I have not had a positive experience with my Kindle Fire HD 8.9, and ended up returning it. I really wanted to love the tablet, but it needs the following improvements in the next hardware model. Amazon engineers, I hope you are listening!
1) Quality Control: My first Fire HD had a clump of dead pixels that looked like a small hole in the screen. My replacement Fire HD somehow had TWO areas of dead pixel(s). I don't want to play replacement lottery, and it probably costs you a fortune to play it with me. So I gave up.
2) Color temperature: The color temperature of this device is very warm, causing whites to not look as white as they could be. I think it is slightly below 6500K. It would be fantastic if we had adjustable color temperature like on any LCD monitor. Color accuracy though, is fabulous, but up the color temp a little bit.
3) Speakers: Yes, the speakers are great compared to most tablets, but that's not difficult. Compared to the speakers on even the HP Touchpad though, they are no good at all. And for a media consumption device, the speakers really need to be on the front of the tablet, as with the new Nexus 10.
4) The Swype keyboard function needs a setting to disable Swype! Why? Because I constantly find that while I'm touch typing, the Swype feature thinks I'm subtly moving my finger when I tap on the letters, and will insert spaces in the middle of my words that I have to go back and delete. Horrifically annoying. And the underlying problem here is that the touch is not calibrated well for anything other than a very soft and steady touch. If I am even the least bit careless about how I touch something on the Carousel, the icon will start to scroll instead of activate.
5) Why do I need to have the Menu Tab overlayed on top of my Netflix videos and games? Distracting to watch Netflix with a menu tab overlaying the video at all times. Yet no such menu tab is on by default for Amazon Instant Video or Kindle books. I know you want us to use the Amazon video over Netflix, but impairing it like this with that menu tab does not do you any favors. Why doesn't it auto-hide? Why doesn't it work like it does in Amazon video? Or why not just let us make it invisible, but "still there" via a setting than a seasoned user can enable? Or better yet, why no physical menu button?
6) Silk is not up to par. Last night I tried reading a normal review/article at Computerworld.com and every few minutes Silk insisted that the page had crashed and I had to reload the page from scratch. It's not the only site to do this, either.
7) Allow us to install Google Play apps and games. Not even allowing us to install YouTube without jumping through hoops is silly, since Amazon Instant Video doesn't even compete with YouTube.
8) No Amazon Fresh app. I use an Amazon Fresh app on my Windows Phone, but can't use one on my Amazon tablet. Nuts!
9) Power and especially volume buttons are impossible to find. Almost every single time I want to change the volume, I struggle to hunt for those blasted buttons. Again, see the HP Touchpad for how to get it right.
10) Add user profiles like the Nook. That way my wife and son can share my tablet and have their own game saves and GameCircle achievements, for one thing, without me having to create a new account for them on another tablet and then have not be able to access our shared Kindle library. You might think hey, that's not needed, they can have their own tablet on your account. Sure, but that completely breaks GameCircle cloud saving and achievements as currently implemented. Wife and son would be using my profile, not their own.
Fix all these issues, and the next time you update your hardware, you'll have my business again. Because I hate Apple, and I love Amazon. To be fair, I must commend you on three standout areas: As an eReader, especially for someone who likes to read in the dark, the ability to have white on black crisp readable text at the lowest brightness setting is amazing! Screen resolution in general is also top notch. And the WiFi antennas are spot on in terms of bandwith and reliability, could not be better. And finally, GameCircle is a fantastic and well implemented feature.
And folks, don't tell me Amazon doesn't read these posts, because I know for a fact they do. The call I received earlier today proves it.
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