* Prices may differ from that shown
I think its safe to say that most of us reading this review are either: book lovers or just looking for a nice,efficient tablet. Having previously owned an Ipad mini and now i own a kindle fire... I thought it would be nice to give a little run down of the devices advantages and disadvantages. First and foremost, the most noticeable thing: The design. Personally, i didn't really set any high expectations for the Amazon Kindle Fire. I just wanted a functional table. But I was quite surprised by its overall look. The back had a really nice feel to it and the device wasn't too big to hold. It is a very portable device with an elegant look and feel to it. Just to be perfectly clear, the device doesn't have that premium feel of an Ipad but i personally found that it has a good design overall. The home page for the Amazon Kindle Fire is very nice. I love the fact that you can just scroll through all your apps and books easily. Reading on this device is nice, you also get alot of features to adjust brightness and colour of page etc. For the most part, the Kindle Fire is responsive and the Amazon app store has plenty of apps (many being on offer everyday). I've watched a couple of films on this device and i was impressed by the quality of the screen. The screen was just as good when playing games on it. The device was also very easy to set-up. It was practically set up for me. Overall, the device runs pretty smoothly. I had a couple of problems with the internet on the Amazon Kindle... sometimes it wouldn't pick up my wifi and sometimes it was just very slow and unresponsive. But considering the price, I think this device is worth the money. Whether to purchase an Amazon Kindle Fire or not is ultimately down to whatever the person wants. If you are looking for a powerhouse device that is very fast and with thousands of apps then maybe the Kindle Fire isn't for you. If you are looking for a nice, small device to reads books on immaculately and to enjoy a couple of songs and apps and movies then this device is perfect.
I always said that, for me, nothing would ever replace the book - the feel of the page, the look of the type ... but if like me you can't get back to sleep in the middle of the night but don't want to disturb your partner by clicking on the light for a read, your average book isn't much good.
Enter the Kindle Fire HD. I'm not much of a technology expert so I couldn't believe it when the page showed up in the dark! Brilliant, all I have to do is locate the switch to turn it on, which is easily found on the top of the device and hey presto - a book I can read to my heart's content without having to switch on the light.
But this really does just touch the tip of the iceberg for me as this Kindle does everything. You can listen to music, watch your favourite movies and play games - there's an app to suit every occasion. Setting up the Kindle enables you to create an Amazon account so you can get the app that you need quickly and easily. Some of the apps are free but others charge a fee.
The apps I use enable me to also browse the internet, check my status on Facebook and also my e-mails. To say that I never thought there would be a place in my heart for a Kindle that's not bad going!
The only issue I have and this is no reflection on the device, is that I get so carried away using it, I forget to charge it up, as this is few and far between and I get loads of usage before having to bother.
I love reading but I do not always have the time to do so. Additionally, I do not really get the chance to purchase books either, mainly because they are so expensive and in the charity shops they do not necessarily always have the books I am looking for.
I never really considered buying a kindle because I like the feel of an actual physical book and did not want to fall into the whole technology trap. But I thought I would just go for it considering you can get many books for very low prices.
The design of the kindle is very attractive. It is not as thin as other tablets which means it is unfortunately heavier, but it is not too bad, which is alright when reading a book (or kindle?) as it will not put too much of a strain on your arm and get really annoying! The corners of the kindle are rounded and the back has a good material that makes it easy to grip - so it will not be slipping out of your hands anytime soon.
I got this for about £120.00 online from Amazon, which was pretty decent considering the fact that this review states it costs about £400.00. So yeah, that was good.
There are a great variety of books available, which was one of the main things that I was looking for. There are over 2.5 million books so you are most definitely spoilt for choice. There are regular offers on the books, which is always welcome.
I would recommend this product!
**Reason for purchase**
Initially i couldn't decide between this and the huddl ,i had finally decided on the huddl but it was sold out so i got this instead
When you turn the kindle on it has the following options from left to right,
A few games i have downloaded haven't been planned that well ie i bought a game called tiny hope and the bit of the screen you have to tap is where the back button is so it doesn't work..not the kindles fault its the makers of the game
This shows you games you have stored on the device or online(cloud)
I think the range is good. Most of the apps I have on my ipadIi have been able to get on the kindle.
A big thing for me is the ability to get foreign books without having to wait on them being delivered,The uk store itself isn't that great but I have recently learned that if I de register my kindle from the UK store and register to the amazon store I want I can buy books from anywhere. When I want a uk book I just repeat the process and i don't loose the foreign books.I love this feature as before i would pay about 8euros for a book from either amazon.de or amazon.fr. I don't know how many books this can store but i have quite a lot of uni books and being able to have them on the one device has saved me from developing a back problem.One thing I would say with regards to pdfs and other books,with the older kindles it was easier to just drag a file and add to the kindle and it took me longer to figure it out on this.
I dont use to watch videos. This isn't flash enabled so some on line videos don't work.
I do have an audible account and was fairly chuffed that i didn't need to stick everything on the kindle as it did it automatically for me. The audio sound is good. I have never used the headphone socket but it takes normal headphones.
Great for general browsing but some sites do crash.
I dont like how the camera is front facing. It would be good for selfies but otherwise annoying.I can image this would be a reason to go for another tablet instead if someone was wanting an all in one device.
I dont really like touch screen for documents so haven't used it that much.
This shows the same offers that come up when the screensaver comes on. Some people have said its annoying but to be honest I hardly even notice it.
Below this you have what is known as the carousal which shows the things you used most recently so that its easy to find them again.
**Price and where to buy**
I got this direct from amazon on offer at £99 for the 16gb.Its no longer available but you can get newer versions from amaon,tescos
**Do i recommend**
I've had a few ereaders from the original sony ereader onwards and they seem to get better with every modal that comes out. I recommend ereaders in general especially for going on holiday or for students .This is a great device with the only downsides being the camera is only front facing and sometimes the internet crashes- i seem to have problems with sites such as topcashback,
Oh also the kindle doesn't come with a mains charger but I think that newer ones do.
I've owned my Kindle Fire HD 16GB for around 10 months now. It was a birthday present from my dad last year. At first, when asked what I thought about having a Kindle, I was a little unconvinced as I like having real books and a shelf full of them. I also had an iPod Touch and iPhone which had eBook readers on them and whilst the screen was pretty small I still used it. When doing a little research on a Kindle I actually saw that the Kindle Fire was more like a tablet which actually made it even more appealing. Since then I have made good use of it although having an iPhone and Laptop I don't really use it for internet as much, more for reading although it is handy to have when traveling as it's a lot easier to transport around than my laptop!
As a Book
I really like using the Kindle as an eReader. I like having a backlight and being able to change the contrast, font size and bookmark my pages. I have a terrible habit of folding pages when reading and this has helped me to kick the habit. I've downloaded a fair few books onto my Kindle and find it really easy to navigate. When reading a really useful feature is being able to look up words so I have found I am understanding what I am reading a lot more if it's a word or phrase I haven't come across yet. I've recently read a few of the Game of Thrones books and having them on my Kindle rather than hard copy has made them a lot easier to transport and read as they're quite large books and sometimes the sheer size of a book can delay me in reading it however with a Kindle this is never a problem. Also, having quite small hands sometimes holding a larger book for quite some time can cause quite a few aches, being able to prop up a Kindle makes it but easier to read and enjoy books.
I've found the Kindle library has lots of choice and one thing that I often take advantage of is the free books or special offers because you can get some fantastic reads for under £1 at times which is a great bonus. Even regular books are a little cheaper and I'm all for saving a few pennies. I find the Kindle easy to hold, easy to flick the pages although on a downside I have at times flicked ahead to far and got lost or read a page or two that I should have waited to read. I don't really see this as a fault though because it can happen with hard books too without a bookmark.
I've downloaded a range of stories from all sorts of genres. My most recent purchase was Goddess by Josephine Angelini and I was really glad to see it at a slightly better price than a trip to Waterstones. One handy feature is you connect the Kindle to your Amazon account which means you can buy and then download the book straight away or save it for later. Your purchases also stay on your account so that if you need to delete a book for another (although, with 16GB storage you could have plenty of books on here) you can. With the Kindle I was given a giftcard so that I could purchase a few books. I found this very easy to apply to my amazon account and meant I could start using it straight away.
One of the biggest differences between this and the older Kindle versions was the addition of colour. This makes it much more enjoyable to browse through magazines.
As a Tablet
I like using my Kindle Fire as a tablet. The internet is fairly fast although I mainly stick to casual browsing when using this or social networking. I have also taken advantage of using Spotify on my Kindle so that I can listen to music on it as well although this can require quite a bit of memory if used offline. My Kindle does not support 3G so online applications must be used over WiFi. This also means you need WiFi to purchase and download books from your account so if using this before a holiday it is advisable to download what you need before hand. As this uses the Google Play/Android system you can download App's that connect to things like your email which is really handy. You can also download and play a selection of free and paid for games.
As a Camera
The Kindle Fire has a front facing camera which allows me to use video calling through Skype and take high quality HD pictures. You can download picture editing app's onto the Kindle as well which can provide some great entertainment. It's not a camera I would use everyday as I have other methods I would use first but for good quality photo's and extra storage and of course for touch screen editing this is a great feature.
You can use things like Netflix and LoveFilm on the Kindle as well as download movies, tv shows and watch them with ease. The screen isn't large so it's not ideal for long term use but I've found this really handy when traveling.
The Kindle has parental controls for those that use this as a family friendly tablet. I do not have need for these at the moment but it's handy to know should I let my daughter use it as she gets older. I've found it very durable, especially when my daughter has got hold of it as drops do happen. So far it's been toddler proof although it is usually out of her reach.
The tablet is very lightweight which is good and very easy to hold.
I don't think the battery life is that good because of the HD system it doesn't last as long as some of the others have done but it can be easily charged. The Kindle is charged through a USB port although when charging through a laptop it can take quite a long time. I would recommend charging it through a mains adaptor when possible although a plug did not come with mine. However, it does fit into my iPhone socket so I have not had to pay out any extra for faster battery life. At time of purchase this Kindle was priced at £159.99 however it is currently available for £119.99. I think its a good price for a very reasonable and easy to use tablet although I much prefer using it for reading.
THIS REVIEW WILL ALSO APPEAR ON CIAO! -kattwig-
Struggling to know what to buy our two daughters at Christmas, we settled on a Tablet for each of them as they enjoyed playing educational activities and listening to music on my iPad. We immediately decided that the iPad wasn't even an option, despite the release of the iPad mini just in time for Christmas. This was purely down to cost as we had to consider that whatever option we decided upon, we would have to buy twice and even the iPad mini at over £250 was way over the budget we allow ourselves for the girls. After much research we had pretty much decided on the Kindle Fire HD as the cheaper tablets that were on the market were receiving pretty poor reviews, and whilst they were only for two young girls, we didn't want to buy something useless.
Although the Kindle is much more well known for its kindle e-reader, the Kindle Fire HD has, in my opinion, made a big impact on the market, showing that for the price it is a decent contender within the market. In comparison to the iPad it does fall short, however at half the price it really does make it worth the while. In our house, with my iPad and the two Kindle Fires, nobody is ever short of a tablet, and often we find ourselves just picking up whichever one is to hand (or charged!), meaning for the purposes of this review I have an upper hand in that I can review it as a stand-alone product, but I can also make comparisons to the market leader, the iPad.
First and foremost, the High definition touchscreen display is outstanding. I was actually incredibly surprised when I first saw this device switched on. It is absolutely crystal clear and when watching films and music videos, it really does bring the content to life. By using a new way of making the device, the Kindle Fire has reduced screen glare (something that I really struggle with the iPad) by combining the glass screens together. This is really a noticeable benefit and a massive thumbs up to Amazon. An advanced polarised filter also works to provide the richest colours at all times so even when the screen is angled low, where the colour would normally become reduced, this doesn't happen here. The HD processor means that the touch screen software doesn't offer any delay between when you touch the screen and when it responds.
Something else that surprised me with the Kindle, was not only the quality of sound, but also the clarity. Using Dolby Digital Plus, the Kindle can create its own surround sound and through the dual stereo speakers provides a really noticeable quality sound experience. At times when my daughters are listening to their music, I can even hear the bass! Not something I expected to be contending with at age 5 and 7! For use with music and movies, it really does optimise the experience to its full potential, and doesn't distort even when at its maximum volume.
As this device was built for HD quality, watching HD movies doesn't compromise the battery life or storage capacity but still offers fast streaming. Amazon advertise the Kindle Fire HD as having the ability to deliver over 11 hours of watching videos, browsing the web, playing music or reading. As is usually the case with most manufacturer claims, this is a load of rubbish! You may just about get 11 hours if you solely read, however, watch a film and you will see your battery life rapidly deplete. On a recent holiday to France, we had to ration the childrens use of the Kindle (not as easy as it sounds on a 12 hour journey!). If the claims were as accurate as Amazon say, they should have had an hour or so of not been able to use their Kindles (although they would have had extremely square eyes!), but this just wasn't the case. One other flaw while we are on the subject of batteries, is the charger doesn't come free with the Kindle Fire. You get a USB charging cable in the box, however if you need the plug adaptor to boot, it will cost you. If you have any apple products, the USB cable will plug into the adaptor, which is all I do when I need to charge the Kindles. The girls don't use them every day anyway so it's not as much of a hassle as it sounds. The device takes approximately 5 hours to fully charge. It can be used while it is plugged in charging.
Although I don't advertise usage of the internet to the girls on the Kindle, I have myself used it a few times and have been impressed by how fast it is. I had borrowed a friends Kindle Fire (not HD) only briefly when making our decisions about which tablet to buy them, and noticed how slow the Wifi was. The Kindle Fire HD however, as the latest model within the range, has noticeably faster speeds, with Amazon advertising this at 40% faster, by using the dual band support. The dual band works by switching between frequencies as connection slows when the bands become congested. Pretty clever stuff! Media streaming is flawless and my girls have only once had a loss of connectivity when streaming.
Using the Kindle
Accessing your content is easy and you simply spin your way through the content on your Kindle. This does appear a little unorganised as it is listed in the order of download, so a song may be next to a book which might be next to an app. There is a handy menu screen across the top which lists apps, books, music and video content so you can see grouped items more easily although they will still be in the unorganised 'spin'' jumble beneath. As with most tablets, the Kindle Fire can be 'tipped' to be viewed in either landscape or portrait, making it easy to adapt to your needs.
Unfortunately, this is the Kindle Fires biggest downfall and its a pretty big one too. The only way that you can watch any movie content (apart from YouTube), is through Lovefilm, which of course incurs a pay monthly subscription fee. That in itself I don't actually have a problem with, we pay £5 a month and the girls can watch unlimited movies streamed straight to their Kindle. What I do have issue with is the availability of movies on Lovefilm. While the DVD collection by postal service, is vast and offers plenty of choice, the downloadable movies seems poor at best. Their is little option, and what is available is often obscure and of low quality. Perhaps I have noticed this more as we are basically paying to watch one genre, the children's section. We have the full Sky package which I barely have time to watch as it is, so Lovefilm is not something I have the time for, so basically the girls are just watching the children's section and that's it. The Kindle did come with a one month free subscription. One massive niggle for me was the girls like to watch the latest release on holiday and I often treat them by downloading onto my iPad before we go, however this isn't an option at all with the Kindle Fire. Why they would limit themselves to this I have no idea, but I would imagine this is very off putting to many customers.
Set up is straight forward and requires little in the way of synchronisation as it arrives pre-registered to your Amazon account. This beats the iPad hands down as it was a little bit of a headache to set the iPad up in the first instance. By synching to your Amazon account straight away it gives you immediate access to any purchased content you may already have. As we were previously iTunes customers, this meant our daughters didn't have any music that they could use despite us having thousands and thousands of songs, which was a little frustrating, so they now have their own music (which we can't access on the iPad - all very frustrating!) which they can share between themselves.
The integrated Bluetooth connectivity will connect to a variety of wireless accessories. The girls only have a little speaker each but this is connected by the jack so they don't really use the Bluetooth but its still handy to know the option is there.
The Kindle Fire is a tough little cookie and absolutely perfect for children. It feels more durable than the iPad, however I'm not willing to test my theory so we'll leave it to the facts! The device is made with materials 30 times harder than plastic so no need to worry when you hear it go bump onto the floor!
The Parental Controls section is essential for us and was the deciding factor when purchasing the two devices. Given that the girls would often be using the Kindles unsupervised, we had to know they were protected from web access and that we were protected from content purchasing. After several horror stories have emerged about children racking up bills worth thousands of pounds from free apps, I was nervous to say the least, however the Kindle takes the worry away with password controls to protect you and you child.
Skype to Skype HD video calls were a life saver when I went to Las Vegas for my 30th a month ago and we realised our phones didn't work. I had to speak to my girls! Luckily we had taken our iPad so connecting through the hotels wifi, we were able to Skype the girls Kindles and see each other (much to their amusement that we were at opposite ends of the globe!).
Invest in a protective case. I'm not usually a fan of these cases, they usually bulk up the devices, however because the Kindle Fire is a lot smaller than say the iPad, its sometimes awkward to hold and therefore requires a stand of some description. The cases usually have an integral stand and can be picked up for less than £10 on Amazon in various colours.
£159 16gb with offers (£169 without offers)
£179 32gb with offers (£189 without offers)
For both girls we opted for the cheapest device. A smaller memory isn't an issue and after slightly winding us up at the prospect of paying for a device without offers on, we decided to buy the 16gb with offers twice. I have to say to anyone considering buying this device, paying £10 for a device without offers is an absolute con! All you get is an advertising on your screen saver which you swipe off when you want to access the device. It's basically just a screen saver and doesn't intrude on your usage whatsoever so the thought of paying £10 to not have this, seems an absolute waste. Keep your £10 and buy a case for it instead. Storage wise, for the girls usage 16gb is more than adequate. Songs and books are stored on the cloud (which is unlimited content), and movies are streamed from Lovefilm anyway so the only way they will run into problems with storage would be from the number of apps they download.
193 mm x 137 mm x 10.3 mm
Warranty: 1 year.
To conclude, invest in the Kindle if you don't want to spend iPad prices and don't have a huge catalogue of songs on iTunes. Also, perfect for children just starting out but perhaps the iPad is a better option for iPhone users who can synch their iTunes accounts / apps, etc. An excellent contender nonetheless.
So, I will be totally honest. The main reason for buying a kindle fire was as a cheaper alternative to the IPad. I love Apple products but just don't think they are worth the inflated prices. The Kindle Fire seemed like it would be a great alternative at a great price (only £159 for the 16GB or £179 for the 32GB)
The Technical Details:
-7 Inch High Definition display (now also available in a larger 8.9 inch screen)
-Dolby Audio Sound
-Built in web cam
-Over 22 million films, TV shows, songs, magazines, books, audiobooks, apps and games, including top favourite apps such as Skyscanner, Jamie's 20-minute meals and Auto Trader (This from Amazon.com)
-Lightweight, only 397 grams
-Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi
-Great parental controls- decide what your children use their kindle for
BAsiclly, this does all you would expect from a tablet. The web browser is fast and lets you go on any of the sites you would normally want to; email, banking, social media, shopping, etc. The device comes empty and you can download all content on it easily from amazon. There is a whole host of addictive apps and games including the favourites Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja. And millions of books, films, songs, magazines and audiobooks. I was a bit concerned that one of the reasons the actual kindle was so cheap would be because it locks you into the amazon website and I worried that then the content would be expensive but this hasn't been the case. There are loads of books you can get for free (mainly classics out of the 100year copyright) and they do some really good deals like books for under £1.
The main way to watch films etc is to sign up to lovefilm. However, the problem with that is that you can only stream films, not download them which means you have to have a wifi signal to watch them. You can also download lots of apps like BBC Iplayer and ITV Player so you can catch up on tv, but again you can't download them.
Tips: (I will add more as I come across them!)
Just a few handy hints for things that have occurred in the last few weeks.
-If you are reading a lot you may find the screen is very bright and a bit uncomfortable. Switch the colour of the page to sepia and it's a lot gentler.
-IF you are having problems accessing BBC Iplayer you may need to download the BBC Media player and access it from there.
-The kindle comes with a USB cable so you can charge your FIre from your computer. Alternatively you can buy a charge, or a Powerfast charger. Although many chargers fit the Kindle I really would recommend buying the Powerfast as it charges in about a quarter of the time.
-If you are buying this mainly as a reader then you might want to consider a different kindle model, one with e-ink technology. Although the screen has anti-glare technology it will never be as glare free as the kindle or paperwhite due to the other features.
-Battery- I feel with all the features of the kindle the battery power could be better. The Amazon website says it last for 11hours but to be honest its more like 8 or 9.
-Camera is front facing which means its great for Skype, but not really any use as an actual camera. You can download an app so you could use it as a camera but it's difficult to work it without a viewer.
From the moment I got this I have found it really easy to use. The few difficulties I have had have been easily sorted by simply looking online, but I know others who have used the kindle helpline number and found them excellent.
I really have found this to be a great alternative to the IPad at a fraction of the price. Also, it would be a great more affordable tablet for children as it's a good size for smaller hands and has brilliant parental controls. Not being able to download films is a bit frustrating but lovefilm and Netflix have so many films on them that it is not too much trouble and it saves me money by using them!
In essence it is a really great piece of kit. A portable web browser, a library, a mp3 player and a games consol. Plus a small personal cinema too! Not bad for £159 I'd say.
My best mate had one first and was sooo jeolous but was cautious as was quite a bit of cash for what was fundamentally an e-reader so took me a long time to decide to buy this kindle fire but so glad I did.
My biggest concern was that I would be trapped buying Amazon kindle books but this has not been a problem, as I could load up books off a disc in the same way as my previous ereader, allowing me to drag and drop. Once completed all are sat in a way I can easily choose which I wish to read.
My children love the games (as i do too!) but so far have only downloaded freebies from the amazon site and have been very pleased with these.
Internet surfing is good too, although significantly easier to whiz about on my laptop as the screen does make some things difficult to read.
As with other devices, easy to store photos and music.
The ereader is easy to read night or day and easy to change the size of the font.
Overall I have been really pleased with the kindle fire.
The Kindle Fire HD is very similar to the Kindle Fire standard. Both have a 7" screen but as you can imagine (and why you pay more) the HD is a much better screen resolution. To be honest the main reason for me to get the HD was the faster processor (custom built Android 4). The home screen which works in either portrait or landscape looks great and has a menu for jumping around different types of media. There;s 16Gb or 32Gb available (I went for 32Gb as you can't add more memory via a memory card). The LCD screen is very pleasing and like me if you using your kindle to read books (what else !) then you should not be disappointed. The high resolution makes the text very sharp and clear. Be aware that you can only watch video's when connected to wi-fi. Personal video's not a problem. I am very pleased with my choice. Some people may find it fairly heavy to carry around (it's 400g).
This is a great device for people of all ages from the kids playing "temple run" to the grandparents reading the various newspapers and books available on the online store. The device runs on android so is fairly speedy when it comes to processing but it is not as versatile as other android or apple tablets and is fairly simplistic in comparison. It has a inward facing camera which is handy for skyping and videochatting to various friends and family but my main complaint about this device is although having a rear facing camera it does not have an outward facing one - this is fairly disappointing as you cannot use it like a camera unlike most tablets. In conclusion this compact, sleek and interesting device boasts value for money but cannot be compared to the high rollers of the market such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab or the Apple iPad
A good few years back I received a Kindle 3 for Christmas, quite a bulky thing complete with black and white screen and a little keyboard along the bottom. Looking back it was quite old fashioned compared to such products now (how much they've come along in such a short space of time) but I thought it was the bees knees. When all it took was my 5lb cat to place a paw on the screen which broke the entire thing though, I was put off replacing my Kindle as it seemed very expensive for something which broke so easily despite how much I loved my e-reader.
I figured that, by now, the Kindles would have been improved and it may be worth investing in another one. I really liked the look of the Kindle Fire HD and seems as I had some Tesco club card vouchers and a 10% staff discount (there are some perks to that job) which would enable me to get one for just under £110 I decided I would treat myself to one. Over the last few months this little thing has become like my right arm and I use it excessively for all manner of things so it's probably time to write my review!
----- Price & Availability -----
The Kindle Fire HD seems to be the same price regardless of where you go so shopping around probably isn't something to worry about too much unless you have discounts/vouchers for a particular store. It can be bought from Amazon, supermarkets such as Asda and Tesco and just about anywhere that sells electrical items such as PC World and Currys. The 16GB model costing £159 and the 32GB model costing £199. It's worth noting that with your purchase you get free unlimited cloud storage which, in my opinion at least, makes spending an extra £40 on the 32GB one a little pointless.
----- What's in the Box -----
Not an awful lot actually! You obviously get your Fire HD, a 7inch black tablet weighing just 395g. You'll also get a USB charging cable and a quick start booklet which you may as well throw away to be honest. As long as you can work out where the on/off button is the Kindle itself will talk you through the rest!
There are no installation disks or anything as the Kindle doesn't require anything like that. Setting the Kindle up the first time you use it really is so quick and simple even the most technophobic of people would manage it hassle free.
----- Looks -----
Whilst it isn't the most important thing in the world, the Fire does look quite attractive. It's a matte black rectangle with dimensions of 193mm x 137mm x 10.3mm. It's extremely portable, lightweight and easy to hold. Across the back is a glossy black band which has Kindle engraved and the Amazon logo can be found at the bottom of the back of the Fire as well. In the top centre of the front of the Kindle is the little camera built in to this and along either side of that black glossy strip are the speakers. HDMi and charging points are located at the bottom whilst your on/off and volume buttons are along the side. Obviously a decent case is recommended to protect your Kindle and there are plenty of lovely designs available for the Fire HD on Amazon and Ebay etc which not only give you a little extra peace of mind when transporting your Kindle but also add that little bit of personalisation to your Kindle.
----- Technical Details -----
I won't bore you with everything whilst pretending to know what half of it means as this stuff can be lifted from the internet easily anyway. Instead I'll just mention the main features of the Fire HD and how I find using them.
You get your 7inch high definition touch screen colour display with anti-glare technology. The display is lovely and it's clear to see it's HD as everything from videos, web browsing and books look crystal clear and the anti-glare technology seems to work a treat too as I've never had a problem with that. The touch screen is sensitive enough to ensure you can use it freely and easily but not that sensitive that you're constantly doing things by mistake - another thing I really like as I hate oversensitive touch screens where breathing near them takes you onto some strange website you've never heard of!
There's no system requirements and this is ready to use straight away. Setting up is just a case of switching on, logging into your Amazon account (already done if you bought it from Amazon) or quickly creating an account if you don't have one, entering your wi-fi password and you're done. It really is that simple.
The battery life is a little rubbish and is probably is the Fire HD's biggest downfall. Amazon claim this has over 11 hours of battery life but I would disagree depending on what you're doing on it. You could probably get eleven hours if you're spending 11 hours reading with the odd bit of web surfing but using apps and games seem to kill the battery off significantly quicker and I don't think I've ever been able to use my Kindle two days in a row without charging.
Charge time, again is a downfall. This charges in 4 hours if you're using a Kindle 'PowerFast charging accessory' (a USB plug which says Kindle across the back). This is the recommended way to charge your Kindle but this is sold separately for another £17.99 which I find to be a ridiculous price. Using a 'normal' USB plug Amazon claim will take 'slightly longer', I use my apple one which came with my Iphone and find it takes roughly six hours to fully charge from no or very little battery. I can usually put my Kindle on charge when it's running low before bed and find I have a full battery in the morning when I wake up. This isn't too bad in terms of charge time but, again, no plug is included so you'd still have to purchase one if you didn't already own one. Fortunately these are much cheaper and can be picked up from ebay for a couple of quid. What you do get with your Kindle to charge it is absolute rubbish. Charging from your computer using the included USB lead will take 'approximately 13.5 hours' personally I'd say it takes longer than that. Sometimes it doesn't even charge at all when plugged into my computer! I really do think a plug should be included with the price of the Kindle, even if it's not an all singing all dancing 'Kindle PowerFast' one. Unfortunately this is just one of many little extras you have to buy separately with your Kindle to make the most of it.
Wi-fi connectivity is good, connecting to wi-fi is simple to do and I've never experienced a dropped connection on my Kindle, streaming and downloading is very quick to but this will vary depending on the connection you're using.
The audio is pretty decent. The Dolby speakers are of a high quality for such a device and don't produce that tinny sound you usually get with such things. They're not so good that I'd hold a disco using my Kindle or anything but they're perfectly adequate for watching TV and films with. The volume goes up way higher than someone with perfect hearing would need it, mine is never above 50% volume but, should you wish to have it louder you can do so without compromising on audio quality. Personally, I've been very impressed with the speakers really.
You also get a built in front-facing HD camera and a built in microphone making Skype to Skype calls a simple and pleasant experience. If you are a regular Skype user then I think you'll love this, the camera never freezers and is of decent quality (although I can't find any information about megapixels etc anywhere) and the microphone apparently allows you to be loud and clear on the other end of the line. To use this camera as an actual camera to take photos though you need to download one of the many apps which unlock this feature. Again, all cost extra money which I think is ridiculous for something which is already there! The cheapest I can find costs 69p from the Amazon app store.
'LoveFilm' is built into the Kindle under the 'videos' section and a thirty day free trail is included with your purchase. I have taken full advantage of the LoveFilm trail and can confirm that watching movies and TV programs on the Fire is a pleasurable experience. Here all the features really come to life, you get that excellent sound quality, HD displays and fast streaming which makes what could be a very frustrating experience a really nice on instead. Plus, providing you have a HDMI cable, you can always hook your Kindle up to your TV and watch your films on the bigger screen.
You can quickly and easily access the Amazon app and book store from the Kindle's home menu which is very handy. As you may expect, the book store is much more impressive than the app store. You have thousands of free titles at your fingertips and just about every book in print is available through the store, more often than not, for a reasonably low price (my Dooyoo miles have been keeping my reading library stocked recently that's for sure)!
The app store isn't quite so full though. There's still plenty to pick from mind you and popular games such as a The Sims Freeplay, Angry Birds and Temple Run are available as well social networking apps like facebook, twitter, instagram and Kik messenger. The apps available are still decent mind you, you can find an app for almost anything really but as an Iphone user I'm used the absolutely massive apple app store and this just doesn't compare. There's nowhere near as many free apps either. On the plus side the apps and books download extremely quickly, I don't think I've ever downloaded anything which has taken longer than twenty seconds.
Should you wish to mix business with pleasure you can read e-mail and attachments through the Kindle as well as syncing calendars and contacts, your Kindle even has its own e-mail address so you can send your documents to it and never be without them. These features are not ones I don't really have any need for though thus haven't used so can't comment on how well they function.
You can import your pictures from facebook or your computer onto your Kindle too and using one of the many photo editing apps change them as you like! You can quickly share photos with anyone by e-mailing them which takes all of five seconds to do.
----- My Personal Experience -----
In short, I absolutely love it. Nothing is perfect though and the Fire does have its downfalls. The main for me being it's little hidden extra costs. On top of those already mentioned your screensaver is just advert after advert and if this annoys you then you have to pay Amazon another £10 to get rid of those adverts. Personally I wouldn't bother doing this as it really doesn't affect the Fire experience. They are just used as screensavers thus only pop up when you're not really using the Fire. Inbetween the mayonnaise ads you can even find some pleasing offers too so it's not all bad.
I find reading can be a little harsh on the eyes too. The permanent backlight does hurt my eyes and give me headache if I'm reading for prolonged periods of time and is basically the same as reading off of a computer screen. This is a big downfall for me as I do use my Fire mostly for reading but then this is a tablet rather than an e-reader and if that was all you were looking for I dare say you'd go for one of the e-reader versions of the Kindle.
It's great for web surfing though. The wifi is fast, everything is clear and readable and you can open multiple tabs at once. You can bookmark pages, view your history and browse through 'selected sites' and see trending news articles all from your home screen. They qwerty keyboard is well spaced out meaning you don't end up hitting three letters with your finger tip and you get a nice built in spell checker! I really cannot pick any faults with this aspect of the Fire whatsoever.
When browsing for books and apps the handy 'recommended for you' feature is available which, in usual Amazon style, is mostly accurate and I've discovered some good books by looking through that. Browsing for books though, for me anyway, is a bit of pain when going to the book store directly through the Kindle. I'm one of those people who can spend an hour browsing for a new title before deciding to purchase it and I like to dive deep into different genres where I normally find some nice hidden gems rather than just what is popular at the moment. Unfortunately going through the Fire to the store pretty much only allows you to see what is popular at the moment which, thanks for 50 Shades, is mostly just 'mummy porn' recently! Luckily going onto the actual Amazon website on my Kindle to have a proper look is easy as can be.
Another feature I like about reading on the kindle is that if you should come across a new word highlighting it makes the dictionary definition pop up which is really handy. The Oxford dictionary and thesaurus are already on the Fire too should you wish to browse for new words. I've personally always been a fan of reading a page of the dictionary a day. When you've finished a book Amazon will prompt you to review it when you've read the last page. You can also share you've finished via facebook and twitter too which I really like. Me and a friend are taking on the challenge of reading 50 books for pleasure this year and this is a handy tool to allow us to see how each other are doing.
Playing games on this is great fun and there are even a selection of multi-player games too. Me and my Sister spends ages playing Jenga against each other on my Fire and it comes with the added bonus of not having to clean it up and keep rebuilding the tower! I thought Angry Birds was addictive on my Iphone but it's nothing compared to how addictive it is on a 7inch HD display!
----- All in All -----
I use my Fire HD daily. I'd be completely lost without it now and if I were ever pressed, I'd happily swap my phone for it. I've not used any other tablets to compare this one to but I really do think you get great value for money here. I can't believe an Ipad is that much better it's worth the extra £300 (or something along those lines).
I would highly recommend it although I would also highly recommend buying some sort of USB plug adaptor too as charging off of your computer using the supplied USB cable is just awful. I really think the Kindle should already come with one mind you but there you go.
In conclusion, the Fire HD is a lovely tablet for a reasonably low price which is great for web surfing, reading, watching movies and playing games among other things. It's so simple to use it literately takes five minutes to set up and a further five minutes to work everything out. I'd thoroughly recommend this to anyone looking for a tablet computer and believe its downfalls are worth saving the amount of money you do compared to buying other similar tablets. I would really love to give this five stars as the general experience using this has been wonderful for me, I am going to have a knock a star off though just for the fact you don't get a USB adaptor plug with it as I find this really is something which should come with the Kindle.
The Kindle Fires have been out for a while in the US, and now they've sailed their way to the UK. The Kindle Fire is only available in black at the moment, but you can get covers for these for protection, these covers can be expensive, but it's worth getting. A lot of people will get their kindle case from waterstones or online; they're frequently brought together.
Special features include:
7" HD Display which gives the device the ability to see things clearly and makes things look visually impressive. This really shows when you're using an app on a kindle. This also ties in with the 1.2 Ghz dual-core processor it runs on. The device is very colourful and I enjoy watching videos on the tablet.
Dolby Audio which makes a stereo sound, I think the sound quality is very great which really enhances one of my favourite features on the device which is the text to speech option. I like using this as I find it therapeutic to listen to audiobooks when I'm on the go. There is also a slot for headphones or earphones located next to the volume buttons.
Dual-Band Dual-Antenna Wi-Fi and bluetooth options help make it very easy to go onto the internet and I've had no problems with connectivity so far.
Microphone and 1.3 Megapixel camera which enables video chats and calls over social networking software such as apps. It advertises that you can talk to people on Skype on it and that is indeed true. The video quality seems to be better as well. The picture quality could have been a bit better, but I suppose it's a minor issue as most of us have our own phones or cameras that can create advanced quality pictures.
Single glass layer helps reduce screen glare and helps make it easier to use the tablet under the sun. I've owned a couple of gadgets in my lifetime and did have difficult using them in certain areas due to screen glare. Kindle devices in general seem to be good at that though, my old kindle didn't have any screen glare problems.
Unlimited cloud storage, so you can download things onto your device without having to repay or savage the web for them.
I don't see the point of the offline advertisements. I can understand online advertising because they want to give you special offers, but this is a minor one and I kinda got used to it once in a while and it's only on the screen-savers so I'm not too fussed about it now. I would have liked to had my own custom screensaver but maybe that will be taken into consideration for next time.
The carousel option makes it look very professional and slick, but I kinda prefer the ipad layout and would have also liked to have had a custom desktop to make my kindle unique and stand out in the crowd. Though even as you are on the carousel the adverts reek up as they show you books they think you might like.
The battery life may come as a disappointment to those who have upgraded from a regular kindle to a kindle fire, but since it's a tablet, the battery life is no worse than let's say an iPad or a Blackberry playbook. The Kindle fire comes with a usb wire but not the plug, although you can still charge it via computer. If you have a plug that will let you charge anything so long as it has a usb in, that will work, but if a blackberry charger does the trick too.
I no longer have a blackberry as I upgraded it for a Nolia Lumia, but the charger has come along for useful things including charging the kindle up. There's also another usb point in it, but I've found that the tablet is fine for about 4-7 hours and I charge it overnight so it will be fine.
I think the amazon kindle fire HD has been one of the best mobile devices I have ever used and would probably purchase an upgrade and continue to use the kindles for the future. However I wouldn't say that it's a substitute for real books though. I still buy books in the shops and I tend to only download the free or cheap books. They always seem to have constant offers going on and some undiscovered stuff happening.
I miss the ability to sort my books into certain playlists like I could on my old kindle, even though this is an option with music, I think it would have made looking for books a lot more easier.
I think it's worth getting and I love it. I see that it will be very useful for the holidays when I'm out camping and will save a lot of packing space. Before the age of the kindle I used to carry at least four or five books in my hand, so the kindle has been very useful and convenient.
I mainly use my kindle for reading and I think that you need to have a real passion for books e-books to really appreciate the device as I think many people will use it for the books, on the other hand it does other duties fairy well though. I can go on Facebook, Twitter and look on google with no problems at all.
The Kindle Fire HD is very easy to use, although the buttons and slots could have been better coordinated, but other than that I think it is really excellent and the books are displayed in fantastic presentation and makes it look sleek, modern, fresh and professional.
I love the tablet anf the concept of the kindle in general, I will still be buying books and the kindle fire has not become a full substitution for books and I doubt it ever will do.
Of course it thinks it is both of these.
As a reader it is too heavy (heavier than a paperback and even some hardbacks).
As a tablet, it falls short of many real tablets, but of course it is cheaper than a proper tablet so you get what you pay for. The 'SILK' browser does not import bookmark/favourites from other well known browsers although it will save them as you go along.
Kindle cloud is not a 'sharing' data store like SkyDrive, Dropbox or Google Drive and although it might be essential for the Kindle, it is useless otherwise.
I suppose I was really looking for a tablet that doubles as a reader and found neither fitted my needs.
It comes with a USB lead for charging and again you are almost sure to want a mains charger especially if away from your pc.
I bought min on eBay for £137 and sold it two days later for £145 and there was a queue of other people selling the same thing, so I'm probably not alone in my findings, but feel a bit out of step in these reviews.
I found this as a tablet intuitive to use and a pleasure to use. Definately am very pleased that I got this for Christmas. Wanted a tablet for quite a while but was unsure of what one to get. As I am an avid reader I realised the kindle fire was the perfect choice. As I already had an Amazon account I found setting up very simple. The home screen is laid out as a carousel showing all books and apps, which show up well on the attractive hd screen. Apps download quickly, and use the very responsive touch screen well. My one and only complaint is that although the kindle is based on google's Android 4.0 operating system, it does limit the apps available, not having all of the apps on google play. Reading books on it is great, but if thats all you used this tablet for it would be a waste, as the camera, browser and games make it a formidible tablet on the market. Best present of Christmas 2012.
About The Product
The Kindle Fire HD is a 7" high definition tablet manufactured by Amazon, it comes with either a 16GB or 32 GB internal memory and a screen resolution of 1280 × 800. Its dimensions are 7.6×5.4×0.41 in and weighs 395g.
It runs on the Android operating system Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) 4.0, has 1GB or RAM and has dual speaker Dolby sound.
My Opinions & Experiences
Already an owner of the Google Nexus 7 I wasn't sure if this device would be of enough difference to warrant me owning the two. They are similar sizes and have a similar look and feel, but I enjoy using the Kindle Fire HD just as I enjoy using the Google Nexus 7.
The one thing Amazon Kindle's are widely used for is for reading books, now I can do that on my Nexus tablet fairly easily using the inbuilt Google Books or even downloading the Kindle software but the Kindle Fire HD is geared towards books and I find it enjoyable reading them on this device.
Amazon with their Kindle range have opened up their online store to millions of devices, the Kindle Fire HD makes it so easy to buy books and other content directly from Amazon with their one touch purchasing system that you have to keep an eye on how much you are spending as it is almost too easy.
The display is bright and fresh making reading easier than with printed books, here you have a backlight perfect for those night time readers. The words are clear and crisp and moving between pages seamless and simple.
When you launch the device you are taken to your showreel, this displays books, games, web pages you have recently viewed. There is a top menu for shop, games, apps, books, music, videos, newsstand, web, photos, docs and offers. The device uses the Amazon app store to deliver content straight to your device, this is different to the Google play store and in my opinion for apps not as good. There seems to be less of the apps I use on my Google Android devices and although the Kindle runs on the Google operating system it makes use of its Amazon appstore instead. Perfect for books, but maybe not so for some apps, there are no Sky apps for instance.
The videos option is another slight drawback, Amazon owns LOVEFILM and you can only purchase videos using a LOVEFILM account, fine if you have a subscription or want one but if you don't then this is a bit of a shame. You can upload your own videos and watch them but it would be nice to be able to purchase movies without subscribing to LOVEFILM.
I haven't had much of a look at the music store but this seems a general link up to the Amazon shop, much like the books therefore this would be simple to purchase and use the content.
Battery level does seem so far to be better than other devices I own, having played a mixture of books, movies and some music, mixed in with web browsing etc it has lasted me around 6 hours. Of course a higher percentage of video/music playback will effect your battery life where as little of this and more book reading will further extend the time before you need to recharge. The official line is up to 11 hours but it will be different for different usage as to be expected.
It has a front facing HD camera which is extremely useful for photos and of course Skype, I have tried it out on Skype and it works perfectly. A HDMI port allows you to link the device to your television which will enable you to operate the Kindle on the television screen, I haven't yet given this a go but I imagine for movies, photos or the web it would be ideal.
One of the best features of the tablet physically is the reduced screen glare, most devices use two layers of glass with a gap in between which allows light to reflect, the Kindle reduces glare by using a single glass layer. As of late December there is little sunlight to test this but I believe come the summer I will be making good use of this feature while reading in the sun.
One of the first things I wanted to test on the device was the Dolby sound system, one of my criticisms of the Nexus 7 is the low sound, the Kindle Fired HD has this problem solved with Dolby Digital Plus. The dialogue in movies is crisper and the virtual surround sound is a great feature that I wasn't expecting. The sound is aided by dual speakers located on either side of the device, this is a powerful addition and enhances the sound beyond what most tablets are able to. This all brings the sound quality to brilliant levels, no distortion at higher volumes and when playing movies you get a real mini cinematic experience.
In terms of the tablet build I think it is quite well done, very solid and has a quality feel, I like the aesthetic design of the device if not so much the volume and power buttons. The only buttons on the device are the power and volume controls, holding the device landscape with the camera at the top the buttons are on the right side, I just find them difficult to locate, they aren't very raised and are perhaps a little small. The headphone port is next to them and the HDMI and mini USB ports are at the bottom (if holding in the landscape position mentioned). The back has the Amazon and Kindle logos tastefully blended into the black colour of the device.
The device runs very fast with its 1.2 Ghz dual-core processor and I love the colour and vibrancy, the display is simply beautiful and brings to life the content like nothing I have seen on a tablet before.
It is a tablet and with the ability to play games, browse the web, watch films and work then it is so much more than just a book reader. Personally though I will probably use it more for the books and easy link up to the Amazon shop than anything else purely due to my already owning the Google Nexus.
It's a fast, clear and easy to use device, makes purchasing and running content from Amazon simple, slight drawback on general apps and video content for purchase has to be through a LOVEFILM subscription.
Sound and HD display are absolutely brilliant.
With a stunning 7" HD display that features IPS in-plane switching technology to ensure a great viewing experience at all angles, the Kindle Fire HD 16GB 2013 with Wi-Fi is the perfect family tablet. It combines optimum performance with an even more ergonomic design and uncompromised battery life. The 1.5GHz dual core processor and 1GB of RAM make the Kindle Fire HD over 60% faster than the previous generation, while an Imagination PowerVR 3D graphics core ensures a smooth video and gaming experience. Built for gaming, the Kindle Fire HD has tilt, turn and multi-touch controls, plus Whispersync stores your progress in the Cloud automatically so you'll never lose an unlocked level or saved game. Delivering rich, HD video, vivid photos and crisp, detailed text, the exceptional pixel density of the Kindle Fire HD brings your content to life. Enjoy movies and TV with X-Ray, featuring trivia items and character back-stories, as well as listing all the music in a movie or TV show. X-Ray even displays the name of a song as it plays in the movie you're watching. When you stream a film or read a book on Kindle Fire HD, Whispersync remembers the last scene you watched or read across all your apps and devices so you can resume watching or reading from the same spot at a later date. Fire OS 3.0 'Mojito' has hundreds of new features and updates and a user interface that prioritises content. A brilliant multi-tasker, the Kindle Fire HD 16GB tablet is lighter than ever and comfortable to hold in one hand. Its smaller bezel and cleaner lines combine with customised Dolby audio to create a streamlined design with virtual surround sound that lets you lose yourself in the entertainment. Delivering all the looks, power, fluid performance and speed that you need, the Kindle Fire HD 7" 16GB 2013 tablet with Wi-Fi still boasts a long, 10 hour mixed use battery life. Coming soon: Kindle FreeTime. A service that allows parents to set individual profiles and time limits for kids.