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Purchasing & Reading Books Made Too Easy
Kindle Fire HD 16GB
Member Name: Craig86
Kindle Fire HD 16GB
Date: 28/12/12, updated on 28/12/12 (44 review reads)
Advantages: Fast, great display brilliant sound, easy to purchase content, great for books
Disadvantages: Lack of apps, video purchase must be through LOVEFILM, poor external buttons
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.
Summary: A very nice device, I enjoy reading on it and would recommend it. Brilliant HD quality display.
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