Kindle Fire HD 7″, HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers Reviews

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  1. Michael Gallagher says:
    334 of 347 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Good Value for the Money, October 3, 2013
    By 
    Michael Gallagher (Houston, TX) –
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    To sum up what I will tell you about in the details below, for just $139 you are getting one heck of a deal on a tablet computer – especially if you compare it to the $199 for last year’s first-generation Fire HD this one is replacing and the $500 or more you can spend on a Wi-Fi version of the iPad. Overall, if you consider the price and the functionality I think this is a great tool / toy if you are a first-time tablet buyer, price vs. value is a key consideration, or if you are looking for an affordable tablet for the kids. If you’re comparing last year’s HD model to this version and last year’s model is operating fine, I’d say save your money and continue to get your money’s worth out of that one.

    My review below compares a lot of the features of this version of the Fire HD to the original Fire HD, but also some of the features for a first-time user.

    I will say setup was a literal pain in the neck, and I said a lot of bad words: despite being a brand new product, the Fire attempted to download and install several operating software updates. Software updates on a Kindle are usually in the background, but I quit counting after 13 crashes and manual reboots. It crashed during setup, playing a song, watching a TV show, reading a book, and playing Words with Friends: in other words, it took 3+ hours to get this thing up and running but after the final software update it has worked as expected without further issues.

    Screen Display / Video Playback:

    The best improvement in this version of the Fire is the screen display. Looking at the technical specs Amazon did not make major changes in the display / resolution, but the picture appears more crisp: I compared the viewing experience watching with my standard test – don’t laugh – the first episode of the Wonder Woman TV series from the 70’s. The display on this HD Fire was one heck of a lot better in terms of sharpness than last year’s model. For you technical folks out there, the display is 1280×800, and maybe the better display is due to either the type of glass on the screen or just the benefit of having a brand new device.

    Wi-Fi Connectivity:

    The initial Wi-Fi setup took some time as it had a hard time identifying the radio signal of all of the available wireless routers, primarily identifying all but mine. I had four versions of the Kindle Fire open during my test, and all but this one identified my router so I had to hop onto a guest network. After the final operating software update I mentioned above, however, it was fairly easy to connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi.

    My standard test for trying out new gadgets is to see how fast they run side-by-side with a known piece of equipment doing the same test at the best place of Wi-Fi in my house and the worst place where it drags. In this comparison, I had this HD version of the Fire sitting next to the previous version of the HD Fire, as well as an 8.9″ HD Fire, Motorola RAZR smartphone, my iPad 2 (yes, the Kindle guy uses an iPad for work), and the first-generation 7″ Fire (the model from two years ago) all just using a Wi-Fi connection vs. cellular connectivity.

    My “normal” website test is to hit the mobile websites of FoxNews, CNN, my personalized Yahoo page, Google, and the Houston Chronicle. The ones that were usually slow on the other devices and were still slow but faster than the other devices (Houston Chronicle and CNN), and for the other sites I couldn’t tell a difference in speed at the location closest to my router. When I went to the slowest / worst reception location of my house, the speed did have a noticeable difference in the other devices as this one was a little bit faster than all but last year’s model of the 7″ Kindle Fire HD, which I would attribute to the dual antennas. On the signal strength bar, I always got one additional bar – meaning more strength – than all of the other devices non-HD devices.

    Sound / Music Playback:

    The two speakers are located in the back of the Kindle Fire in two not-noticeable ports: one on the top and one on the bottom. My test of this feature was cranking up Van Halen’s Panama to maximum volume (I wanted to see if it could really play the guitar licks), and I would alternate covering one speaker up over the other: you have true stereo sound with no degradation of the sound that makes you think you are about to blow the speaker. The Dolby speakers sound nice and you do get to hear the bass. However, I am still of the opinion the speakers aren’t going to do very well being placed in the back as I am in the front: I want to be able to hear whatever I am listening to without really having to crank it up and disturbing someone else in the room (that’s what happens when you start losing your hearing like I am). While the cover for this version has not shipped yet – I imagine the sound quality might decrease with a cover in the back over the…

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  2. Nobody's Fool says:
    170 of 181 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Decent, inexpensive, entry-level tablet, October 2, 2013
    By 

    This review is from: Kindle Fire HD 7″, HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers (Electronics)

    This is the second-generation Kindle Fire HD but with an updated operating system and new features, a redesigned case (with the power and volume control buttons more readily accessible) and the power adapter included rather than as a separate $19.99 accessory. And all of this at a great price. When you consider the formerly separate cost of the adapter, you’d have spent $80 more just a couple of months ago for the same tablet.

    This is primarily a content consumption device, best suited for connecting to the Amazon ecosystem, including videos, music, books, apps, and so on. With the free Prime trial subscription, you can check out the Prime Instant Video options for free. The display is excellent, as is the sound quality and network connectivity. Note that for videos, music, and books, the Amazon selection is at or near the top of the list; for apps, much less so. Just about all of the top 100 apps are available on Amazon.com, as well as thousands of others, but if there are specific apps you need or want, you should double-check before purchasing to make sure that they are available. It is possible to side-load apps from the Google Play store on an Amazon tablet and a web search on side-loading apps onto Kindle Fire will show dozens of websites with detailed instructions.

    So what are the drawbacks? No camera or microphone, so no video conferencing, no Skype, no picture-taking. A little underpowered with a slightly reduced battery life and slightly higher weight when compared to the newest tablets (e.g., the Kindle Fire HDX has a quad-core processor, 11 hour battery life, and a 10.7 oz. weight compared to the Kindle Fire HD dual-core processor, 10 hour battery life, and 12.2 oz weight). On the other hand, you’re paying $90 less for the Kindle Fire HD so you’re getting a pretty good value.

    Also, like the other Kindle Fire tablets, as well as the Apple iPad and the Google Nexus, the Kindle tablet line doesn’t have a micro-SD slot, so the assumption is that you’re consuming content from the cloud. This is fine when you’re using your tablet with wifi; not so good when you’re traveling and want to load up your tablet with content for the trip. If the latter is something you expect to do regularly, you might want to consider the 16GB version. Also, if all of your content is on iTunes or on Google Play, you would have to side-load everything onto the tablet. As is true of Apple and Google tablets, there’s no way to automatically connect to the cloud storage of the competition.

    This would be a good choice for a first tablet for your child, particularly with the parental controls and the Kindle FreeTime options. Overall, this is a good value for the money and well worth considering.

    Update: I was asked in the comments about downloading Prime Instant Videos. I verified that I can download Prime Instant Videos to my Kindle Fire HD. However, that option is not available for all movies and TV shows. It looks like they had to get the permission of the studios and not all of them said yes. So, for example, I was able to download “Casablanca” but not able to download “The Avengers” even though both are part of the Prime Instant Video collection and both are available for free streaming.

    Update: How does this Kindle Fire HD differ from the previous generation?
    – It’s a bit lighter (12.2 oz vs. 13.9 oz)
    – It’s a bit smaller (7.5″ x 5.0″ x 0.42″ vs. 7.6″ x 5.4″ x 0.4″)
    – It’s a bit faster (1.5GHz dual-core CPU compared to 1.2GHz)
    – A redesigned case with power and volume control buttons that are easy to find!
    – The base version of the new Kindle Fire HD has 8 GB instead of 16 GB.
    – No camera
    – No HDMI out (but see the description above for details on how Amazon is providing a software solution for sharing your tablet screen on your television)
    – No ambient light sensor, so the brightness is always set manually
    – It contains a power adapter, something that was sold separately with last year’s model
    – It has an updated OS and updated feature software (but will not provide the free unlimited Mayday customer support feature). The software updates include the ability to download some Prime Instant Videos to your device and watch them offline, enhanced accessibility, enhanced enterprise controls and features (so better suited for office work), enhanced parental controls, improved X-Ray features, integration with GoodReads (coming soon), and the like.
    – It’s $60 cheaper ($80 cheaper if you count the power adapter) for the base model. Since last year’s base model was 16GB rather than 8GB, perhaps the comparison ought to be that it’s $30 cheaper ($50 if you count the power adapter).

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  3. 57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A 4.5 star tablet, October 4, 2013
    By 
    MarkM

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Kindle Fire HD 7″, HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers (Electronics)

    First off, I would like to say this tablet is a great deal for just $139.99. I tried finding a tablet for under 100$ that would just work properly, just to let you know it’s impossible. First, I want to tell you how I decided to buy this tablet.

    I first bought the 9 inch Dragon touch tablet for 78$ but to be blunt it sucked. It was so slow that the web browser would always freeze, even if I did a simple Google search. I did not want to take a chance with it and returned it after 2 days of using it and decided to give the kindle fire HD a chance.

    Exterior: The exterior is well built. No loose pieces, and the plastic is very firm. My previous cheap tablet had plastic that felt it was going to snap if you held it too hard. Of course the iPad mini has a glass screen and aluminum body, but it also starts at 329$. There are 2 ports: a micro usb and a headphone jack to plug in your headphones. The nice thing is that the micro usb is universal and finding a plug is cheap and easy to find. Although, amazon does include a very nice and not cheaply made cable/ wall charger along with your kindle. The buttons for the volume and power are a nice touch. I would not be surprised if new generation tablets will include these style buttons.
    Only down side is there is no port for an SD card so you can store more memory. It would be a nice feature but if you really need all that storage, go buy a computer.

    Display: One word, amazing. Maybe I am pushing it but the screen is so clear. I own an iPhone 5 and my eyes prefer my kindle. I love reading on this machine and for the price, amazon did a good job with this one.

    Internal/processor: I never owned the older versions of the kindle, so I won’t be able to compare to them. I can say that this kindle is not slow. My previous tablet took a couple of seconds to respond to my touch but there is no delay on this kindle. As far as apps go, I downloaded that deer hunting game to test out if the kindle can handle it. The answer is yes, and didn’t even struggle :).

    WiFi: Surfing the web is awesome on this device. I watched a tv series(arrested development, which I do recommend) and the video playback was great. It was very smooth and even when I went outside the video was fine. I added the outside part because my 2010 MacBook pro starts to get a jittery WiFi connection when I bring it outside my house. But the overall speed is in between my iPhone 5 and MacBook pro, where it should be.

    Battery: Yeah… I noticed the older version of the kindle was 11 hours and this one is 10 hours. But if you’re on the kindle for 10 hours, GET A JOB!

    Camera: I wish there was a camera and Mic in this kindle so I could Skype with my family. Keeping the price and size in mind you can’t really blame amazon. Well, at least the NSA can’t see or hear what I’m doing. If you want those features then you can always buy the better version of the kindle.

    Sound: I don’t know what the previous kindle sounded like, but this kindle has great speakers. I was in my room watching my show and my roommates(my parents..) told me to turn it down. I could understand everything that was said in the show and that’s all that matters. If you bought this tablet to listen to quality music, I don’t know what to tell you.

    Setup: I’ve seen lots of people saying that the setup is a pain in the you know what. I was waiting to see what they were talking about but I had no issue. When I received my tablet, I turned on the screen and connected to my WiFi. I had no problems and then an amazon load screen came up and I said, here we goooo… The load screen only lasted 2 minutes and it was completed. I didn’t have another one, nor did I have an issue setting up my kindle. My email, WiFi, amazon account, and other set ups went very smoothly without any issues.
    I am not doubting that other people had problems with their tablets, no electronic device is perfect. Either amazon saw that there was a problem and fixed it, I got lucky with my tablet, or maybe so many people were trying to register their new kindle and amazon servers could not handle it. Wouldn’t have been the first time a new product had its servers go down(obamacare, ios 7, COD servers, etc.)

    Bluetooth:Haven’t tried it yet, sorry! But apparently no one has any issues with it.

    SO, if you want a general summary, this I’d a fantastic tablet for the price. This tablet is probably the cheapest tablet that you can buy with it being dependable. There are a lot of cheaper tablets out there, but are only good if you want bald spots. Keep the price in mind when buying this tablet, this is why amazon offers a lot better kindles that cost more. This kindle is for someone that is on a budget, wants a device to surf the web,reading books, looking at photos, watching movies, playing games, and obviously “facebooking.” If you want something more “show off-ie” then this…

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