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on 26 August 2014
I have a basic kindle which I love but wanted to update so that I could have a back light and considered the Kindle Paperwhite. I also wanted to something simple to use for travelling as I didn't want to take my Kindle, my iPad as well as a mobile phone away with me. I also considered upgrading my phone. I ordered the Kindle Fire on Saturday which arrived the next day. Great service from Amazon. I spent most of the rest of Sunday getting it set up and it is perfect for my needs. It has all my books and works better than the old Kindle in that I just slide to turn a page and I can change the brightness, depending if in sun or not. I can store music so I have something to listen to without bothering with keeping music on my phone or taking an iPod. If I can get wifi whilst away I can retrieve emails and search the internet. The screen is larger so easier to read than using a mobile phone and the Kindle Fire was much cheaper than replacing my phone. It does have an option to watch movies or films but that doesn't really interest me. It does have access to many games, most of which I am not interested in either. The resolution is very good though and compares favourably with my iPad. All in all for the price and what is available I think this is an excellent product.
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on 26 February 2014
I am a book lover & for many years the thought of even a e-reader was a total no no! For emailing, docs & apps I used my laptop. However I got totally fed up with having to get out the laptop, sign in etc & when going on holiday my luggage & myself were burdened with either too many books or to lfew to see me through the hols. I crumbled & decided a tablet it was. After reviewing the many tablet options available and also taking into account my requirements I opted for the Kindle Fire 7"HD and what a wise choice it was for me. Remember to take into account your own personal requirements & then decide. My kindle arrived programmed with my account details and was ready to go from the moment I switched on, bliss.

I know playstore well via my laptop and for my requirements the Amazon app store more than meets my requirements, I do not feel the need for the thousands of apps that the less than complimentary reviewers complain about. I was able to download the apps I wanted no problem. BBCi player, weather app, brilliant antivirus app etc all were smooth & trouble free installations.

Setting up my various email addresses was also easy & trouble free. Connecting to wifi was easy peasy.

Then there are the books & audio-books- well Amazon is the world leader & with good reason. Fabulous, just fabulous & downloaded in seconds.

For me this Kindle fulfils my needs & more, Amazon make it easy to compare the various Kindles & you can then make your choice. If the table you want is an all singing, all dancing tablet version of your computer/laptop this may well not be the option for you! Do your homework, work out what you want & require before buying, in other words do your research & I am sure that many will like me find this the perfect choice.

Can't wait until my next holiday. I will have more than enough books with me on one lovely little friend & yes I do still enjoy reading books in the more traditional format but now I have the best of both worlds a no need any longer for my mp3 player as audio books & music are also on this genius device. To date I have had no problems at all & battery life is very good.
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on 2 August 2014
I bought this Kindle to lighten my load, literally. I'm a writer, and have a full sized iPad with very nice bolt-on keyboard for all my heavy lifting. But day to day, it's just that - heavy lifting. I thought if I could run Evernote and a couple of other key cross-platform cloud-style apps on the Kindle, I could leave the iPad at home most of the time. As a Prime customer I was offered a discount, and, having played on my friend's Kindle Fire HD, I took the plunge and bought it.

How I wish I'd read A Cook's review on this page before I impulsively pressed that button.

Because it turns out a Kindle Fire HD isn't a Kindle Fire HD. And a man could be forgiven for being confused.

The model I received was slightly slimmer than my friend's Fire HD. Ah! Sexy! Must be the new model, I thought, and it turns out it is. However - and it's a major however - to achieve this slimming, and notably some price slimming, they've chucked a few unnecessary items overboard. Like the camera. And the HDMI output. And.... The Microphone. The microphone?? How much weight and cost did *that* save?!

Naturally, I discovered this the hard way. Having successfully loaded Evernote onto my new Kindle, and got my lightweight foldout bluetooth keyboard paired with it, and feeling all smug and excited I made some typed notes, went to make a quick additional voice note, pressed the mic icon in the app... and... nothing.

That's when I went looking for the mic, and after phoning my friend - "Well, mine's got a camera and a mic; are you sure yours hasn't?" - I phoned Amazon up to ask, because I couldn't believe that *anyone* would put out a piece of high tech media interaction equipment these days that didn't have at least a cheap rudimentary mic on board, let alone take it out of one they already made while keeping the name of the product the same. You kind of expect certain features to be standard, not only available with the (new) top product in the range, (which is perhaps what this omission is really all about). The customer services chap was great, and we arranged a return as I need to be able to make voice notes for my work. He suggested picking up a refurbished previous generation Fire HD that does have the features I need. We found one and I bought it straight away.

But in most other respects, the product in its latest guise is nice: it's light, compact, stylish and quick. You'll need to sidestep Amazon's protective policy on apps to get anything like a good range of choice, but that's possible. And it's quite possible that you won't need a camera or mic (or HDMI) ever. If so, this is a great little device that's definitely worth the money. But if you don't mind a refurb, you can get one from Amazon themselves for £30 cheaper (or exactly the same money if you're a Prime customer) that has all the above missing features, and with either double or quadruple the internal memory. I would, wouldn't you?

********** Lengthy Gripey Post Script Thought That's More For Amazon Than Prospective Purchasers Of This Product *************

I like Amazon. That's why I have Prime Membership. And the customer service department resolved my issue with this item in exemplary fashion. I want to make that clear.

Because after my surprise discovery and disappointment in the product, I went back to the product description page to see if I’d just missed something really obvious, and I want to call yah boo on the way Amazon's Kindle marketing team have made things *un*clear. They cover themselves, but it’s sly copy, is what it is.

I reckon I'm the umpteenth customer who has returned one of these, because tucked away beneath the LARGE PRINT special offer, there's a smaller print discrete little line that says "we want you to know... Learn more about design decisions and feature changes to help make an informed purchase", beneath which there's a larger, bold font exciting list describing all the fantastic features, and making no mention of missing bits. Oh - wait - the words 'Learn more' are actually in blue - I didn't even see it the first time - indicating it's a link to the things that perhaps Amazon really, really want you to know to inform your purchase decision.

And that link leads you to this:

"Kindle Fire HD replaces our previous generation entry-level Kindle Fire. It is our most affordable tablet ever, with an improved, high resolution HD display, a faster processor and longer battery life. Kindle Fire HD also has a new lightweight design, with a smaller bezel and improved button placements and is available with either 8GB or 16GB of memory.

Just like our previous generation Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD does not feature a camera, microphone or HDMI port.
Apps and services requiring a camera or microphone—like Skype and the "Mayday" button—are not compatible with this device. If these features are important to you, you may be interested to learn about our new family of Kindle Fire HDX tablets, starting at £199.

For a more detailed comparison of Kindle Fire features and services, please visit our comparison chart."

And even here, in this apparent effort to be clear this is purposely misleading copy.

"Kindle Fire HD replaces our previous generation entry-level Kindle Fire." Well, it does *now*, apparently, but up *until* now it was a higher spec different model. The wording pretends something called a Kindle Fire HD didn't already exist, a marked upgrade from a standard Fire, with its HD screen, and camera and mic for Skype etc. "Just like our previous generation Kindle Fire" is a sly way of airbrushing the previous generation Kindle Fire HD out of history. The phrase "you may be interested to learn about our new family of Kindle Fire HDX tablets, starting at £199" is the key.

And of course, visiting the comparative table waaaaaay down the page beneath lots of other stuff, the HD is compared only to the new HDXs - there's no reason to suspect the original spec of the HD has changed, or that there ever was a Mk 1, because the Mk1 and Mk 2 are not compared in the table. And let's face it, when a new version of a tech product is released, we do naturally expect it to be better, so anyone that thinks they know what a Kindle Fire HD is will not be looking here.

Even the topline description is playing the same game. "All new Kindle Fire HD" - Yaaay! A new model of the existing Fire HD. "Our 7" Kindle Fire, now in HD." Waaaaait a minute......

My point is this: it's clever copy on a difficult spin, but by purposely glossing over the fact that the HD has been dumbed down to make the new HDX more attractive at its price point, it's misleading. And it's just not... It's just not Amazon, dammit. I expect more from you!

Not less...
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on 28 November 2013
I have historically had iPads - first the iPad 2 and then iPad mini. However, the iPad mini was broken by my son who dropped it and the money that Apple were asking to repair it just wasn't affordable so we sold that as for spares and I turned to Kindle.

I ordered in the afternoon and received it the very next morning.

Packaging was not too fussy and the box contained the kindle, usb lead and power adaptor as well as basic instructions.

It switched on immediately and has about 40% battery which enabled me to have a good old play around before having to charge it up.

My immediate impressions were very good - especially as having had iPads, I found myself comparing it to one and it came up really favourable. Display is very crisp and clear. The Kindle is very easy to navigate, I felt again very similar feel to it of that of an iPad. I was able to quickly download some free apps including Facebook, Netflix and eBay. Better still as the Kindle was linked to my Amazon account, any books I have previously purchased for my iPad Kindle app were already loaded onto the Kindle.

It handles nicely - very easy to sit comfortably for a while and read without feeling any strain.
I use it mainly for reading and Netflix and the display and sound on the Kindle is brilliant. Best of all it fits perfectly in my bag!
I generally have to charge the Kindle about every 3 days – seems to hold its battery well even after watching Netflix for a couple of hours.

Having had iPads at £300+ and paying just £129 for the Kindle, I am absolutely delighted.
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on 19 November 2013
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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on 30 October 2013
I got this as a birthday present from my parents at the beginning of the month along with a £50 Amazon gift voucher. Now don't get me wrong, I love reading, but as a 14 year old girl, I spend more time on the internet than reading. Before my parents bought me the kindle fire hd, if you had asked me which would you prefer Ipad 3 or Kindle Fire HD, I would have gone with Ipad air since my dad is a big Apple user and I had no previous experiences with Kindles.

But now I have tried it, I would favour the Kindle Fire over the Ipad 3 any day. I love everything about it. It has brilliant sound, I have found myself starting to slowly read a lot more on it, the web pages load quicker than on the Ipad and as for the connection it connects from all rooms in the house which the Ipad fails to do.

I would definitely recommend getting someone a Kindle Fire, even if they don't like reading. It works brilliant for all purposes. I am a very happy Amazon customer once again and am very pleasantly surprised!
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on 6 March 2014
Wondered how i would get on with this as i am over 80, but i am delighted to say i love it. Thanks for quick delivery as well.
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on 11 December 2013
I never wanted a kindle have put it off for few years now, because i like a proper book,but was
running out of room to put them, so i gave in and bought 1,and i love it the books are just as cheap as in shops best thing i have bought
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on 6 December 2013
Anyone familiar with previous versions of the Fire HD will know it was one of the most cost effective and simple to use devices capable of making HD Skype calls. However, if you buy the latest "upgrade" you will find no camera and no support for Skype as Amazon have, for some bizarre reason, chosen to remove both in the current version. Amazon have also chosen to not mention this omission in the description of the new version and don't even seem to have told their own technical support staff. (2 days ago I was on line to an Amazon Kindle "expert" who spent 20 minutes trying to explain how to install Skype before finally acknowledging that this particular device can't support it.)

It may still be a good tablet for the price but I only bought it to send to Granny as a simple to use Skype device so mine has gone back into the packaging and is on its way back.

Shame on you Amazon for not being above board about this!
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on 5 December 2013
My partner bought this item for me as a birthday gift which I received today (on my birthday).

He bought it in good faith knowing that I would love it for reading but also because I would love a tablet to skype from.

After waiting an age for the software to update, downloading a few apps and playing around with it, I thought it was a pretty good buy at first.

Then I picked it up from having been locked/on standby and saw the ugly ads on the screen. Amazon will have you believe that these are "Special offers" for your benefit, but I assure you that they are not. It is a brazen (and frankly, insulting) attempt at peddling advertising for free. I was furious. But even if I was prepared to overlook this, it gets worse...

Next, when I went looking for the Skype app to begin contacting people, I could find no trace of the app, nor the camera. All attempts to download it from the App Store were met with an error message telling me that Skype was not compatible with my device. Imagine my confusion! The first generation Kindle Fire HD has a camera. This is supposedly the new and improved version, so surely it does also, right? The Skype website also explicitly states that ALL Kindle Fire HDs come with Skype pre-installed, so how can it be that it's not there?

Well... Apparently the geniuses at Amazon thought it would make good business sense to remove an integral feature such as the camera from the next generation of the Kindle Fire HD and NOT make this explicitly clear. In fact, they fail to mention it at all. Yes, In the modern world of Skype, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and with all their competitors such as Apple, Samsung, Nook, Hudl etc working tirelessly to produce better products with HD cameras, they thought this sounded like a grand plan. Moronic? I think so. I wonder what they will do with all the opened and returned kindles they'll get back when people catch on and return them? That will be interesting indeed.

So anyway, if you want a camera, you can choose from either the older slower version, or shell out 2 or 3 times the price for a HDX. All the various sources that tell you that ALL Kindle Fire HDs come with Skype installed and a camera (Including the Amazon.com website itself!) are misleading you.

My brand new Kindle Fire HD is already packed back in its box and ready for return in the morning.

Fail, Amazon, epic fail.
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