Customer Review

12,979 of 13,266 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Thoughts (Typed Using The Kindle Fire HD 8.9), November 22, 2012
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This review is from: Kindle Fire HD 8.9", Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 16 GB (Previous Generation - 2nd) (Electronics)
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 not see much sense in purchasing a tablet (regardless of brand) for around the same price as a cheap yet descent laptop that will have more potential.

Enter the Kindle Fire HD.

I will spare you the story on my process of how I ended up choosing a Fire HD and get right to what you all want to know: my thoughts and experience thus far with the product.

Picture: (10/10)
I will start with this since obviously that was the first thing i noticed. In a word, incredible. Now its not "eye popping" or anything out of this world, but i can honestly say it exceeded my expectations and i was (and continue to be) impressed by this piece of hardware's capabilities. I tested out just a few minutes of TV shows, trailers, videos, and films from Prime Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Flixster, and Youtube (through the web browser since an app is currently unavailable) and everything looks as it should (and beautiful to boot)! Books come out crisp as well (both in text and picture) and the same goes for basic website visuals, apps, and games. Overall I am very impressed.

Sound: (10/10)
This is probably where i was most impressed. I have seen some of the reviews on here that are 3 stars or less putting down the audio or claiming they don't hear the big deal. Not to be a jerk or anything but i recommend those people check in at an ear clinic and have their hearing tested. I was literally amazed at how I was hearing sounds from various distances and angles. From up close it felt like i was hearing a high quality home theater system and not just for one flick but everything. From website audio to music, Netflix to Audiobooks, this tablet sounds great!

Book/Reading Features: (10/10)
At first this was not my primary reason for purchasing a Fire HD, but after toying around with a few things, I am truly impressed at how well Amazon has integrated the ability to find, purchase, read, and even listen to literature. The lending library for Prime users is a nice added touch allowing you to borrow from a rather extensive list of books. Not to mention many timeless classics are available for free (such as Dracula, Gulliver's Travels, Little Women, The Iliad, The Jungle Book and many more) and of those titles, many come with free audio! If you do not feel like spending the money on audio (or if your book has none available) the text-to-speech feature is surprisingly well done with minimal error. With all this being said, I can honestly say that I am excited to start reading again.

Web Browsing: (8/10)
The only reason I do not give this a 10 is because web browsing (with what is given out of the box) lacks Flash support which limits the capabilities. However, with a bit of research I was able to find forum discussions on how Fire HD users were able to work around this by downloading an app called ES File Explorer and then a separate browser called Dolphin that gives you Flash capabilities, so this is an easy fix that even a monkey could figure out how to do as long as they are patient. Though don't get me wrong, Silk is fast and beautiful and i use it for the majority of my web surfing, but occasionally Flash is needed. As I am sure you have read by now in other reviews, the fact that the Fire HD does not automatically come with Flash support is not Amazon's fault yet rather Adobe for pulling he plug on their involvement with tablets. Again, as long as your network is put together well, browsing the web is very fast and up to par with dare I say some computers.

App Availability: (8/10)
To me, this is the only area where the Fire HD lacks. I would rate lower here but I am trusting that over time and after updates, the lineup will have grown. Once more, with a bit of research you can find discussions on how to "sideload" apps from your computer and other devices, but that could be a bit too advanced for the average user. Though for what it is worth, the selection it does currently come with is top notch. Just to name a few, some important missing apps include: YouTube, Dropbox, and SiriusXM. Still, as far as I am concerned, this certainly is not a deal breaker and I am sure that as things progress access to these will become available.

Look/Feel: (10/10)
The 8.9" model that I own and am currently reviewing was a lot lighter than I expected and it is true what they say ( it is just right to fit in one hand). Out of the box/pre-case the Fire HD looks great and is very thin, sleek, and dare I say...sexy? The only minor gripe I would have (that I noticed other reviewers mentioned) is the volume and power buttons are sometimes hard to find and do not always register, but after a while you get use to it. Aside from that, I love how it appears and functions.

Overall: (56/60)

There are a few things that by now you may know, such as how out of the box the Fire HD does not come with a wall charger. I know that is a bummer but if you don't already have one roaming around your house from a smartphone or if you cannot tolerate simply charging from your computer, Amazon sells them at a fairly reasonable price.

Bottom line? I have purchased over 500 items on Amazon and I rarely feel the need to review a product, but I genuinely felt my voice needed to be heard ( or read rather) with the Kindle Fire HD 8.9. I strongly recommend purchasing this product and if you have any questions, feel free to comment and hopefully either me or someone else can assist you!

P.S. This took me forever to type on the Fire HD but it was good practice and hopefully worth it!

I would highly recommend a screen protector and a case
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Comments

Tracked by 51 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 510 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 22, 2012 5:26:24 PM PST
M. Martin says:
Excellent review. One of the best I have read. Thanks for taking the time to write it. Mine arrives tomorrow and I am looking forward to playing with it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2012 5:45:18 PM PST
Haha, trust me I could have gone on and on but I had already spent way too much time typing what I did out as it was. I'm glad you found it helpful or at the very least, you found that it only built up your anticipation and excitement even more! You'll love it! :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2012 6:33:38 PM PST
LiahC says:
Yes. It was VERY helpful ... actually it's one of best reviews on here. I have gotten so tired of other people down talking the Kindle Fire bc the lack of a wall charger, flash capabilities, no instructions included ... etc. The device is definitely worth more than that. And if they would have done their research, they would have known that prior to ordering it. I have faith that amazon, will make the updates necessary to make this tablet even better. I ordered mine on the 15th, and it should arrive on the 27th, and I CAN NOT wait. (:

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2012 7:21:57 PM PST
Why thank you very much (I love the positive feedback). I try to put a bit of effort into my reviews (even if I am at risk of rambling). I will note that the box it ships in says "kindle fire" on the side, so if it is a gift for someone and you do not want them to see it, you better make sure you grab it first. I am glad you are excited though. You will not regret your purchase. :)

Posted on Nov 22, 2012 8:04:11 PM PST
K. Howard says:
Excellent review! I am thrilled with my new Fire.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2012 1:10:23 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 23, 2012 1:29:21 AM PST
Leo06jun says:
Can somebody tell me how the 4 G works and if the deal with AT&T is good? BTW excellent review I loved it

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2012 7:14:20 AM PST
Thanks! I personally cannot honestly answer that question so hopefully somebody else can. I almost went with the 4G model but as far as phone companies go, I use Sprint, and as you may know an option with them is currently not available. I just didn't want to be getting in bills from two different phone companies (ha, silly me)! I will say that I have heard/read nothing but great things about the 4G unit, but as far as hands-on experience, I can't help ya here. Hopefully someone with more experience with the 4G model can comment here and help you out! :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2012 8:30:32 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 23, 2012 8:33:21 AM PST
MattIM says:
I have a Kindle HD 8.9 4G on order, it hasn't arrived yet. But from my reading, when you get this device, you will go through a set up of the system and you will arrive in the process asking if you want to activate your 4G service, if you choose to activate, you will then be brought into that process. For US$49.99 you will get 250MG cellular data service per month for 12 months. This is a very good deal as the only comparable deal offered by AT&T is for 250MG cellular data for $14.95 per month. This is one of the key reasons I have ordered the 4G version of this tablet.

Note to Oddgoose: Thank you for your review. It was very informative.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2012 8:58:48 AM PST
Leo06jun says:
Thanks for answering, so how much can you surf on 4G at 250MG cellular data per month. Is that enough to check e-mail and facebook and check few pages?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2012 9:37:37 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 23, 2012 9:37:54 AM PST
M. Martin says:
Leo06jun

My 4G arrives today so I have not tested it but 250MB should be more than enough for what you have listed. I found the following:

According to AT&T's data calculator, 250MB will allow you to:

View up to 729 web pages (estimated 325K per web page, 24.8 per day). However, AT&T's estimate of 325K per web page seems very low when you see that, by some estimates, the average web page is now 1,092K. At 1,092K, you could only view 228 pages per month. Of course, on your tablet, you may be viewing more mobile-friendly sites which would be a bit smaller.
Download 12,500 text only emails (estimated 20KB per email)
Listen to 500 minutes of streaming music (estimated 500K per minute)
Watch 50 minutes of HD video.
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