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on September 14, 2012
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)


- 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.

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.

- 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.

- 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.

- 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)

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.

- 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.

- 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.

- 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.


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.

- 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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on October 1, 2012
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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on September 17, 2012
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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on September 21, 2012
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!

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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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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I wanted to get a Kindle Fire for my grandson and since I have owned one for over a year I felt the quality was good as well as the functionality of the tablet. Amazon had a one day sale and I picked up one of the new Kindle Fires for $129. I also had seen that many people are having problems setting up their new kindle Fires so I thought I would put together a video review that covers the basic set up, security, pros, cons, comments and a comparison of the old Kindle Fire and this new version.

I you have a question please send me a comment and I will try to help you as best as possible.

Kindle Fire included items:

* USB to micro USB cable 5 feet long
* Kindle Fire
* Simple instruction sheet


* Set up of email was fast and easy and within a few minutes I had all my emails downloaded from two accounts downloading the last 25 emails from each account.
* One of the nice features of the new Kindle Fire second-generation is we did get text to speech back for our eBooks.
* Amazon claims a second-generation is 40% faster than the original so far I've been unable to see any real differences but I do notice the typing seems to be more fluid.
* The new Kindle Fire has a battery life of 9 hours and the first version was 7.5 to 8 hours.
* It comes with a USB to a micro USB cable that is 5 feet long


* One of the problems I found so far is that the Amazon Kindle Fire second-generation does not accept flash player video files so you cannot play videos from websites. This includes the video reviews on Amazon. To me this is one of the serious losses on the Kindle Fire second-generation and one of the reasons I purchased a Kindle Fire to begin with. This is not Amazon's fault as the developer (Adobe) of Flash Player has decided not to allow Flash Player to be installed on new devices and have put all of their efforts into Adobe Air for mobile devices. There is no word yet what this means for Amazon's new Kindle Fires.
* Amazon claims that the second-generation has twice the memory than the first generation this is only true regarding the onboard one gigabyte of RAM. The actual user memory is still 8 gigabytes.
* Amazon states that the device has 8 GB of memory but that is misleading because upon receiving the new device it only has 5.51 GB of space available. Even that number is misleading since part of the memory is still used for other programs that you're not allowed to see.
* No AC wall adapter is included with the new Kindle Fire this is a major PITA. You have to remember to place the AC adapter on the same order as your Kindle to get it for $9.99 or buy it later for $19.99. Get it as your device will charge with 1.8 Amps versus 500 ma from your PC. This means that it will charge 3.6 times faster!

Old versus new Kindle Fire:

Display - both the old and the new Kindle Fire are the same display with 600 x 1024 pixels and 169 dpi density.

Weight original 14.6 ounces versus new 14.1 ounces.

DC power input connector for both is a Micro USB -B.

AC wall adapter - included with Original and the new version requires that you purchase one for $9.99 at the same time you purchase your Kindle fire or pay $19.99 if you wait.

Device user storage - both at 8 GIG

Usable storage - slightly less than 6 GIG available for the uses purposes on both.

Battery life - original 8 hours of reading or 7.5 hours of video playback with WIFI off, new is rated at 9 hours with WIFI on. Please note that Amazon's product page say 9 hours and 8.5 hours on the same basic page for the battery life.

Charging time - old required 4 hours and new requires 3.3 hours.

Audio output jack - stereo on both with a 3.5 mm jack port.

Size - old 7.5" x 4.8" x 0.38", new 7.44" x 4.72" x 0.45

40 % faster CPU - new only

Ram - old was 500 MB and new is 1 GIG.

Built in Amazon ads - old no and new included and requires 15$ payment to remove them.

X-ray for movies - original not available and the new yes it is available.

X-ray for books - original not available and the new yes it is available. I tried it for 5 books and the kindle advised me that it was not available for 5 out of 5 books.

Text to speech conversion - old version not available and yes it is in the new version. It should be made retroactive to the old version by Amazon and so far it is not even mentioned.

New version of Amazon Silk with 30% faster download of web pages - old version no and new version yes.

Kindle FreeTime for Kids - no for old version and yes for new version.


* Facebook took an extraordinary amount of time to set-up as I lost the connection to the Wi-Fi. I had to restart the Kindle Fire by doing a cold start to finish the process. Many people have complained of this occurring and I experienced the same problem. All of my other WIFI devices worked except for the new Kindle Fire.
* Set up of email was fast and easy and within a few minutes I had all my emails downloaded for two separate accounts. I used the EE Mail app which I own.
* I have over 750 books from Amazon and it was one of the biggest time-consuming tasks. I had to download them one at a time and wait for them to be loaded onto the new device. Since the Kindle Fire can literally hold thousands of eBooks I don't understand why you can't have a selection to download them all in one step instead of having to tap each book which is time consuming for 750 books.
* One thing that I found interesting with the new storage details is that one audiobook download with the reader took 526.02 MB of memory while over 750 books only took 415.6 MB of memory. This is a dramatic difference in capacity if you listen to audiobooks alot.
* I was disappointed to find out that across the bottom of the home screen for of every item (Book or App) I pull-up is a list of other items that customers have purchased. This makes the advertising from Amazon even show up on the main page. It's not in the lower left-hand corner as suggested but covers the whole bottom 1 1/2 inches of the main screen that was used for my favorites on my generation 1 Kindle. I was under the impression that the ads were only on the screen before you enter your password. The page on Amazon that shows those same customer suggestions has the words "Customers Also Brought" blacked out and I thought that in the picture on Amazon's promotion page the items shown were the user's favorites and not pushed ads for every item they own.
* In testing the Internet speed in side-by-side comparisons of the old generation one to generation two the response to the get to the webpage is identical. Perhaps the Silk program had not had time to optimize its improvements using my commonly visited web pages.
* Instead of having your favorites aligned across the bottom of the home screen there is a star in the lower right-hand corner of the screen and touching the star allows your favorites to pop up.
* The new Kindle charges in 3.3 hours versus 4 hours for the old one.
* One thing I do miss from the original Kindle is the original Kindle keyboard in the lower left-hand corner had a down keyboard tab to hide the keyboard. This is completely missing on the new Kindle Fire. It's not important that it's missing it's just something I got used to using and now I always look for it.
* One of the nice things that is added is a new calendar app it wasn't really available in the same form on the original Kindle. I haven't used it since I use my Kindle Fire as an entertainment device but you can sync your calendars with the Kindle wirelessly.
* There is also new app called FreeTime which allows a parent to set up the Kindle Fire for a child and limit the type of content they will be able to see. You can limit games, videos and books and also you can set up a time limit they can use the Kindle Fire each day so they don't use it too much. You can even program it to be able to have unlimited reading time but limit the games and videos for example.
* One thing about the Wi-Fi is I have two Kindle Fires sitting side-by-side in the same room with a 1000 milli-watt Wi-Fi transmitter which is 40 times more powerful than most WIFI transmitters. The new Kindle Fire only has two bars and the old Kindle fire has four. They both work at the same speed it just seems unusual to see both of them with different readings. They are exposed to the same signal strength of the transmitter. The new unit is seeing the same signal strength per an app called WIFI Analyzer so perhaps the software for the bar indicator is just not set up properly. I am seeing a -45 dBm signal strength with is massive and the bars should all be at max level.
* The new Kindle is ever so slightly larger but it still fits in my same case which makes me happy.
* I dislike the claim that there's no computer necessary when the first thing you have to do with your new Kindle Fire is to charge it. If you don't have an extra power supply that has a USB port you have to use a computer.
* The new Kindle Fire does support a few more variations of content and you should compare the list to make sure your requirements are included.
* The new Kindle's sound system is louder and crisper with more bass. It is an improvement over the older version.

I am sure I missed many details that may make some people unhappy. I tried to be as thorough as possible. Please take the time to watch my video that I included. It may help you set up your Kindle Fire.

Over all this is a good product and I rate it as a 4 star product. Where else can you buy a tablet for $129 with all the capabilities and features that this one has? I have over 400 apps on my Kindle or in the cloud and 98% of them were free from Amazon's free app of the day program. These kinds of perks make the Kindle a good buy.

Here is the link to the powerful WIFI Analyzer app that you should download. It is an extremely valuable and useful trouble shooting tool:

Wi-Fi Analyzer

Here a link to the Amazon PowerFast charger, make sure that you order it!

Amazon Kindle PowerFast for Accelerated Charging (not included with device, for use with the new Kindle Fire or Kindle Fire HD models)
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on September 21, 2012
I have the last kindle fire and thought it was good but this new kindle fire is great. I like the look and feel it's much faster and was set up when I recieved it out of box impressive. The screen is very clear and the Icons are set up better than the last. This is the only tablet I think necessary. I own an Ipad and its nowhere near as user friendly and its too bulky, I like that I can see videos without worry. Great buy. Would do it all over again, and the packaging was too cool and cute.
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on October 16, 2012
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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on September 20, 2012
i ordered the 2nd gen kindle fire 7" and 7" HD plus the square trade warranty and leather cover but unchecked the box for the $9.99 power charge. when my kindle fires arrived and i saw there was just a usb cord, i expected that amazon would help me get the charger needed for the $9.99 it would have cost if i had bought it as part of the package. they did gladly and quickly... so everyone, just go on to help and live chat and you'll get a $10 "promotion certificate." new buyers, you MUST buy the $9.99 power charger WITH the kindle fire.

i must agree with other reviewers that i was dismayed to see all the screens of ads...and i hope amazon decides to stop that.

the amazing thing to me - especially for kids learning to read is being able to go to the Aa setting and set "text-to-speech" and have the book read to you! anyone can learn to read by themselves, look up definitions of words they don't know. the barbara bush literacy foundation should be promoting this like crazy!

also the "immersion reading" of being able to synch up the text with an recording is probably incredible. again, especially for kids learning to read.

i like the feel of the $159 model better than the $199 model which feels like a mini ipad more than like a kindle.

but these are all great, shockingly a good value to read free downloadable classics and childrens classic literature,to listen to a book being read to access Khan Academy math and science tutorials.

also check out the jigzone website... a free jigsaw puzzle site with 100s of pictures and a choice of 6-247 pieces in different cuts: classic,tetris, polygons, euros,the 48 states... with 100s of free books downloadable, being able to fall asleep with someone reading to you (tired parents AND kids) and being able to do puzzles,play scrabble on [...]..a kindle fire costs just $1 per fun thing to do! amazing.
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on September 27, 2012
Got my Kindle Fire about a month ago for going back to school. Right out of the box I loved it. Got it a pretty case and screen protector and immediately stuck it in there before ever even powering it on.

Right out of the box it had issues. The touch screen would sometimes not recognize my touch. I'd have to turn the screen on and off again several times to even unlock the dumb thing. I had read about it, and I never thought it could have been THAT bad.. but it was.

But I kept it.. and read some books. Started some really fun games and paid real money for things device specific (regrettably so). I dealt with the issues in sensitivity, it wasn't a deal breaker for me.

But what really took the cake was when I took it to the doctor with me. Two different appointments two days in a row. Fully charged it the night before, sat it in my bag, and then off to the doctor I went. 20 minutes after sitting it in my bag, I pull it out.. and it's off. Now that's strange, I thought, the battery was FULLY CHARGED and the stupid thing WOULD NOT POWER ON. AT ALL. I spent the 45 minute wait trying to figure out what had happened. Popped it out of it's little case, looked all over.. felt it to see if maybe it had overheated? No way.. After 45 minutes of continuously pressing the on/off button it finally turned back on. With close to a full battery I was flabbergasted.. Why did it turn off? Why would it not turn back on? I thought it was a fluke.

.. The next day it happened again.

And it's happened about a dozen times since then in less than two weeks. Well today was the last straw for me. It completely froze up on me and randomly turned off as I was playing a game. It had never actually shut off in front of me, but there is obviously something defective with my device.

Also had problems with the charging port like lots of other people have mentioned. Have to plug and unplug it a dozen or so times to get it to register, and even then sometimes will not charge.

Will be dropping it off at UPS tomorrow. No thanks Amazon, no thanks. I am not paying that kind of money on a student budget for something I feel like is going to stop working any minute now. I'll stick to good ol' ink and paper.
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