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Kindle Fire HDX 7", HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 64 GB - Includes Special Offers (Previous Generation - 3rd)
Kindle Fire HDX 7", HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 64 GB - Includes Special Offers (Previous Generation - 3rd)
Price: £259.00

159 of 190 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Love/Hate Relationship. Esp Not Great For Existing Kindle Users. Multiple Issues, More Thought From Developers Needed., 8 Feb 2014
I have a love / hate relationship with my new Kindle Fire HDX.

As an existing Kindle Paperwhite (2gb) user, I wanted more storage for more books. My Paperwhite is full, and they don't make a bigger (capacity) model. The 64gb Fire seemed the best option.

Unfortunately, Amazon's developers and engineers appear to have given little thought to the use of the Fire HDX by existing Kindle users, instead focussing on trying to compete with the general tablet market.

I had just under 2,000 titles on my Paperwhite. I wrongly assumed that the transfer of these books to my shiny new Fire would be easy-peasy, and quick. Whispersync to my Paperwhite is instant or near instant when I download books direct from Amazon. Having had a good look at all the new (to me) controls on the Fire, I couldn't immediately see a copy option, so I hit the Mayday button.

It's not exactly like the TV ad. You DO get a real person to talk to, but it isn't a full-face picture of them that shows on your screen. You get some poor spod sitting on a chair in a cubicle. They tried to be helpful, took over my new Fire remotely, and tried to see how to manage the transfer of 1865 items from my Paperwhite to the new Kindle. In the process, they were able to see some personal documents and photos relating to breast cancer surgery. I wasn't thrilled with that, as you might imagine. If you use the Mayday button, just make sure there isn't anything on your carousel that you want to keep private, as all recently accessed items go there by default and are therefore highly visible to Mayday staff. Mine was very good, and turned his head away when I shrieked at him to do so, others may not do the same.

Incidentally, you can see them, but they can't see you. (Or so they say.)

There is a delay in your voice reaching them, much like you get with overseas phone calls, or what you see when a TV programme has a live link to another country. You ask your question, there's a very definite pause, then you can see the Mayday person hearing your voice after you've stopped talking. A bit odd, takes some getting used to. The delay can be off-putting, but I still like the feature. There is, of course, no reliable way of trying to speak to the same advisor again if they have to shut your device down as part of the fixing process. You just have to hit Mayday again when your Kindle restarts, and speak to whoever pops up. But given that everyone I've spoken to on Mayday has had an Irish name and an Irish accent, it's probably fair to assume that Mayday central is likely to be in Ireland. I had thought that phone call voice delay only happened if you called the states. I've called Australia before now without any hint of it. So not sure why it happens with the Mayday feature.

My Mayday man told me that THE ONLY way to transfer the books directly onto my new Kindle was to download ALL 1865 titles INDIVIDUALLY from the Manage Your Kindle page. I expressed my astonishment at this. Apparently, Amazon assume it's just fine that all your downloads are in the Cloud. But for me, the whole point of getting this bigger Kindle is so I can have ALL my books with me whether I'm at home or sitting in yet another hospital waiting room. I didn't buy the mobile wireless -3 or 4G - option, so unless I'm at a wireless hot spot, I can only download new books at home and can only access the Cloud at home.

Eventually, even though the helpful Mayday man had gone off and asked a senior staff member about getting my books copied from my Paperwhite to my Fire and had still come back with the same answer of individual downloads - can you imagine how long that would take? Mayday man's way of doing it involved several clicks for each book on the Manage Kindle page. Even on my laptop and with my wireless mouse, I could only tolerate the Select, Actions, Send To Device - Select Device process for the duration of maybe ten books before I thought "Oh my God, this is going to take FOREVER !" and I abandoned it. - I found a better solution. A work-around, if you will.

If you go to Books and then select Cloud, it shows all your books there, with a circle next to each of them. If the circle is checked, that item is already on your device. If it's unchecked, it's in the Cloud but not on your device. So I checked all unchecked circles, and it started downloading everything to my Fire.

Hoorah, thought I. It looked as though it was going to take forever, but I thought that if I left it to it, eventually all my beloved books would be on there. Wrong! When I went back to it a few hours later, it had got itself stuck on a book, and stayed there. It had, curiously, already transferred some, but not all, of my library category headings (collection names) and a few but nowhere near all of my books. It seems as though you have to manually create any new categories in the Cloud, they don't always automatically upload to the Cloud when you create them on your Kindle. At least, they don't on mine. Initially, it didn't download ANY categories at all, so what I essentially had was the digital equivalent of a large room into which all 1865 of my books had been thrown, with no easy way of finding them unless I could remember the title. Extremely frustrating. I later found out that you can use the magnifying glass Search icon and enter a general keyword to locate a particular book in your library.

On the Paperwhite, any books not assigned to a category (a named "collection") eg, Fiction - Modern, show on the homescreen. Once assigned a category, that title disappears from the homescreen, so you can easily see how many books you need to "file" under any given category heading. I have 5 pages of category names on my Paperwhite. This feature is missing from the Fire HDX. If you ask it to show your library by category, it shows you all the categories, but not the books you haven't categorised yet (it's easy for me to get carried away on a download session and carry on downloading without stopping to put each one into a category). If you ask it to show you your books, it does exactly that, but with no indication anywhere to show if that book is already in a category. It just shows all the books, categorised or not.

I did eventually manage to get all my categories and all my books copied onto the Fire, but it was a lengthy process, and one that I think the developers really should have thought about before assuming that every Fire purchaser would be either a new Kindle user, or a Kindle user with just a handful of books.

Having bought the device primarily for portable book storage and reading, I thought I might as well have a look at some of the other things this Fire would do, so I started downloading apps from the app store. Then in the middle of looking at apps one evening, it suddenly came up with a blank black screen instead of the app store screen. I hit Mayday again. I was told this time that THE ONLY way round this problem was to deregister then reregister again.

"Hang on," I said, doesn't that mean I'll lose all my books, along with everything else I've downloaded onto it?" "Ah, yes, but you can just download them again."

Deep breath.

"I have more than 2 thousand books on here, and I am NOT about to go through all that AGAIN"! Mayday Man understood completely, sympathised entirely, but was unable to offer any better advice.

Mid-way through the conversation, the app store screen reappeared. Apropos nothing in particular. This disappearance of the app store screen is apparently an Amazon glitch that happens every now and then. Annoying. Just think, I could have taken his word, the Word Of Amazon, that the ONLY way to resolve this issue was to deregister my account and lose every single item so time-consumingly downloaded on it! Jeez, I understand that being stubborn isn't always considered a virtue, but boy am I glad I don't take everything I'm told as gospel.

It also quite often gets stuck mid-download from the app store and the Cloud. No-one seems to know why. I expect the official "solution" would be to deregister re-register.

Downloading books from Amazon is a far lengthier process on this Fire than it ever is on my Paperwhite. I've zero idea why, as Whispersync is enabled on both.

Reading books is also different on the Fire. The pages slide from one to the next, you don't tap to turn a page. It's nice having colour for seeing photographic images which were black and white on the Paperwhite, but Amazon still needs to sort out a format for authors to use with their photos so that the images don't stick at small and unviewable.

The other extremely irritating thing my new Fire HDX does is disconnect itself from my home wireless and insist it wants to connect to a BT WiFi..........I live in the middle of nowhere, am nowhere near any public WiFi spots that I'm aware of, and it very often decides it will not connect to my Homehub, but keeps putting that connection as "Saved" while insists on staying offline because it wants to connect to this BT Wi Fi that needs a password. I don't have the password because the connection is not mine. I have MY password for MY BT Homehub connection, but the device frequently will not allow me to get as far as verifying my Homehub connection, sticking stubbornly to this other one that isn't mine! Meanwhile, both my iPad and my Paperwhite will happily use my Homehub at the same time as the Fire is refusing to, so it isn't any problem with my router or anything. This in particular is annoying. As you can imagine!

The free apps from the app store are way more limited than for the iPad. And they give you a warning message to the effect that downloading from any other source may screw your device up. I haven't dared try downloading from anywhere else, just in case doing so adds to the ever-growing list of Things That Go Wrong Or Are Extremely Annoying!

The last Mayday Man I spoke to listened to my gripes and complaints, and sympathised with them all. He said it was very useful feedback and that he would email me to prove that he had passed all this "helpful" information on, and to confirm that there wasn't anything faulty with my new Kindle. Well, that was over a week ago, and no such email has materialised. So much for that, then.

The keyboard on the Fire 7" is too fiddly for me personally to use easily or with my usual keyboard speed. Even with my trusty stylus. It's just too small and crowded. If you're used to using an iPad keyboard, you will find the Kindle's keypad works differently. Yes, it's still a qwerty keyboard, but it doesn't switch automatically between numerical and character keyboards when you've used a number, as the iPad does. Not a big deal really.

The Fire doesn't have the ability to finger-pull the screen to enlarge an image. You have to double tap to switch between different enlargements of text and images, and it isn't consistently responsive in this aspect. It often gets stuck on an enlarged image or text and doesn't want to come back to normal size again.

I have found watching TV on it fairly good. Not as good as my iPad, but then I didn't buy it for watching programmes and films on. The much vaunted picture quality isn't especially useful on a 7" screen. Buy the bigger one if you want detailed TV and film.

I find using Facebook on this device a bit difficult. Not only is everything too small to see clearly, the android app for FB seems to have a different layout from the iiOS app, which is again different from using Fb on a pc. Probably just a question of getting used to it, but I'll stick to using my iPad. Ditto pretty much every website I've looked at via their Silk web browser.

I don't yet know easy or not it is to see the screen clearly outside in daylight or sunlight, though I imagine it will suffer the same glare and flare issues as other non-matte screens do.

If you are new to Kindles, you'll probably love this Fire HDX, but if you want it because your old Kindle is full, be prepared for a lot of annoying difficulties in transferring content from old to new.

***As an update to that last statement, I have to add that even if you are new to Kindles and don't have substantial amounts of content to copy over, there are umpteen truly irritating things about my Kindle Fire HDX. Please see further reviews from me on this topic! *****

I really feel that the developers should have paid more attention to the details of Kindle's primary use, which is as a book reading and library (book storage) device, rather than trying to compete with other tablets. I'm sure a lot of people will buy this because it compares very favourably £ per GB with the iPad mini, but if you're after more extensive storage for downloading books, it's a faff.

As I said, it's a love / hate relationship. I've come very close to sending it back more than once.

Oh, and don't EVER bother trying to complain to Amazon's Customer Services dept - you get a different advisor replying to each email you send, even when you've tried to directly reply to one of their utterly useless emails. You email them, someone replies with a (usually incorrect) summary of the problem. You reply, reiterating the problem, and a completely different advisor replies, with the same lack of understanding of the problem you've reported. You reply to that, someone new replies to you.......ad nauseum. It gets you precisely nowhere at all using their Customer Service email facility. It is unbelievably useless.

One Kindle Fire reviewer said he thought the Mayday button was useless as he'd only need it once for any set-up problems. I think it's a really useful feature - even if their knowledge is limited and you can find better solutions for yourself, you do at least get a real person to help you directly, and not someone from outside the UK writing or talking tosh to you. I hate their phone help as much as their email help!

I hope this is helpful if you are thinking of buying a Kindle Fire HDX.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 9, 2014 1:34 PM GMT


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish., 8 Feb 2014
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An important book, especially if you suffer from osteoporosis, osteomalacia, etc, but also if diabetes, cancer, heart disease and other all too prevalent diseases of the 21st century are your primary concern.

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Comment Comments (15) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 1, 2014 3:06 PM BST


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