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10,505 of 10,757 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compare FIRE HD to the KINDLE FIRE GEN 2
Customer Video Review     Length:: 2:29 Mins
UPDATE: I bought both a Fire HD and a Gen 2. (as a present to my mother in law) My initial reviews were written after playing with them for like 20 minutes. I merged both reviews into one to really compare the two products. I'm still answering questions in the comments if you have any. And see the video that compares the two and gives a mini...
Published 19 months ago by clickz4

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4,145 of 4,506 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great product but they get you with the ads and missing accessories
My 7 year old son has the 1st gen Kindle Fire, and we've been very happy with it. He mostly plays games on it now, but we plan to purchase more movies and books for it in the future. My 5 year old wanted one too, so we just purchased the 2nd gen Kindle Fire for her. She had been saving her allowance and birthday money this whole year for it. We purchased one the day...
Published 19 months ago by Old School Working Mom


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10,505 of 10,757 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compare FIRE HD to the KINDLE FIRE GEN 2, September 14, 2012
By 
clickz4 "clickz4" (Metairie, LA United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kindle Fire (Previous Generation) - Includes Special Offers (Electronics)
Length:: 2:29 Mins

UPDATE: I bought both a Fire HD and a Gen 2. (as a present to my mother in law) My initial reviews were written after playing with them for like 20 minutes. I merged both reviews into one to really compare the two products. I'm still answering questions in the comments if you have any. And see the video that compares the two and gives a mini tour of the Kindle system.

My Background: I've had 4 android phones, I've had multiple e-readers and my latest 'touch' device is the Le Pan II Android tablet. I've worked on several iPads but never been compelled to spend the extra money for one myself. Wife has a first generation Fire.
============

The new Kindle Fire and Fire HD are the second generation color kindle e-reader/media player/tablet devices. The original Fire received a lot of well earned 4 star reviews. It was a great product but at the end of the day, it was a first generation product. It was no iPad slayer. The Fire HD raises the bar and raises it quite a lot. Jeff Bezos said they set out to make the best tablet available period and -in some regards- they did that in spades. In other ways not so much. (more on this below in the closing thoughts)

HARDWARE:

BUILD QUALITY:
- BOTH are top Notch. I didn't expect anything less from Amazon but they really are solid feeling.
- FIRE HD lighter and while it is about the same thickness, the edges are rounded more like an iPad. sleeker look and more comfortable to hold.
- FIRE GEN 2 is heavier and 'boxier' built to more fit existing covers I guess. It's heavier too.

SIZING:
The HD is just a bit taller but a decent bit wider than the Fire. --- NOTE pay attention to accessories because THEY ARE NOT THE SAME SIZE. The cover from my wife's Gen 1 Kindle will fit the Gen 2 kindle (sorta) but NOT THE HD.

THE SCREEN:
- FIRE HD SUMMED UP IN TWO WORDS Oh. My. The Le Pan, the iPads and the Gen 2 Fire all have great screens. The Fire HD takes them all out. I read somewhere there was polarizing a filter over the Fire HD screen. Polarizers reduce glare by only letting 'straight' light though not off angle bounced light. This makes an enormous difference to this display. The off angle viewing is probably the best I have seen in any flat screen. 6 stars.
- FIRE GEN 2 Still a high quality screen. I'd same the same or better than any other high end tablet on the market.
- NOTE A few people in the comments asked about the touch response. - I do not have a problem except in the browser, it is sorta too sensitive. If you move your finger smoothly you can avoid the jitters.

THE WIFI.
- FIRE HD I admit only the geeky probably care but the wifi rocks. I have a mimo router and one quick copy from my server and I was getting almost 30MB/s. To put that into perspective, that's about as fast and an external USB Hard drive can push data to your computer. (USB 3.0 will be faster but they are rare today) -- The other thing is that I have a long skinny house and when I'm in the back bath, the Le Pan drops off. (ahem not that I surf on the potty or anything, just when I test it, you know.) With the Fire HD I can surf in the back yard.
- FIRE GEN 2 still got 20MB/sec. But consider this... at that speed you can fill the entire memory in 5 minutes. Seems good enough to me.

THE SOUND:
- FIRE HD ok I'm a bit of an audio snob. The sound is fantastic for being a tablet. Which is to say it's still only marginally acceptable. You can still buy a $15 pair of Koss KSC75 headphones and blow the speakers away BUT I will say this is the first device I would actually listen to music on. The rest I simply don't even bother. I suspect most people would call the sound excellent.
- FIRE GEN 2 still have a very good sound. For the spoken word it would be very fine. For music it is lacking in my book.

SPEED: Both are quick with the HD being quicker. The Le Pan II is no slouch but I think the HD edges it out. Since the Le Pan apparent died this morning it's hard to compare. :-(

NOTE: IT DOES NOT COME WITH A WALL WORT CHARGER It comes with a micro USB cable that can be used with your existing USB wall worts. (ie your cell phone charger) You can buy a rapid charger for it or even plug it into your computer to charge. This is an odd choice from Amazon IMO.

NOTE 2: Unlike the Gen 1 Fire, (and contrary to what you might have read) the new Kindles DO NOT support flash. Rumor has it you can hack it to install Flash I have not tried yet. I'll try to run this down by this weekend.

NEW FEATURES (as promised)

EXCHANGE CALENDAR SYNC:
BOTH - Exchange on the Fire (both) just rocks. I really like the calendar app. The contact manager can't keep up with the one on the iPad but it is sufficient. Ditto the email. But the setup was easy and it seemed fast. Love it.

SKYPE:
- FIRE HD Spent way too long video skyping today. It worked as well as skype ever works. (long time skype users will understand that) yes it was glitchy but less than other platforms so no complaints. The sound really made a difference here.
- Fire GEN 2 I don't think Skype came with it. I'll update with a definitive later.

HDMI
- FIRE HD ONLY I promised someone in the comments to test this soon but I misplaced my HDMI cable. (drat) I guess I'll order a new one and update when it arrives.

BLUETOOTH
- FIRE HD ONLY worked very smoothly pairing with LG tone. (great product btw) I'll be using that for Skype in the future.

FREETIME: BOTH This is a widely requested feature that allows multiple users (i.e. kids) to log in and have their own customized tablet experience. It also allows parents to limit the time kids spend on certain tasks, like watching movies, while giving them unlimited time to read. Parents have been asking for this forever. (Are you listening Apple?) I wasted 20 minutes looking for it before I looked it up and Amazon is not shipping it until next month. The existing parental controls are pretty decent actually.

CLOSING THOUGHTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS:

If you're new to Kindle make sure you understand what you are buying here. Kindles are made -and sold at a highly discounted price- to allow you to purchase media from Amazon. Don't think of this as an android tablet, because it really isn't. Yes Amazon uses the Android operating system but you'd never know they hide it so well. This device is made (basically) exclusively to read/watch/listen to media you buy from Amazon. In that regard this device is about as great as they could make it. HOWEVER. The Kindle Fire (first generation) was notorious for not playing well with many Android apps. If you're a app monster or looking for something to replace your laptop to allow you do work on the road and occasionally consume media, you need to look at an Android tablet or an iPad. But don't let that discourage you:

Via Amazon Prime, you get 25,000 streaming movies and T.V. shows you can watch 24/7 unlimited. We dropped Netflix because Prime Instant Video was so good. Amazon gives you a free month with the either Fire so you'll get to see the value before you buy. (it's a no brainer btw) There are also over a million free books available for the Kindle. I try to limit how many I buy/download but I have over 100 books on my previous Kindle that are waiting to be read, all but like 4 of them were free. Also if you own a Kindle and subscribe to Prime, you can borrow one book per month from the Paid section. And big name books too... all 7 Harry Potter books are up there. If you figure that is worth at least 10 bucks a month, you're getting $120 of content per year and Prime only costs (I think) $79. Or looked at another way, that's $240 in content in two years and the Fire HD is only $199.

If you're new to e-readers, owning one might just change your life. I had probably read 8 book length books in the last decade. (I'm a periodical junkie.) I now read at least one book per week. I was a big reader before but I'm reading more than I ever have in my life. Many studies show that people are reading as much as 3X more when they get an e-reader. If you're a parent looking to inspire a love of reading in a child, STOP. DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $200. Buy them an e-reader.

SO THE BIG QUESTION, WHICH ONE DO I BUY?
- If you're on a VERY tight budget the Fire Gen 2 is a great product at a great price point. Coupled with Prime, you have access to mountains of cheap content.
HOWEVER. When you look at what you get for the small difference in cost, the Fire HD blows it away... You get a better screen, better sound, bluetooth, it's faster, thinner and lighter than the Fire. You also get double the memory, better wifi and over 2 hours more battery life. All for $40. I guess Amazon wants to make color Kindles as affordable as possible but I don't even know why they made the small one. I'm not sorry I bought it but all things considered, I would buy two big ones if I had it to do over.

I'll be taking questions in the comments for the next week or maybe more, so feel free to ask.

Hope this was helpful.
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3,117 of 3,255 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful product and incredible support from Amazon!, October 1, 2012
This review is from: Kindle Fire (Previous Generation) - Includes Special Offers (Electronics)
I purchased the Kindle Fire ten months ago for my daughter. Three weeks after she got it, it was stolen. Amazon worked with our police department to find the person who had taken it. Amazon first put a hold on the person's account and shut down the Kindle Fire so it wouldn't work. Then, once Amazon had a subpoena, Amazon gave the police all the information the thief had registered to my daughter's Kindle Fire and the police were able to recover it and get it back to us. Since that time, we have purchased an additional Kindle Fire and, just recently, a Kindle Fire HD. We use them like iPads at a fraction of the cost and the number of free books and apps available is unmatched by their competitors. Our oldest Kindle Fire (ten months old) just stopped charging and I contacted Amazon via Live Chat. Immediately, they said they would send me a replacement Kindle Fire and would also email me a printing label for free shipping to return the defective one. Their customer service is incredible! The Kindle Fire itself is amazing. The internet is fast; connects perfectly to all wi-fi; the graphics are clear and sharp; the books and apps offered are endless. My teenager listens to Pandora on it constantly. I'm always reading. My husband checks the sports scores. My young sons are always playing the game apps. We have them protected in KlearKase protectors and have found them to be well-made, quality devices. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a Kindle Fire to anyone of my friends and family.
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1,943 of 2,108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best value, September 21, 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kindle Fire (Previous Generation) - Includes Special Offers (Electronics)
I just received my kindle fire today. I had a hard time deciding between the HD, this, and the paperwhite. I decided on this one, because I really thought I'd like the immersion reading. I have an audible account and I've been reading along to the audiobooks. It's amazing how fast I can get through the books (at 3x speed) and I really retain the info. The immersion reading is super-easy to use and definitely worth upgrading to this. The whole point of the kindle is to read more, and this new feature makes it possible to read 2 or 3 times as many books in the same amount of time. I'm an average-speed reader and was able to read 4 books (with the help of the audiobook reading pace) in the last 30 days and one was the 800+ page Stephen king, "11/22/63".

I also tested out the text to speech. It's a lady's voice and much, much, easier to understand than the text to speech on my kindle keyboard. It also has many speed options and I think it reads faster than my kindle keyboard version. I am very, very pleased with it.

It is much more responsive than the previous kindle fire I'm upgrading from.

If you are worried about the free offers, don't be. I DETEST commercials and advertising so much, I quit reading magazines and watching television. The offers only show on the startup, no big deal. I already took advantage of a $5.00 credit for amazon video. I was able to rent two movies and it only cost me 89 cents, when it was said and done, and I was planning on renting Hunger Games tonight, anyway. So, so far, I don't mind the offers at all.

My favorite feature is the immersion reading and the text-to-speech improvements. I also downloaded all the free kindle books with the free audiobooks for the immersion experience. These are books I always wanted to read,but never had the discipline to just read them. Reading and listening to those books are worth the price of this new gadget, IMO.

Way to go, Amazon, for a great product and a great price!

P.S.
I have an iPad, and the last time I went on vacation, I left it at home and brought only my fire and kindle keyboard. I didn't miss my iPad at all and this new gen fire is even better. Seriously, it's that good.
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4,145 of 4,506 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great product but they get you with the ads and missing accessories, September 17, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kindle Fire (Previous Generation) - Includes Special Offers (Electronics)
My 7 year old son has the 1st gen Kindle Fire, and we've been very happy with it. He mostly plays games on it now, but we plan to purchase more movies and books for it in the future. My 5 year old wanted one too, so we just purchased the 2nd gen Kindle Fire for her. She had been saving her allowance and birthday money this whole year for it. We purchased one the day they were announced!

We've had it now for 3 days... and while it's still the same great product, we were disappointed to find (after receiving the device) that the 2nd generation Fire comes WITHOUT a wall charger (which the first gen Fire had) and has a whole mess of ads loaded onto it. My 5 year old can't read very well yet - she couldn't figure out how to get rid of the ads, and was constantly yelling for me to come help her. Also, some of the ads featured more mature themes (ads for sexy prime time tv shows, for example) that I would not want to expose my young child to.

To purchase the wall charger, it cost us an extra $20, and it cost us $15 to have the ads turned off. So now we're up to $194 for the Kindle Fire that we thought we were getting for $159, plus a whole bunch of time wasted trying to figure out how to turn off the ads, and waiting for the wall charger to arrive.

I am normally a HUGE Amazon fan, but this one leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Would have given the device 4-5 stars on its own, but with the extra expenses and hassle, I have to take it down a couple stars.

***Update Oct 10, 2012*** Interesting that many folks have taken my review as an opportunity to comment on my parenting skills. While I'm sure folks are "well intentioned" (sarcasm), I don't recall asking for parenting advice. Many have said it's ridiculous to buy an eReader for a child who can't read. Yet the FIRE is marketed as a competitor to a tablet device, not an eReader. The Fire does everything the iPad can do (except take pictures and videos). My children prefer to read books on paper. Instead, they use the Fire almost exclusively as a gaming device as there are hundreds of free (or super cheap) game apps for kids - including educational apps. They also listen to music and watch videos on it. I looked at it as a replacement for my daughter's leapster (which she is aging out of) and as an alternative to a portable DVD player and/or iPod. Several devices in one. As we are getting ready to take the kids on a cross-country trip, I will be thrilled not to have to lug around several devices that come with DVDs and expensive game cartridges that are easily lost. We will pack one device. Done.

***Update Oct 22, 2012*** Sorry, me again. First, wanted to THANK those who offered support and told me to ignore the negative nellies who suggested I was an indulgent parent raising the spoiled rotten brats of the future. Secondly, wanted to respond to some questions I've repeatedly received. The ads appear primarily on the lock screen. When unlocked, they disappear. For adult users who are used to dealing with ads in free apps, this might be something you'd be willing to contend with to save a few bucks. But this was a confusing concept for my 5 year old - and I repeat that the ads I saw were too mature for a young audience. Even after I paid the $15 to have the ads removed, my daughter's Kindle still received an ad to "Vote for Obama". It appears as a banner at the top of every screen and I have not been able to get rid of it. I am extremely irritated with this, as it seems some ads will get thru regardless.

Others have commented that it's cheap to buy a wall charger, and to quit complaining about it. OK, I see your point - but if it's so cheap, then Amazon should provide it. I find it absolutely unacceptable that Amazon would not provide a wall charger. I realize Amazon loses money on the device, but they do so anticipating they will more than make up for that loss in profit from the apps, books, and movie purchases. As far as I can tell, Amazon doesn't seem to be hurting. So come on, Amazon, throw in the darned wall charger already!!

Finally, since I purchased this item on Day One of its release, I see that Amazon has updated its product description so it's more obvious as to what the device does - and doesn't - come with. Additionally, the product title now includes the words "with special offers" (IMHO, a deceptive way of saying it comes loaded up with ads) - But I'm glad Amazon added it - now people can be more informed than I was about what they are getting themselves into.

I'm an Amazon Prime member - so have invested pretty heavily in Amazon. If I weren't a Prime member, I would have considered other brands over Amazon's Kindle.
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715 of 780 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Value for the Price and Improvements Over First Generation Fire, September 14, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kindle Fire (Previous Generation) - Includes Special Offers (Electronics)
To sum up what I will tell you about in the details below, for just $159 you are getting one heck of a deal on a tablet computer - especially if you compare it to the $199 for the first-generation Fire 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 an outstanding tool / toy. My review below compares a lot of the features of this version of the Fire to the original Fire, but also some of the features for a first-time user.

Wi-Fi Connectivity:

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 version of the Fire sitting next to the previous version of the Fire, my Motorola RAZR smartphone, my iPad 2 (yes, the Kindle guy uses an iPad for work), and the new 7" Fire HD (the Fire HD is in a separate yet similar review) all just using a Wi-Fi connection vs. cellular connectivity..

My 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 slow on the Kindle Fire (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 not have a noticeable difference in the other devices, except it did lose connection on CNN. Basic web searches on Google were all at the same speed.

Screen Display / Video Playback:

Amazon has made a few tweaks in the display / resolution, and I compared the viewing experience watching - don't laugh - the first episode of the Wonder Woman TV series from the 70's. The display on this Fire was one heck of a lot better in terms of sharpnessthan last year's model. For you technical folks out there, the display is the same 1024x600 on last year's model yet looked crisper - the only thing I can attribute that to is last year's model I have has been used quite a bit and maybe there is some decrease in the view over time or it could be because I have a 3M screen protector on the old and haven't put one on yet with the new. I don't know, it's just better looking.

Sound / Music Playback:

Similar to last year's model, the two speakers are located at the top of the Kindle Fire in two not-noticeable ports. 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 headphone jack is located at the bottom of the unit just to the left of the power switch and the micro-USB port. I don't like the placement here, as I tend to read books in the portrait mode (up / down similar to holding a book) vs. landscape mode, and the bottom of my headphone cord tends to "poke" you in the leg while reading and listening to a song at the same time.

Email Setup:

Email setup was very easy, but I will tell you I am using an existing app called Enhanced Email that I received here on the Amazon app store for free vs. what came as standard with the Fire. I did setup the email app that came with the program with no problem - it took about a minute to setup my main Google account - and I was able to send and receive emails with no problem. For those of you asking yourself why am I using the Enhanced Email program, the simple answer is like many of you I have more than one email account: you can quickly switch back and forth on the accounts with the tool. The lazy person in me appreciates that as I don't like getting out of the lazy chair once I'm settled in!

New Tabs and Screen Layout:

In addition to the normal Newsstand, Books, Music, Video, Docs, Apps, and Web tabs Amazon has added a new look and feel to the overall display such as rather than 5 rows of 5 apps per row on the apps tab it is now 4 rows of apps with 4 apps per row which means bigger icons and fonts (yes), but more things to scroll through to find what you are looking for. To offset that pain, I think that's why the added the new tabs called Shop, Games, Audiobooks, and Offers. While many of these are self-explanatory, there are a LOT of ads in each of the tabs - after all, Amazon wants you to buy a lot of stuff to help offset whatever the true cost of this unit is.

While the apps tab has all of your apps in the cloud or on the device, the games tab basically slices and dices the apps you have to be game specific - that's pretty handy and helps out quite a bit, especially if you have a lot of apps and want to sit down and play a game (although you still have to scroll away to find, say, a business app in the app tab).

What I think is a really nice new feature is the Audiobooks tab. Amazon of course gives you many opportunities in this tab to make purchases from their Audible subsidiary, but you also have a "Library" area where you can see your audiobooks that are stored either on the Cloud or on your Kindle Fire in the Device tab.

Reading Books:

When the Fire first came out, I preferred reading on my e-Ink Kindle and not at all on the Fire. That's because I think reading is easier on my eyes with the e-Ink version of Kindle, but I'm getting there! Turning pages is pretty darn easy - just tap the side of the screen to go to the next page or back a page, or you can swipe your finger across the screen to do the same.

Feature I wish this had?

The #1 thing would have to be a Bluetooth connectivity option. Of course, if I put this right next to my iPad there could be others such as the larger screen and a 3G or 4G connection option, but that's going to be in next month's release and I would call myself an iPad-lite user vs. an experienced pro so who knows what else I could be missing (life has been good so far, so I'm not complaining)? For $159, I feel like I am getting a lot already.

The #2 thing would be a plug / charger that connects to an electrical outlet vs. a USb port on your computer or a USB-compatible charging plug you may already own. I realize they had to cut things out to keep the cost down to $159, and luckily I - like many of you - have lots of these things laying around. First time buyers may not, but they might be in the minority.

Overall, at $159 this is not a great deal it is an outstanding deal. Kids will love it as they can read books, play games, watch TV and movies, and a whole lot of other things. Adults should like it for the exact same reasons, but while I try to minimize the amount of work-related stuff I do at home with the business apps that are available here in the Amazon App store and other places around the Internet I can also work on Excel and Word-compatible files when I have to without having to fire up my work laptop or whatever the case may be.
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342 of 407 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Charging Port Let Down DUN DUN DUNNNNNN!!!!!!!!, October 17, 2012
This review is from: Kindle Fire (Previous Generation) - Includes Special Offers (Electronics)
First I have to say that I feel sorry for the customer service people that work ay Amazon and that all of them have been nice even with the fact their hands were tied. I got my first Kindle Fire in Feb of this year 2012. For many months I enjoyed it with no problems. Then the charging port became loose and would no longer charge. Called Amazon I was sent a brand new Kindle Fire. Sweet!! I did notice the port was loose right away but figured hey maybe this was the "fix" to the problem. Two months later same thing. Sent a new Kindle Fire. A month after that same thing. Now another month later same thing working on my fourth. After all this I requested an "up grade" to which I was told policy would not allow it. Now I feel angry and DO NOT EVEN FIND NEW KINDLE FIRE HD APPEALING. I am scared to buy any Kindle Fire product after this. Super sad too due to the fact I may have to find a new tablet company. I loved my Kindle Fire but now I do not even want to open the box with my fourth replacement Kindle Fire just to be let down.
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437 of 525 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor product support, October 16, 2012
This review is from: Kindle Fire (Previous Generation) - Includes Special Offers (Electronics)
I've enjoyed my Kindle Fire for the past 6 months. Turned it on this morning and there's a large grey stripe right across the middle of the screen. Called customer service. The rep very politely told me that I could get a replacement for $100.00. She was unable to get my Kindle repaired under the "1 Year Warranty"? Very disapointed with the lack of product support. My Kindle is always in a hard sided case. I'm the only one that uses it. It has never been abused. Needless to say, I will not be replacing it with another Kindle. I'll put my $$ toward something from a company willing to stand behind their product.Kindle Fire, Full Color 7" Multi-touch Display, Wi-Fi
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57 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect size and great picture, September 17, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kindle Fire (Previous Generation) - Includes Special Offers (Electronics)
I purchased this product for my husband and he loves it! The price point of 159 was a no brainer and with all the apps and features on a device larger than a cell, but not as bulky as a laptop or even a ipad. Great!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised!, November 29, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought the Kindle Fire during the Cyber Monday sale. I'm a gadget girl, I confess, so I have a Kindle Keyboard, an Ipad with retina display, last year's version of the Nook Tablet, and a Nexus 7. I hadn't really planned (at least not actively) to get a Kindle Fire, though I've always wanted to try one. And, frankly, I love devices--love to handle them, explore them, test what all they can do, and compare. So when I saw the Kindle Fire on sale on Monday, I couldn't resist. And I have to say, after receiving it and playing with it, I'm quite pleased! Since I own several tablets, and spend probably a ridiculous amount of time reading reviews on tablets and studying specs, there weren't really any technical surprises for me. I knew what I was getting. And even though this isn't the HD version, I was still curious how fast it would run, how user friendly the Android-based operating system would be, how good the display was, etc. I'm actually impressed. It's fairly speedy, the display is nice (not HD certainly, but surprisingly good for what it is), and I find the operating system more user friendly than the regular Android OS on my Nexus 7. Yes, I know it's modified for Kindle and is more limited, but the truth is, for everything I do with a tablet, which is mostly using it for entertainment (gaming, movies, browsing the web, reading), I'm well pleased with this. I've owned several Kindles, starting with the very first one years ago, and I much prefer the Kindle store to most of its competitors. The selection of apps, music, videos and books is excellent, and the ease of downloading and installing them is a plus. I wish the speakers on the Kindle Fire were a little more powerful (though I do understand the HD version has better ones, so, again, I knew what I was getting and it's not a surprise). My only other real complaint is that it doesn't have external volume control. I had read many reviews where people didn't like that, and I don't either. I find it awkward to have to hunt down my volume control on the screen when I need it, but again, I knew this going in, and I know the HD version does have external volume controls. I wasn't bothered by the fact it didn't ship with a wall charger--I have several already I can use--and it does come with a USB cord, so you can charge it by plugging it into your computer (it's slower, but still effective).

I think every tablet on the market has plusses and minuses, so it behooves a potential buyer to do your research and know what you want and be honest about what you want to do with the tablet once you have it. If you need full-time Internet, then something with 3G/4G might be better for you. If you prefer a larger device, there are several on the market for you to choose from. If you want an HD experience, or a more open operating system, then you might prefer something else.

But if you're looking for a fun reading/gaming/video watching, user friendly, easy to slip in your pocket or purse, less expensive tablet, I give this a thumbs up! And let me also add that I like this so well I'm seriously considering investing in the Kindle Fire HD sometime soon. This fun, sleek little device has convinced me that the Kindle Fire family is pretty awesome!
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102 of 120 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Disappointing, November 22, 2012
This review is from: Kindle Fire (Previous Generation) - Includes Special Offers (Electronics)
I am on my 9th Kindle Fire and I've had enough with replacements of replacements of replacements.....you get the idea. When the Fire works properly, it absolutely ROCKS. No other machine comes close IMO. The problem has always been defective the battery charging port; it becomes loose (even when handled with kid gloves) after a short time of use and won't charge properly. With Fire replacement #9, the battery itself died after only days of use and will not charge. I'm done. No more replacements of this junk. CAVEAT BEWARE!

The good thing is Amazon's (usually) excellent customer service. The phone reps were always courteous and tried to be helpful; THIS ISN'T THEIR FAULT. So here's the deal I was offered: I can get replacement #10, or I can upgrade to the new Fire HD with 80% credit. Since I'm not a complete idiot, I took the HD deal. It's supposedly a different machine in construction. I love the Fire --- when it works ---so I'll give this a try. If I have problems with it, I'm headed to the iPad; more expensive, less bull@!&* so I figure I'll break even.

I have a Kindle DX that has always worked perfectly and I'd kill and eat anyone who tried to steal it. But the first generation Fire has problems; I can see that it isn't getting very good reviews. I really hope the HD is better.

BOTTOM LINE: Skip the "plain" Fire and go directly to the HD. After nine of them, I'd trust me if I were you!
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