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12,169 of 12,435 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Thoughts (Typed Using The Kindle Fire HD 8.9)
Let me start out by saying that I am new to the tablet world and have had no experience using any tablets prior to this purchase. That being said, I spent a great deal of time fishing around through reviews and specs of what seemed like countless tablets for months. The obvious cliche conclusion led to all fingers pointing at some variation of an iPad, yet for me, I do...
Published 16 months ago by Rick Mallory Jr.

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8,660 of 9,052 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the Greatest Tablet, but a Good One
I wasn't really in the market for another tablet, but my girlfriend ended up getting one for me so she got me on this one. I would like to say that this tablet reminds me of the first Motorola Droid smartphone that came out several years back. The phone jam packed a ton of bells & whistles into its hardware and software to give a lot of bang for your buck. This is what it...
Published 17 months ago by D. Carlson


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98 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazon Kindle HD 8.9" Makes Boredom Extinct, December 10, 2012
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I have owned two Kindle devices one of which was the original Kindle. Both of which I have been very happy with. If you are planning on buying a tablet for e-reading and want some of the benefits of a tablet (Web, email, music, or videos), then the Kindle is the best way to go. If you are buying a tablet for business purposes primarily, then you would be better served with a Nexus 10 from Google.

For personal use, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9", is the best device on the market this Christmas 2012. It provides the perfect balance between hardware to power use, which allows the user to have a device that runs for a long time, 10 hours, for reading, music, videos, and games. When you add in the power of Amazon Integration, users are blessed with vast sources of books, music, videos, and games/apps that will make becoming bored nearly impossible.

Reading Books:
The typeface is amazing on the new Kindle Fire HD. There is no eye strain and the controls easily allow you to change the font type, size, margin, and background colors. Outside, the screen displays the page easily in full light of day with no glare. Amazon didn't include any frills such as page turning animations like you see with the Google Books or Nook, but never the less, turning pages is easily done with a swipe. Highlighting is easily done and seen by the viewer. Buying books is simple and can be completed by any educated person. The size of 8.9", in my humble opinion, is the perfect size. It allows you to see a real page of text from a book, which is great because it gives you the actual feeling of reading from a book. Whereas a 7' screen never really shows you an actual page of text . A 10.1" screen will show you a screen of text on a page but it is slightly harder to hold in your hands.

The only real downside is that Amazon continues to use their places rather than actual page numbers in many books.

Music:
The devices comes with two great speakers which allow you to play your favorite tunes loud enough to hear in almost any venue. The Amazon Music store offers great deals with $3, $5 and discounted music on any genre of you desire. You can make playlists to organize your tunes easily.

Video:
With a 1080p HD screen supporting a resolution of 1920 x 1200 you will enjoy movies all your movies and if you are an Amazon Prime customer, many will be free. The Amazon store offers a wide range of movies for all interests. If you can't find it in the Amazon store you can always use Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO or Youtube.

Web/Email:
You easily browse the web using Amazon proprietary browser Silk or you can download Firefox or Dolphin. With these choices you can access almost any site with the exception of parts of sites that use Adobe Flash which is no longer supported on Android after version 4. There are also apps for accessing your email which provide access to almost any provider. Please understand that if you are a power email user, you will have to use the browser to access full GMail functionality, which is easy to do.

Apps:
One of the first things you will want to do is disable the feature that allows only Amazon store apps. This way you can put apps like Nook or Zinio on your Kindle Fire HD. Now you have a fully functional tablet... But seriously folks, the app store is not as full as Google's store but for most major apps if they exist in Google's store, they will be published in Amazon's store too.

Hardware:
In general, the device feels solid in your hands. It weighs in at 20 oz which is a little heavy. The speakers are nice quality and sound clearly when used with clean country music or distorted head banger styles. The 1.5 GHz Dual core processor is more than enough to power this device for personal use as an e-reader or personal web browser and email. It powers the music and video with great quality giving the user High Definition on a 8.9" screen.

Screen:
The screen is amazing in that it is brilliantly colorful, has a great resolution, and is easy on your eyes during reading. With a resolution of 1920 x 1200 you will easily be able to watch videos in full HD brilliance and to be honest anything beyond this resolution in this size of a screen is overkill that is just using more power. The glass is strong, but I would recommend a case and a screen saver to prevent scratching.

Battery:
Battery life is great in the device and you could easily fly from New York to Los Angeles on one charge. The device recharges quickly when you use the additional cost charger which is a must buy unless of course you have existing Samsung or Motorola mobility devices that use micro USB in which case you can share the cable and chargers with your new Kindle.

Wi-Fi connectivity:
The new Dual Band capability is a big benefit as most routers contain G and N functionality allowing for greater range of connectivity from the wireless base station.

Memory:
With options for 16GB or 32GB you will have plenty of room. People fail to realize just how big a GB is. For the average person 16GB will more than do. If you are a music nut or video freak there is the 32GB option, but to make your life easy Amazon includes free Amazon Cloud storage for media purchased from their store. This is great because you can access your movies from XBOX, Roku or Google TV devices.
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199 of 218 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If You Really Want to Know the Truth, November 20, 2012
By 
Book Fanatic (Houston, TX, United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
First of all, people who give a product a 1 or 2 star review because of one issue don't get the point of reviews. They should reflect the overall experience so people can get a fair idea of what they might be buying. Secondly many people are dinging this product because of a lack of flash. Get over it people! It's not Amazon's fault. Adobe doesn't support flash on ANY new Android device.

The Good:

The display is outstanding. I cannot see any pixelation in text and even the tiniest fonts are clear and sharp. The HD video is outstanding.

The reading experience on books is far superior to the original Fire with a much more pleasing to the eye experience.

The size is perfect. 10 inch tablets are too big and 7 inch (including the original Fire) are too small. I love this 8.9 inch device.

I am not experiencing the slowness in browsing some are reporting. I have an excellent connection on wifi and maybe that is why. I would note however that I bought the original Kindle Fire and after a few updates to the firmware Amazon fixed many of the problems with browsing. The speed on this device is far superior to the original fire and it does have a better wifi signal sitting side by side in my home.

The bluetooth is a huge plus over the original Kindle. I'm typing this with a bluetooth keyboard and I love it! I have a quality logitech keyboard. Don't cheap out on your keyboard. I haven't tried a mouse. I also have connected to external bluetooth speakers and it works great. Love that sound!

Everyone and their Grandmother is complaining about the fact you can't install non-Amazon apps. OK, that is NOT true. You can and I side-loaded multiple apps that work beautifully on this device and some that looked awful. There are massive amounts of Android apps not available on the Amazon app store that work perfect if side-loaded. Side-loading does NOT invalidate your warranty. Just don't root it unless you know what you are doing. Side-loading means changing your default setting to allow unknown apps to install (See Amazon allows this!). Then get the apk file on your device and tap it. The Kindle will install it. You can do this in many ways, to me the easiest is to simply download them from dropbox or something like that.

The Not So Good:

If it wasn't for the hype the speakers on this device would be in the good. I was extremely disappointed with the sound quality after Amazon's "Booming Dolby" hype. As I've listened to it subsequently I like it better. For a tablet it is actually quite good, but frankly listening to music or a movie on this thing can't even begin to compare to what you get even with fairly cheap external speakers. The good thing is I can pipe it to speakers via bluetooth. Don't get me wrong, the speakers are tablet good but do not live up to the advertisement.

I have never liked Amazon's user interface. I much prefer a native Android interface. On my original Kindle Fire I installed GO Launcher but I've read it doesn't work on this device. Apparently there are some that do and I assume more will as time passes. Come on Amazon you can do better than this and STILL push people towards your content. There is very little difference in the interface over the original fire. Yes there are some improvements but they are incremental and the UI remains much the same.

The build quality seems to be good overall but the power and volume buttons are very hard to feel and figure out which is up or down. That's a mistake. You get used to it but that is going to bother a lot of people.

There is no charging light and that irked me because I like to walk by and see the green light on my original Fire and know it is charged. With this one you have to hit the power button and unlock the screen. A light would have cost more but it probably would be worth it.

The app market on Amazon is limited even compared to the original Fire. I assume that is because the apps aren't ready and that is not Amazon's fault. For example I side-loaded an app I have on my original Fire that I got from the store that is not available on this one. It looked horrible. We have to wait for the developers to update apps. This is to be expected and I don't blame Amazon, but you need to be aware of this.

Summary:

This is a darn good device. The reason it is inexpensive compared to similar devices is because Amazon sells at cost and they left a few features out. You get what you pay for but with this device you are getting more than you pay for because Amazon hopes to make money off of your content purchases, but you don't have to buy a thing. People need to quit complaining about stupid stuff like chargers. OMG, I have numerous charges that work with this device. Pay 10 bucks if you want a fast one.

It would be an even better buy if it had a rear-facing camera. Well gee it would cost more too so I'm glad it doesn't. Yes I would use it some but I can click a photo with my cell phone too.

For the money this is great hardware and a good experience. If you want a pure Android experience DO NOT BUY THIS DEVICE AND THEN COMPLAIN. Do a little research first.
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117 of 126 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 64GB 4G - Very Mixed Experience, December 8, 2012
By 
B. Kerr (Phoenix, AZ United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Wow, I don't quite know where to start! This is probably the most "mixed" review I'm going to write.
First off, I had no preconceptions if I was going to like this or not. This is my first tablet, so I have no pre-conceived notions on that front. In fact, I was quite determined to like the Kindle Fire HD, but after 2 weeks of one problem after another, my resolve is wearing down.

Please note that this review will also largely revolve around several Kindle Fire HD specific customer service/tech support experiences. I realize that they are not the actual device, but they have a HUGE influence on your experience with the device when something comes up, so I feel that needs to be taken into account too.

So, let's start at the beginning. My kindle arrived, and earlier than expected. It was great out of the box, until I tried to register it and it just wouldn't.
It seemed straightforward enough, and I'm reasonably tech-savy, but it wouldn't work. Off to tech support. Longish story short, they couldn't register it either, and an hour and two supervisor tech guys later, they managed to register my kindle to my account. In order to do it, they had to create another kindle listing, but oh well. They got it done - great!

Next, once I got into the kindle, now that I could use it, I noticed that it was showing the "offers" even though I had ordered and paid for without offers. Back to CS to have them turn it off. Should have been quick enough, but oh no.
Because there were now 2 Kindle Fire HDs showing, there was confusion. Then because for some reason my order status hadn't updated and my Kindle was still showing as not even having shipped, she kept on telling me that this kindle can't be it, because it hadn't shipped. Again, long story short, I eventually convinced her that I did indeed have the Amazon Kindle in my hand and that it was indeed that order - she set it to no offers and we were good.

I then spent a fair bit of time moving my files and stuff to the kindle, uploading and downloading from the cloud, inputting passwords, setting up apps, etc.
All that went well and I have to say, I'm loving the screen and the sound on this Kindle. The speed is great too and once I figured out some of the inner workings, I got it nicely customized!

That evening, in the middle of a movie, the kindle did a spontanous factory reset and erased everything back to square one! I have NO idea why - it just did.
So, I put everything back on. I lost a couple of hours, but at least it was at the very beginning of things - nothing I couldn't put right back in. Ok.

A couple more minor malfunctions came up in the following days, one of which led to yet another factory reset as "the only solution."

Since this is also a 4G device, I signed up for the AT&T offer. All went well, I got the confirmations etc.
By all rights, the thing should have just been working now, but I kept on getting an error message, saying the SIM card could not be located and to remove it and reinsert it.

Since there was no easy way to do this, I called AT&T customer service in the hopes that they would know what to do. They didn't. In fact, had very little documentation about the Kindle Fire HD 4G yet, and she couldn't even tell me how to remove the SIM card (it's not immediately obvious like it is on a phone btw)
Anyway, at their recommendation back to Kindle tech support to find out where the SIM card was for sure and how to open the slot.

I spent 20 minutes with somebody that kept on telling me that my device didn't have a SIM card! I kept on telling her that yes indeed it did, I even gave her the SIM card number that the kindle was displaying, and told her that all I needed to know where the card was located, so I could remove it and replace it as instructed, but all I got was repetitive copy and pastes from some manual she must have been consulting.

After she finally got that I did have a SIM card, she kept on copying and pasting instructions on how I can purchase the data plan, which I had previously already given all the information of, as well as the information that I bought it, etc.

It went on for a while, which led me to believe that she had NO idea what she was talking about, as everything was copy and paste and quite basic manual stuff and only vaguely related to my actual problem. And totally ignoring what I told her I had already tried.

Then we did the reset dance again.
Reset. Didn't help. Hard reset. Didn't help. And then she got to factory reset. Again.
This time I had enough. She kept on saying it was the only way and I'm sorry but my trust in that wasn't that great. This is the person who insisted my Kindle didn't even have a SIM card and now she was insisting that I trust her in believing yet another reset was the only way.

Again, long story short, I declined further help on yet another factory reset, as I just wanted to have some time for another solution.

Anyway, hopefully this may help somebody else!

Turns out that when the Kindle is connected to WIFI, it will say that the SIM card can't be found or may not be present. It gives the standard blurb about removing it, etc. That is a tad misleading. Basically, when it's connected to WIFI it feels no need to be "seeing" the SIM card. Once you get out of the WIFI range it sees the card and connects.
That I didn't know that is maybe not surprising due to my inexperience, that the error message wording is misleading is unfortunate, but that Kindle Fire Tech Support didn't know that is just tragic. This could have been a one sentence tech support consult! There wasn't even a problem!
I am so glad I didn't actually factory reset the kindle - again!

So I'm sailing along quite nicely for a few days and I'm loving it! This tablet is really awesome by itself and when it works correctly, all I had hoped for and then some!

I have now downloaded what I need for the most part, I have my work documents on it and ordered as I need them. I totally love Kindle Free Time!! There's no fighting about time limits, it says it's all done for today, the kids accept it and happily skip off to do other things! I don't have to worry about my son buying stuff because he can't get out of his area, nobody fights over who's turn it is - it's great!

Until last night, when all of a sudden a grey square appeared in the carousel.
It's a random grey square that is there instead of the icon for any given app or book. But it's not always the same app. It's truly random. So it's anybody's guess what it might be hiding.

I went through the usual reset, hard reset and all that. I deleted the kindle library book that I had gotten last, thinking that maybe it messed things up. Did the resetting game again. The grey square remains. Since I haven't installed anything that wasn't from the kindle store and approved for my device, I'm not sure why it would do it.
So back to Tech support I went.
And yes, you guessed it. After repeating all I had done already, the only answer they said they had was: Factory reset! It seems indeed a favorite of the support people. But it's all in the cloud he says, you can download everything again.
Yeah, in a few hours! And that's not even counting having to input everything again (passwords etc)
I can't keep on doing this!

So, for now I'm living with an annoying grey square and having to find my books/apps by guessing, but I've had it with the factory reset and wasting hours putting everything back! It seems something always goes wrong with this device.
Never enough to really render the device useless but enough for stuff not to run smoothly. And yes, it is entirely possible/likely that this came from some book or app and has nothing to do with the device, but since the Kindle is so tied in with Amazon and their apps and books, as well as their customer support, this is relevant to the whole package!

What's worse, I have no real trust in Amazon tech support right now and don't know if they just say factory reset because it's a catch all and they don't have to deal with anything else, or if it really does require a factory reset! I have no way of telling if it's a big or a small issue!

I would hope that on these more sophisticated devices with a large storage capacity, a factory reset is more of a last resort than the first solution to jump to!

So in summary:

- This tablet, when it works, is awesome!
- Seems to have a fair amount of little issues that keep on popping up.
- Amazon Customer/Tech support really needs to have a LOT more training on this to be effective with these new devices!

- My experience surrounding my ownership of the new Kindle Fire HD 4G has been very mixed due to all the above!
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95 of 102 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why I bought a Kindle Fire HD 8.9" and how I made it useful, December 12, 2012
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Posted on 1/7/2013, this is an update to my comments about the Kindle's weight that I posted on 12/12/2012. I've now had my Kindle Fire HD 8.9" WiFi 32GB with Special Offers tablet for one month. My experiences might help others assess their "need" for this tablet.

Many of the 1-star reviews of the KFHD8.9 remind me of the time some decades ago when a famous consumer reporting magazine gave a poor rating to America's favorite sports car because "it still only seats two."

When buying a product, I want to know what that product claims to be, what it really is, and whether any of it is of any use to me at all.

In December I thought I might "need" a tablet device. This despite the fact that I've never used a smart phone and I hate laptop computers. I figured that poking a screen with a finger is crude at best when compared to the precision, flexibility, and speed of a touch typist using a keyboard/mouse combination. Giving up a multi-tasking windowed environment seemed like stepping backwards a few decades.

I chose the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 32 GB WiFi with Special Offers based on Amazon's description and on user comments and reviews that persuaded me it could do the several media viewing tasks that I had in mind.

My biggest surprise was that Amazon seems not to realize that a 32 GB tablet is far more than a media display device. It is in fact an information and entertainment system. As such it requires tools to manage large quantities of information stored in thousands of files. Not acting on this fact is the same mistake made by so many when hard disks first appeared and transformed desktop computers from simple data manipulation devices to systems that required management.

Developing and refining management tools for the desktop has taken 30 years and is continuing. Hopefully Amazon will learn more quickly what it is selling. For now, the KFHD8.9 lacks the most basic organizational tools. Fortunately, independent software developers are working on apps that enable us to make the Kindle useful.

Here are the 6 things I wanted to do with a tablet, along with a brief summary of how I made the KFHD8.9 useful for each task.

SIX TASKS FOR MY KINDLE

1.) Play home videos for my elderly mother so she can see her great granddaughters on her big screen TV.
This finally succeeded just yesterday when another Kindle owner recommended the free app BSPlayer Lite. I had produced some mp4 videos of dance and piano recitals from my AVCHD files. These mp4's played flawlessly on my desktop PC using several mp4 players. I then copied the files to my Kindle using the USB cable. I then connected the Kindle to my mother's TV using an HDMI cable.
The Kindle Personal Videos app and two other video player apps stumbled where the videos included crossfades between scenes or where there were scrolling credits over a still image. The sound continued but the progress of the video display halted for a few seconds and then jumped ahead. ES File Explorer crashed completely when I tried to use it's built-in player to open an mp4 file. I assume there is a bug in these apps or in the codecs included with the Kindle that will eventually be fixed. Meanwhile, BSPlayer Lite is the only app I've found that plays my mp4 files smoothly.

2.) Streaming HiDef Netflix video to a big screen TV
This works well with no additional software. I previously used a Wii game machine (which is not HiDef) to stream Netflix. I connected my Kindle to the TV with a 15' HDMI cable that allows me to sit in my recliner with the Kindle and watch streaming video on my HiDef TV. This saved me the cost of buying some other network HiDef video streaming device.

3.) Replace old iPod Nano 2nd generation for listening to podcasts.
I listen to podcasts several hours each week with my iPod always connected to one of my stereo systems. Using the Kindle for podcast listening almost didn't work in any useful way. The iPod is well integrated with iTunes self-organizing playlist system based on attributes of each mp3 file. In contrast, the Kindle has only rudimentary tools for organizing podcasts and music.
Fortunately, Amazon had a 99 cent offer that called my attention to iSyncr and the free Rocket Music Player. These can be synced to my iTunes playlists on my PC. I am now well on the way to making the Kindle into a useful podcast organizing and listening device. This saves me the cost of buying a new iPod or other mp3 player.
The rave reviews about the Kindle speakers imply to me that most small devices have really terrible speakers or that no one knows any more what high fidelity sound is meant to be. These tiny speakers have minimal usefulness, though they do beat listening through iPod earbuds.

4.) Browsing the web when away from desktop
This works pretty well. The Silk browser has never crashed since I started using it. I have no more trouble with it than I do with Internet Explorer on my desktop PC. Silk is fine for casual surfing and quick lookups. It is utterly inadequate for serious research and writing. Especially it lacks a robust method of managing a lot of bookmarks or of keeping multiple tabs open for instantaneous switching among pages. (On my desktop PC I have some 2,500 bookmarks organized into 140 folders.) Clicking links with a finger can be trying on some web pages. A stylus was less helpful than I had expected. A severe fault is that you have no control over where Silk puts downloaded files. They all go to the Downloads folder and you need another app to find them and move them where you want them.

5.) Reading books and technical papers in many formats, especially PDF
I have never liked reading books on my computer and I doubted I would like it on the Kindle. My opinion is slowly changing now that I have loaded dozens of PDF files and Mobi files (all free) from various web sites and from my public library. The free Adobe reader has basic markup capabilities, though it's far less capable than what I am accustomed to with FoxIt Reader on my PC. With the Kindle I can read longer documents in a comfortable chair instead of at my desktop.
A major deficiency is that bookseller Amazon provides almost no means for organizing books and documents. Fortunately, on my first day with the Kindle I found the free ES File Explorer that enables me to work with documents much as I do using Windows Explorer on my desktop PC.
Some publishers do not allow network transfer of library electronic books directly to the Kindle. The file must first be downloaded to your PC and then copied to the Kindle over a USB connection. Connecting a networked device through a USB cable seems slightly ridiculous. WiFi File Explorer Pro costs only 99 cents. It lets you copy files to and from the Kindle over WiFi.

6.) Playing games
I am not a computer gamer, but I thought my granddaughters would enjoy playing games when they visit a few times each week. Having had to step up to their challenges, I am now addicted to several puzzle games, including Flow Free: Bridges, that can be played by 5-year-olds and by their granddaddy. I've also found that Bubbles is not so mindless as I first thought. It does require some strategy. With Go Free I'm recovering my old love of Go from several decades ago.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Getting started
Had it running in a few minutes, partly because I had read a lot in advance. The Quick Start card packaged with the Kindle was not much use as it was glued into its slot in the top of the box.

On/Off button
A truly terrible button. Some report the Kindle can be accidentally turned off when you brush the on/off button. In contrast, I find it very difficult to turn it on or off when I deliberately press the on/off button. Using a cover with the auto-on feature eliminates most of this annoyance.

Weight
Some reviewers think the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" is too heavy. With my kitchen/garden scale I determined that the KFHD8.9 with the Marware Revolve case weighs less than most hardbound books I own. Without the case it weighs less than many of my paperbound trade books, and it weighs less than my daughter's iPad. Weight is just not an issue.

Weight details added 3/2/2013:

Kindle Fire HD 8.9": 19 oz. (Amazon says 20 on their specs, perhaps my scale is underweighing by 1 oz, doesn't matter)
Marware Revolve Case: 13 oz.
Combined weight of Kindle + Case: 32 oz.

Hardbound books:
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: 40 oz.
Bennet's The Book of Virtues: 42 oz.
Michener's Hawaii: 39 oz.

Paperbound trade books:
Mutual Funds for Dummies: 29 oz.
Gleick's Chaos: 20 oz.
Crockett's Victory Garden: 34 oz.

Apple iPad (my daughter weighed hers on her electronic kitchen scale): 23 oz.
iPad with cover + integral keyboard: 43 oz.

Conclusion: Kindle with Revolve case weighs less than many hardbound books. Kindle alone weighs less than many trade paperbacks. Kindle alone weighs less than iPad. Kindle with case weighs much less than iPad with keyboard case.

I'm finding the trick is learning how to hold the Kindle since it is denser and has a different leverage than a printed book. It all depends on what you want to do.

Router
My old Netgear WNR2000 N300 router is perfectly adequate for streaming video. I did not have to upgrade to a dual-band router as some have claimed is necessary. CNet describes my router as a no-frills, budget, wireless-N router. I used the free Wifi Analyzer to measure signal strength and channel interference from neighbors houses. I was surprised how strong the signals were from some of my neighbors 50' to 150' away. I have been streaming HiDef video to a room 50' from the router without problems.

Battery life
The Kindle runs all day for my purposes of reading, light web browsing, and video watching, along with games with my grandchildren.

Charger
I paid attention to the advertising and decided to order the $10 charger. I don't have many portable devices so I don't have spare chargers lying around.

Recharging Time (added 3/2/2013)
Recharging time for the KFHD8.9 using the Kindle Power Fast charger depends on how low the charge is when you begin charging. Here's some recharging times I observed for overnight charging with WiFi turned off. I read the numbers from the excellent chart made by Battery HD:

Starting from 9% charged:
to 80% took 2-1/2 hours
to 90% took 3 hours
to 100% took 4 hours

Starting from 28% charged:
to 80% took 2 hours
to 90% took 3 hours
to 100% took 3-1/2 hours

From 33% charged:
to 80% took 1-3/4 hours
to 90% to 2 hours 10 minutes
to 100 took 3 hours

From a low starting point to about 90% charge is almost a straight line charge. After that the charging rate slows as it approaches 100% charge.

Protective cover
A case is an absolutely necessity for me. My one day out with the Kindle in the car (I only used it when I was parked) and at friends' homes was a bit terrifying.

Carousel
This is almost useless with its huge icons and incredibly clunky appearance. It's not even a carousel as it does not wrap around. It is simply a linear icon array with no management capabilities except using a long tap to delete a particular item.

File Transfer
Transferring files to a networked device over a USB connection is tedious. Amazon provides the Send to Kindle for PC software, but it has bizarre behavior, and I used it only once. The two PDF files I sent using Send to Kindle were first sent to Amazon after which they were sent by Amazon to my Kindle. Perversely, Amazon added nearly 3 dozen random alphabetic characters to the beginning of the filenames. Fortunately, WiFi File Explorer Pro is available for only 99 cents and it does a good job of moving files between your desktop PC and the Kindle without using a USB cable.

Lack of significant free apps
The Kindle world has some good free games, but other free apps can be more annoying than useful to the point that they discourage me from upgrading to the supposedly more powerful paid versions. Compared to the Windows world, the Kindle world has a shortage of powerful and useful free apps. Perhaps this will change as the tablet market expands. I have mentioned in this review a few good free to low-priced apps that were vital in making the Kindle a useful device for me.

Kindle is boring say some
Not for me. I've been thoroughly engrossed in the details of my Kindle for almost a month. I've had similar learning experiences with unfamiliar technologies over the 30 years I worked with mainframe, DOS, Windows, and Mac computers. It's never boring. (Then I just might be a geek, though a late adopter.)

Locked into Amazon say some
Hardly. I've loaded my Kindle with home videos, home photos, and podcasts, and I've been browsing all over the web. I've downloaded books in various formats from a variety of web sites including my public library and Project Gutenberg. I do appreciate that it is very easy to access Amazon when I want to buy something (though I prefer using my desktop PC). You can easily ignore the Amazon tools, though I recommend checking the free app of the day every day. The free trial of Amazon Prime was a revelation to me. I've never paid Amazon shipping charges, having always used the free shipping option that causes slower delivery. With Prime I no longer have to accumulate $25 worth of orders to get free shipping. Even the least expensive items are now just two days away with free shipping. (Yeah, there's an annual membership charge. I'm betting I'll come out ahead.)

Special Offers and Other Ads
These ads that appear on the opening splash screen are hardly noticeable, though some have displayed images that are mildly offensive. If some company wants to share sponsorship of my Kindle with other advertisers, good for them. People who walk around with advertising on their sweat shirts, shoes, and pants should hardly be complaining. I have not seen ads popping up randomly, though there are tiny ads in some of the ad-supported free games. Some free games do display full-screen ads. Turning off the WiFi has served to remove them during game play. With Special Offers on the opening splash page I've been surprised at the lack of variety. After the 20th display of the same car at startup I knew that advertisers don't realize that I only buy a car every 15 years or so. Perhaps the lack of variety means few advertisers are buying space on the Kindle.

Flash doesn't work
An endless stream of Kindle detractors keep reporting this obvious fact. Adobe discontinued mobile Flash some months before the KFHD8.9 was released. Many imply that the iPad comes with Flash support, which it never did. Steve Jobs published his reasons for not allowing Flash on the iPad nearly 3 years ago. Some credit him for killing Flash, though Flash's many problems, not the least being security and the cookies you may not realize it puts on your device, would have killed it eventually. Not having Flash is less of a problem every day as HTML5 is replacing it (now with support from Adobe). Others have documented the workarounds for those who must have it.

GOOD CHOICE AFTER USING ONE MONTH
So far I think the Kindle is proving to be the right choice for a portable device for my specific purposes. If I am still using it after 6 months I'll know I made the right choice.
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66 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's what I expected, November 18, 2012
By 
missa lou (Kennewick, wa, US) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Received my Kindle Fire HD 8.9" WiFi only yesterday and I am loving it.

Pro's:
-battery life is about 10 hours as is stated.
-charging with the power adapter is fast and easy, the USB is great to power it off a computer if I need to.
-The speaker system is so much better than it was on the first Kindle Fire, I don't need to use headphones or strain to hear at times.
-HD quality is nice and the images are clear and sharp.
-X Ray feature is great watching a movie and wanting to learn more.
-It has a camera that works with some free apps
-Free time will be great when my nieces and nephews come for a visit.
-Ad's are built in to the opening screen, so they disappear when I swipe the Kindle Fire open. Nice way to save $$. ( I can just ignore the "offers" tab too)
-Weight is good and it is easy to handle.
-setup was easy
-no manual sent with it, great as they always seem like wasted space and paper. I can just go online to find more info or use the Fire itself.
-Settings is more like other Android devices now, so I can move through it easier than the first Kindle Fire.

Cons:
-some apps are not supported yet.Hopefully the developers will create updates so it is compatible with the Kindle Fire HD soon.
-Camera is basic, lower quality. I'll stick using my phone or digital camera
-need to get used to the controls for volume and power, awkward right now, I'm sure I'll get used to it though.
-not as flexible as other devices when it comes to it being only for Amazon markets, but I use Amazon mostly and like to keep just one account for my devices.
-I wish the case was available at the time we received the Kindle Fire. I guess I have to be extra careful for a couple of weeks.

I haven't tried hooking it up to our HD TV for streaming as we have the ability to play Amazon Instant Videos on our TV and don't need to do this.

Been playing on it for a total of almost 12 hours now and still loving it.
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94 of 102 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars From a buyer of the kindle,Kindle keyboard, kindle fire, deluxe, hd 7 and the 8.9, November 18, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I purchased the kindle fire hd 7 and fell in love after one 4 hour flight. I have an iPad and love it. However when I travel the iPad is a little larger then I want to carry on the plane. The kd fire hd 7 was just prefect. Then I thought about the hdmi out. I totally hate that apple makes you buy numerous hdmi adapters for iPod classic, and iPad and I just refuse to buy another one. The kd fire hd 7 again was beautiful. The hdmi out was outstanding, or at least I thought. It puts out a 720p. The kindle fire hd 8.9 puts out 1080p. I have a 60inch tv and it makes for a big difference. That fact sold me into buying the 8.9. I'm so glad I went to the 8.9, yes sold my 7 on amazon and took a $49 loss. Just love the picture resolution. Books, magazines, tv/movies just look better. Don't think you can go wrong with this unless you're looking for a notebook. Great job amazon. Too, like most people I was surprised and extremely happy to get the kindle 8.9 prior to the Thanksgiving vacation trip. One last note, the kindle deluxe is also a wonderful ereader for those looking for a larger screen, however, pretty costly but worth it. Update- about to get the otterbox. Not happy with the price but otterbox usually have the best covers period! update- 1-17-13 I have had the opportunity to download videos and the standard video's look horrible on here while they look like High Def on the iPad. this made me take away two stars. when I say iPad,I mean the 1st edition not the retina version. Also, the battery life is less that stellar. I'm becoming less and less excited about my kindle HD. on the other hand the streaming and web search is amazing- super fast!
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115 of 127 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best tablet option..., November 19, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I purchased the Kindle Fire HD with the expectation it would be just a barebones tablet that I could carry anywhere and also eventually replace my notebook at home for day to day web surfing. Heck, for 299 and a 8.9" screen it was a no brainer to me. I initially looked at the very same 7" model and Nexus tablet, but the screen was just too small and it did not feel "right" on the hands. Being the past owner of an iPad 2 that got destroyed by my kids I went back shopping for a replacement. The iPad 3 was just too heavy and wayyy too expensive for the kind of use it will have. Plus, add the kids to the picture, I was not planning on spending over 500 bucks on something that would end up rolling around the house and taking the risk of being destroyed...again...So I took the gamble and went with the 8.9" HD. And after only a few days, how surprised I am...Now, I was always a big fan of Amazon, customer service is something I'd pay for and when you get the best price and great customer service all I can tell you is you got my business forever. With PRIME, this device is a full entertainment powerhouse, I have movies and games for the kids, music on the cloud, books for the wife, a great browser and an unexpected amazing screen. Watching movies on it is just great, listening to music another big surprise: the speakers are just fantastic...I did not get into the 'dolby' thing, as I thought it would just not make a difference on a small device, but the sound in LOUD and clear. As for the camera, I understand other reviews mentioning the lack of rear facing camera as a problem...but honestly, I had an iPad for 2 years and NEVER used the rear facing camera. You simply will not...I do Skype and that is the only need for a camera in a tablet in my opinion (again, different users might disagree). As for the charger (or lack of), I have at least 5 in my house (cell phones, iPad, iPod, etc, etc). I just plug my cell phone one on it and done, not a big deal. And if you are a PRIME subscriber, this device is a NO BRAINER. Get one ! If not, it is still a great take-along carry-around-the-house gadget, very well built, slim and light. Screen is very responsive, haven't seen any lag in the Amazon ecosystem Android wrap and the browser is faster than I remember my iPad being. Maybe I am just overjoyed with the fact I spent so little with no great expectations and got this pleasant surprise. I do have one complaint (so far): the power and volume buttons are hard to find and to a certain point frustrating...I saw that in the 7" and was hoping it would be better in the larger form factor but it is still something that needs improvement (Amazon, are you listening ?). About the ads...really ? I just skip them, so no problem for me. They are not intrusive as you my think, not at all. I am loving this purchase so far.
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Email and Browser Issues, November 25, 2012
By 
ChrisNY (Upstate NY USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
While there's a lot to like about the Kindle HD 8.9 there are a few features that don't work very well. First is the web browser. It crashed so much, I downloaded an other one (opera - and you'll have to allow non-amazon store apps in the Kindle settings to get any other browser - had to do that for dropbox and some other apps amazon doesn't like...).

Email is a disaster. After setting up about 10 accounts, they worked only for one day (sends but does not receive...). This has been a known issue for several months but amazon has done nothing to address it. Your only option is to get another app (K9 - free - is what I got). There's no problem with "canned" email settings - but all mine were "other providers" (godaddy and other POP accounts including my business email!).

Another issue is the battery life. You must have to turn it off to conserve power as standby still eats up the battery life (and this is with no automatic email downloads...).

On the plus side, the integration with amazon cloud services (storage and music) is very good and was one of the reasons I gave up my iPad for a Kindle. Just a note on opening docs - best to have a document app installed as the native doc viewer is really slow for some types.

All in all, after spending way too long setting things up, I'm okay with it. But if I had known about the email and browser issues, I would have gotten a new iPad instead.
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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From an Amazon fan, November 23, 2012
By 
D. Earls (Kingsville, MO USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is my fifth Kindle, starting with the first generation e-ink reader and coming now to the 8.9" HD Fire. Easy to say - you don't get to five without liking the product.

Worth the $15 to lose the Special Offers start-up screen, but in their own way the specials appearing below the carousel are impressive - they're dependent on which carousel item is in the main spot. I'm sure I'll tire of them, and my prediction is that there will be a way to get rid of them in the near future - anybody else remember how awful the first-generation carousel was at initial launch?

Obviously, Amazon is using this device to encourage shopping, but after opening my first book on this device and seeing it rendered so well, I was sold. I have a background in typography, and this device set the type perfectly. When type is set perfectly, it's easy to read and all you have to concentrate on is the book.

The double Wi-Fi antennas make this faster than any other Wi-Fi device in my household. Kudos for that idea. Sound is good, this version has Bluetooth and so I can use my already-owned Bluetooth speakers. All my Amazon content showed up as available for download, and in my case that's nearly a hundred books.

Screen graphics are great - colors are rich and details well rendered. A step up from the first generation Kindle Fire.

HUGE improvement in battery life. First generation was a battery hog; this one is WAY better. I've ordered one of the faster rechargers for it, so there will be a lot less recharging needs. The Amazon case is a great addition. It protects and shuts the screen off as you close it. Then it opens the screen back up when you open it.

I'm very happy a week in, and my first generation Fire improved over the year as more apps were released for it and older apps updated. I remain an Amazon fan, and just haven't found anything these people don't do REALLY well.
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64 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous Screen, Better Sound & Flash Work Around, November 25, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have the first Kindle Fire that I still use and love. I just received the new Fire 8.9 which I ordered without advertisements. At first glance it is just bigger and heavier. But it has more storage, has a better screen, Bluetooth and a cool mosaic photo display when in landscape position. Yes, I have read the specs and know there is more under the hood but I don't care as long as it works well. I do like the layout of the new carousel and favorites better. I also like that it is harder to move the icons around in favorites. I like to put them in my own order but on the first Fire they would randomly skip across the screen by accident. One big OOOPPPS Amazon made is with the new case. If you are watching a video and you have the cover opened to support the Fire in the landscape position you cannot leave it plugged in. I am sure other companies will get on that soon. I do love the magnetic cover that turns the Fire on and off. I was horrified that there was no 'FLASH' because I watch several video podcasts that are still in flash. However, there is a flash work around. Go to your account, help, forums on the right and type in flash for Fire 8.9. There is a nice lady that has that all organized for you. You basically download a free app (ES File Explorer) then download an old version of Dolphin Browser to the app and then the flash for Dolphin. It works perfect. Today as I watched my flash video podcast I was amazed at how good the video is on the new HD screen. Also, I actually think my music sounds better on the Fires so I take one to the gym instead of my iPod. I use AblePlanet noise cancelling headphones and ear buds and both are really really good. Good luck with your new toy.

April 2013 Update - I loved this Kindle Fire but sadly in December it died on me and I had to return it. I hope to get another one soon.
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