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Customer Review

1,370 of 1,530 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great tablet for reading and simple apps, 19 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Kindle Fire HD 7", HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB - Includes Special Offers (Previous Generation - 3rd) (Electronics)
I'm writing this having owned an iPad, iPad mini, Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite, Galaxy Note 8.0. I work for a software company and use tech constantly, so I hopefully write this from an informed perspective.

I waited to buy a Kindle Fire until a model was released that was 'HD' at the lowest point of entry, and that's what we have here. This is a device that is closely tied into the Amazon way of doing things and therefore requires that books, apps, music etc are all purchased from them. The price of this device is amazingly low given the build quality and connectivity offered. Buy a similarly priced 'normal' Android tablet and your experience will not be as smooth.

Look & Feel

The tablet isn't as light or as thin as an iPad mini, but it feels sturdy and is easy to grip without being too heavy. It makes for comfortable reading on my daily commute, but I imagine would get a bit heavy if holding it to watch a whole film. The device is solid - it doesn't bend, creak or flex at all. All the joins are good and buttons feel reliable.

The display is excellent. The bezel (black strip around the screen) is quite wide, but it does serve as a barrier to stop fingers obscuring text on a book page, which I found really irritating on the iPad. Books are easy to read and turning the screen brightness down from the top setting means I've so far not felt any eye strain. Video also looks great; punchy and rich.

A surprisingly great feature is the sound quality. This really is a nice bonus and compared to other tablets of the same size, speaker quality and audio reproduction is top notch. Not at all tinny; loud and bassy. Really very good indeed.

No camera. I've never taken pictures with my tablet cameras as they are invariably rubbish, only coming in useful for the occasional Skype call. This price point means no camera and a slower processor. Take the not very big jump up to the entry level HDX and those features are present. I don't think Amazon should apologise for creating a consumption-only device.

Software

This device is designed expressly to allow the consumption of media. I.E books, video, games, magazines. Amazon try hard to keep all of that content coming to you from their stores and in-app purchases are deeply integrated. It mirrors the ease of the experience on other Kindle devices I've used and actually works really well. My parents who are reasonably IT literate but struggle to cope with updating their PC etc find this kind of experience really simple to use and uncluttered with too many options.

'Free time' is a great feature that I thought would be rubbish! Basically it means you can set the device to completely ignore notifications whilst doing things like reading. On an iPad, notifications about emails, messages etc are distracting - so this is a nice feature to have.

Books read well and there are sufficient options for most tastes without too many unnecessary settings. The Lovefilm software is great, although to my mind the selection of titles is limited. If the option to download content from Lovefilm is made available (as it has just been in the US with their video partner) I will very, very likely subscribe beyond the length of the 30 day free trial.

There is a limited selection of apps available from the appstore, but nothing I've looked for so far hasn't been available. I want this device to read with and watch videos; apps are not the main purpose.. If you're really keen on a massive app selection, get an iPad!

Summary

This is a great product available at a low price. The low cost of entry is tempered by a lack of some hardware features such as a camera, but it works well and is simple. If you are looking for a low cost, high quality tablet that works well and supports the reading of books and watching of videos, this is a great choice.
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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Nov 2013 15:24:41 GMT
Pickle says:
Hi I hope you can help. I have an Apple Mac & my husband has an iPad. My question is if I purchase or already have purchased books from the iStore can I transfer these to a Kindle HD Fire, if so is it easy, I ask because I'm not technically minded. Thanking you in advance M

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Nov 2013 17:12:40 GMT
Mr. B. Park says:
Hi;

If you have bought books from the Apple bookstore, you can't download these and read them on a Kindle.

However, if you have bought books on you Mac/iPad on the Amazon Kindle Apps, you can download and read these on a mac.

It sounds like you are referring to books purchased direct from Apple, and therefore I'm afraid you can't read those on a Kindle.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Nov 2013 18:16:55 GMT
Pickle says:
Hi
Thank you so very much for your response. I will now be purchasing an mini iPad so that the books purchased through iStores and already on husbands iPad can be read by me. It means that I won't have to buy books twice, as we very often read the same books. Thank you again.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Nov 2013 20:40:09 GMT
JAH says:
Hi Mr Park is the dual band wfi function any good as sometimes i struggle with a connection for e.g. in the back of my house so i was thinking with a normal single standard wfi output that ive had before in the past say with last years previous Nexus 7 will the dual band feature be any better connecting?

Posted on 1 Dec 2013 17:26:18 GMT
mick says:
will the 8gb version of kindle fire hd be enough to store books on the device ? Thanks Mike

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Dec 2013 17:37:26 GMT
Mr. B. Park says:
Yes, book file sizes are very small and you will be able to store multiple books on it at once. You can delete and redownload at a later date if you run out of space.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Dec 2013 17:38:04 GMT
Mr. B. Park says:
I've not had any problems with the connection, even some distance from my router.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Dec 2013 18:02:15 GMT
JAH says:
Thanks alot for your reply Mr Park much appreciated. But do you know how the dual band feature works though? I mean the standard connection is 2.4 mhz but the dual option is on the frequency 5mhz does it automatically swith over when the frequency is busy on the standard 2.4 in my house i have quite a few devices running on the my homes Wfi thats all

Posted on 8 Dec 2013 19:44:32 GMT
Last edited by the author on 8 Dec 2013 20:39:35 GMT
J. Thompson says:
Hi, a very informative review. But, I am a technical neanderthal (aged 73).I would like a tablet for reading, occasional films but mainly accessing the net particularly for horseracing betting sites!! Would the Kindle Fire allow me to do all the aforementioned? Thank you in anticipation,
John Thompson

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Dec 2013 19:58:46 GMT
Mr. B. Park says:
Yes, most definitely!
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