audio books. I also enjoy listening to classical and similar music as a lovely background to reading. Concerning the safety of the battery, it must only be replaced 'by an authorized service provider' otherwise the warranty could become void. More information on this can be found at www.kindle.com/support.
~ 'On the Silver Screen' & 'Reading between the lines' ~ Screen and reading~
The Kindle's 5" x3 ï¿½" screen (Kindle size 6.5" x 4.5" x 0.34") seemed a little too small for me at first, but I soon got used to the miniature monitor. I find that the text is bold and legible enough to read without difficulty, no doubt due to the effective 600 x 800 pixel resolution. But I will say that, probably due to my age and sight, I find the screen's background to be a little too dim in low lighting situations and there is no facility on this Kindle to adjust the contrast! So my Son purchased a 'Kandlo' light, a rather expensive (ï¿½10) clip on feature to illuminate the screen. Since I have this light that attaches easily to the Kindle, I have no problems whatsoever in seeing the text clearly.
I love that there is so little glare from reflections from natural daylight so I can read it out doors when I'm sitting in a park and so forth. If I find that the illusive Sun appears, a simple angling of the device rectifies any loss in being able to see the text clearly. As I mentioned under the sub-heading 'Keyboard and Fonts' that I can change the size of the text to whichever suits my requirements. But another excellent aspect of this Kindle is that I can even 'adjust the size of the spaces between lines of text' also! Added to this, I can adjust 'the number of words displayed on each line' too. Some material has rather poor formatting so I have found this to be a very helpful and practical benefit.
The Kindle has a feature called the 'whispersync' which locates where I last read from. I love this, as I never need to be concerned about losing my page if I have to turn off the Kindle in a hurry. This feature can also be combined with other technical gadgets such as an iPad. This practical feature will keep track of the page I was on, no matter which devise I was reading from at the time, and I can pick up from where I left off using a different device! The manual states how to synchronize the different devices to accommodate this superb tool.
~ 'A real page turner' ~ Turning Pages~
Turning pages on my Kindle is quite good too. Although the length of the forward turning pages is a very slim line bar, it is a good 1" and can be accessed equally well for left and right handed users as there is a bar either side of the Kindle. But I found the reverse pages turning bar at only 15cm in length and right beside the forward page turning bar far too impractical. I often end up pressing the wrong bar to the one I want as they are connected but for a 1mm space! It is during the times when I am reading in bed that poses the real difficulty as the Kindle light is too dim to light up anything other than the screen, so the side panels are in virtual darkness. Although I have my clip on torch, I don't often stop reading to locate the bar to turn the page so the fluidity is lost when I have to look away from the screen or adjust the pages turned by mistake by pressing the incorrect bar! It would have been a better design if the forward and reverse page turning panel bars were located further apart and perhaps, colour coded.
~ 'Take Care' ~
The internal manual on the Kindle does advise to ensure that the device never comes into contact with water so I make sure that I never take it into the bathroom to read as I would a magazine or book while soaking in the bath. Furthermore, the manufacturers warn the consumer not to spill food on the Kindle either. I love reading while I'm having a meal or snack but I do not do this with the Kindle to safeguard it from damage. If you do suffer an accident with fluids or food the manual has very clear instructions on what to do.
I only use a dry soft cloth to wipe the screen and casing of my Kindle. If the Kindle is a little grimy from finger prints, I will sometimes use a moist baby wipe but only for the casing, not the screen. I have kept my Kindle in a hand-crafted soft material bag but intend to purchase a Kindle cover soon. The Kindle, like most technical devices, must not be exposed to extreme conditions such as intense hot or cold environments. To ensure this, I keep my Kindle away from the kitchen, bathroom and various heat sources as radiators.
There is a one year limited warranty on the Kindle provided by Amazon. Full warranty information is provided in the Kindle's internal digital manual. There is even 'Parental Controls' which allow me to restrict access to the Kindle Store etc. so I can give my Kindle to my grand-children to use without any concerns. Out of concern for others, the Kindle should not be in operation 'where RF signals could constitute a hazard, such as health care facilities and construction sites'.
~ 'Share and share alike' ~ Sharing Highlights! ~
I love that I can even link my Kindle up to social network accounts such as Facebook and Twitter so that I can share thoughts, highlights and notes from my eBook. Some books I've installed are textbooks that have been highlighted. There is a function, obtained by the box logo button right side of the central square button, where I can disable the high-lighted sections. I am also able to high-light my own chosen parts which I have found so handy. I have been able to highlight material that I wanted to take particular note of so that when I return to the pages in question, I can locate instantly what I wanted to make special note of. For example, in a cookery book, I have highlighted favourite recipes. In a magazine, I highlighted a quote that I found particularly thought provoking and inspirational.
The highlight function is accessed very simply. I place the cursor where I want to highlight, and then I press the center button which then allows me to select the 'start highlight' feature. But, this feature doesn't end there. To enable me to cut, paste, share or whatever I wish to do with the highlighted sections, the Kindle will save these to the 'home' screen under 'My clippings', how neat is that? It's like have a folder with file sections of several categories but without the space it would need and fuss of riffling through to find! As this is digital, I can edit (delete and export my notes too) and write, just like I do in the margins of my study text books. I can add such notes using the same buttons. I have made several notes as adding reference pages from another book that would co-ordinate well with the material I am studying or researching. No paper, ink or energy wastage here :~)
~ 'Word Up'~
The dictionary is an especially practical tool I use time and again. I can bring up the dictionary from the tiny tool bar instantaneously to find out the definition of a word on the page I am reading. The Kindle gives me two respected dictionaries to choose from, The Oxford Dictionary of English and The New Oxford American Dictionary. For instance, the latter dictionary being very handy when I'm reading American reference literature. All I need to do is place the cursor over the word I want defined and the definition immediately shows on the screen. I can even use my five-way controller to elaborate thus obtaining a 'full definition'.
~ 'Time waits for no man'~
I get carried away when I am reading so being able to set the time feature is so convenient. All I have to do is press the Menu button and the time is shown at the top of my screen.
~ 'You've Got Mail'~
I have even been able to send material from me e-mail account to my Kindle! The documents are even stored in my 'archived items' ready for me to see at a less than moment's notice. I have used this function to send attachments my daughter has sent me to look at. If I'm in a hurry, I simply send the e-mailed material to view on my Kindle whilst travelling. That way, there isn't any extra draining on the Kindle's battery.
~ 'Lost In Translation'~
I am currently learning Italian. I can change the language on the device to help me practice. Even my oldest grand-son finds this feature fascinating. A friend of mine recently gave him a little brochure on languages as he showed much interest; he used my Kindle to combine the two.
~ "Personally identifiable information" ~ Personalize~
My name is featured in the upper corner of the left hand side of the Kindle which I found to be a fun novelty feature that I easily obtained by going to the 'settings' page, selecting the 'settings' from my home screen menu. I used the center button's arrows on the Kindle to locate the options and customize my device. There is a section whereby I can leave personal information. I feel this is an excellent idea as I have left my contact numbers and e-mail should I lose the Kindle, an honest :~) person will be able to notify me where I had left it to enable me to retrieve the apparatus.
~ 'Zoom In'~
The screen is small so this could pose difficulties, especially when I need a close up image such as in my nursing manuals. No problem! I am able to increase the size of the image on the page by using the five way controller to place the cursor over the picture, a cute magnifying glass appears with a + sign. I then use the five way controller to zoom in. This function can also be used to view web pages, and believe me; it is small so I need to use this utility!
~ 'Feeling Tired' ~
To save the battery if the machine is left unattended or not in use, the Kindle automatically goes into 'sleep mode' after 10 minutes. I have found this function ideal. When I have been called on the phone or distracted, I do not worry about the battery, as this facility will conserve the 'battery life by turning off the wireless connection'. The power button is located at the base of the Kindle as a small slightly protruding button. When I come back to my Kindle I simply turn it on by the power button as normal.
Pros: Light, inexpensive, excellent Kindle Store. Compatible with Kindle [AZW], PDF (in which the free eBooks are normally in), TXT, HTML, PRC natively, DOC through conversion, unprotected MOBI. Eight font sizes. Multi-book marking and highlighting feature. In-built dictionaries. Ample memory for my needs.
Cons: No Touchscreen facility may be a problem for some users. No colour screen, memory card slot and audio features. Viewing PDF files can be inconvenient & a little difficult at times! The forward and reverse page turning panel bars are too close together.
~*~Would I Recommend? ~ 'Kindling a fire! ~*~
Yes I certainly would recommend this product. I am very impressed with the Kindle. Combined with the extensive range of books available via Amazon it makes for an excellent ereader. The overall features of this Kindle are very good; offering a wide range of uses for various usages. Loading an eBook is very simple and quick. The quality of the screen and its lighting is good for reading material but I support this with my click on Kandlo torch in the evenings when I'm reading in low lighting environments. There are so many ways to customize this Kindle that folks can easily utilize it for their personal requirements. With innovative features as highlighting, adding notes and editing, this is a tool that is of great benefit to students too.
My Kindle was purchased from Amazon but both PC World and Currys are also selling this device for the same price of ï¿½69 which apparently includes delivery also.
Thank you for taking the time to read my review :~)
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