Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7″ review: does Amazon’s latest light a fire under the Nexus 7?
4 days ago
Excerpt: Amazon changed the tablet game late last year with the introduction of the Kindle Fire , a $199 7-inch tablet that – while limited by a slim offering of apps and lower-end hardware – really upended the lower end of the market and proved a dramatic success. No other manufacturer could compete on both price and features until Google and Asus dropped the similarly priced Nexus 7 this summer.
Summary: To put a review of the Kindle Fire HD in perspective, you have to peer just a tiny bit into the past. It was barely a week ago that the world watched Amazon begin a magical transformation from that of a humble multinational that retails every product ever made in the world, to that of a consumer electronics powerhouse that wants to bring the fight to Apple on the tablet front.
Pros: Terrific display, Ecosystem with Prime is outstanding, Faster performance all around
Cons: Software can be buggy and sluggish, App selection is still weak, For lean-back experiences only
Conclusion: The first thing users will see when they take it out the box is a very plain, very ordinary looking tablet. It’s unimaginative design is deceptive to the point of doing the device a disservice, as once you switch it on you’re treated to a rich and diverse user experience unlike anything the competition say they may offer. With both the Kindle Fire and Fire HD, Amazon has changed what the sub-brand means and it’s as a result of the hardware on offer.
Pros: Beautiful 7-inch HD display, Excellent stereo sound, Vast library of content, Affordable
Cons: Clunky, generic design, Locked to Amazon apps and content, No expandable memory
Excerpt: Amazon announced today that they have opened the doors of their Android appstore to nearly 200 countries worldwide. Previously it had only been accessible to those in the United States since launching in early 2011, and Japan and parts of Europe since fall 2012.
Excerpt: Amazon just introduced new lower prices for the entire line of 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD tablets. They also finally released them in Europe and Japan. Clearly the larger Kindle Fires haven’t been selling as well as Amazon had hoped. Amazon never releases Kindle sales figures, but the bestseller lists don’t lie.
Conclusion: Our bottom line here is pretty much the same as it was for the Kindle Fire HD 7: this is a good device for people deeply invested in Amazon’s products and services. It ties the books, apps, audiobooks, music, and other content together with a nice bow. Plus, no other tablets (except the iPads) offer access to Amazon’s video content. The $300 base price seems low, but isn’t as competitive as the Nook HD+, and that’s not even taking into account the No-Ads tax.
Pros: Excellent Dolby sound, Great access to Amazon content, Clear HD screen, Great battery life
Cons: Lockscreen ads are blatant and annoying, Amazon goes overboard upselling products, Interface is laggy at times, Limited to Amazon services & content, Amazon email/calendar apps don’t match Google’s, No homescreen customization
Summary: Final Thoughts
You know after spending a couple of weeks using the Amazon Kindle Fire HD I am actually more impressed than I thought I would be. This really is a sleek little tablet and honestly a tablet I would recommend for someone looking for a tablet to read, watch videos and do some web browsing on. I think there are two categories of people who purchase tablets. The casual crowd that use tablets to read, watch videos and do a few other things.
Pros: Powerful for its size, Amazon UI is perfect for first time users, HD screen, Tied into the Amazon ecosystem, 1 month of Amazon Prime included
Cons: Can only download applications from Amazon’s App store
Summary: The Kindle Fire HD, hardware-wise, is an amazing tablet. The build quality is good and the display is great. Even with its modest hardware specs, the tablet still performed well. Software-wise, Amazon’s UI looks amazing but sometimes feels confusing especially for someone who is used to a normal Android tablet layout.
Conclusion: For a brand spanking new tablet, much like its smaller sized sibling, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is graced with an inviting $300 starting price point (up to $600 for the highest model; the 64GB version). If you can somehow tolerate the Amazon centered experience of this tablet, then you’ll surely find plenty of value with it – even more when it impresses with its high-resolution display.
Pros: Even sharper looking display, Great battery life, Modest & sturdy design
Cons: Lacks the depth of functionality and the Play Store of full Android, Some sluggish performance
Summary: While the 8.9-inch Fire HD is no longer a one-handed device, those who plan to use it for watching movies and reading magazines will find its full HD display and stereo speakers to be very satifying. The built-in parental controls, while limited, will broaden this device's appeal for families. Our biggest concern is the occasional freezes and crashes we experienced. This tablet was glitchier than the 7-inch model we tested.
Pros: Bright and colorful display with wide viewing angles, Long battery life, Loud speakers, Competitive price
Cons: Occasionally froze, No memory expansion, Removing ads from lock screen costs 15, Power adapter sold separately