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Customer Review

7,749 of 8,100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great device, you will enjoy it, November 15, 2011
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This review is from: Kindle Fire (Previous Generation - 1st) (Electronics)
Update: 12/14/2012

If you're interested I just purchased a new second generation Kindle Fire for my grandson and I have done a review on it discussing how it compares to this model and how to set it up right out of the box with a video to help you. I also discuss the new version's pros and cons. It may be listed a few pages back from the top but you can find it posted with the product link shown below:

Kindle Fire 7", LCD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB - Includes Special Offers


I picked mine up today at Best Buy. At home I plugged it in and set up the WIFI and my Amazon account and it immediately told me that an update was downloading. After about 10 to 12 minutes it rebooted and started working. I own an iPhone, iPad 2, HP Touchpad and a Kindle Keyboard version. This device compares with the Ipad. The reviews that blast the Kindle Fire as being no good are just not true. I am a retired CEO and computer Guru and have a great WIFI set up in my home. Here is my quick and dirty review:

WIFI fast and easy to set up and use

Keyboard types great, much better than the HP Touchpad and as good if not better than the iPad.

Display high resolution comparable to the iPad 2

The device downloaded my 100 books in minutes. Most books downloaded to the device in 3 to 4 seconds. A couple of large books took 5 seconds and I am talking about books with 800 pages!

Web browsing is extremely fast. I loaded up a dozen sites that I go to with complex screens and they took 2 to 3 seconds to load. The people who are complaining should fix their WIFI instead of complaining about the Kindle Fire. I see no problem and the speed on the sites I tested is comparable to the iPad 2. One site for a local TV station took about 8 seconds and the screens are complex and contain a lot of videos and changing photos.

Apps load and work great, Facebook, Words With Friends and the Weather Channel loaded fast and work quickly.

Scrolling works very fast and responsive on the capacitive touch screen. Better than the HP Touchpad

Video download is very fast and I have no complaints.

Sound is very good on the device. Much louder than on my iPad 2 device. I saw several reviews blasting the Kindle Fire and in my opinion the sound is better than the iPad 2.

I put the Kindle Fire into a case I purchased from Oberondesign and it fit tightly, but it did fit.

The Kindle Fire is more portable and easier to hold than the iPad and HP Touchpad.

The power button is bad. It is easy to bump and it is right next to the power plug. I have already turned the device off 4 times by accident while doing the testing. I was unplugging the power cable and touched the switch every time. This switch should have been on the top of the device.

Overall the Kindle fire is a 9 out of 10. For the price it is a 10 out of 10.

I am not a professional reviewer nor am I a paid reviewer. The Kindle fire is worth the money and it works well. What happens after 5 million users get onto Amazon is a new test that Amazon must prove they can handle.

Please look at one of my later comments on an excellent WIFI APP tool than could help you test your home WIFI system. Amamzon sells it and it is free!

Update 12-21-2011

Amazon has made an update to the Kindle Fire operating system effective today. Make sure that your Kindle Fire is fully charged or plugged in and press the power button for about 20 seconds. Turn on the Kindle Fire by pressing the on button again and it will begin to come on slowly. It will be downloading the update. After it starts it will shut down automatically and then restart again. When the swipe arrow comes on, swipe it and enter your password (If you have one) and your Kindle will start. Be patient when downloading this and wait for the Kindle Fire to totally restart!

The new operating system is number 6.2.1 and it was 6.2. You can check this by touching the small gear in the upper RH corner, touch "+More", touch "Device" and then looking at the entry for the "System Version".
Major changes that I can see:

-Memory is now segmented into two parts that are available to you. The first is Application Storage which is set at 1.17 GB. It will appear at the top of the device screen and you can see how much is used for Apps. This is the memory allocated for your down loaded and resident Apps.

- The remaining memory is called Internal Storage and it is now 5.37 GB for your books, movies and other storage besides Apps. It is listed below the Application Storage.

-When looking at the Settings page you will see a new access for "Restrictions" which allows you to enable a password to turn WIFI access OFF or ON. If you enable this you will be asked to enter a password, (Minimum of 4 characters) that will allow you to turn Off the WIFI access. You have now just enabled a "child" mode where you can play games, read books, or do anything that is installed on your Kindle Fire. You will not be able to get new email, browse the internet, buy anything, or communicate in any way to the Web as the WIFI is turned off. You will see a key in the upper RH corner where before you saw the WIFI strength indicator. The key symbol means the WIFI is locked OFF. DO NOT FORGET YOUR PASSWORD! Remember you can do anything that is on your Kindle but you cannot download anything from the "Cloud" so make sure that your Kindle has everything you want to do on it resident in the Kindle memory. In order to enable the WIFI you must touch the key symbol, touch WIFI, touch WIFI "ON", enter your password and click OK. Your WIFI will reconnect in about 5 seconds.

-You are able to remove anything from the Carousel by simply touching it for a few seconds and then selecting "Remove from Carousel". This is a nice new feature and you can still access your books or Apps by using the menu bar items above the Carousel.

- Amazon states that operation fluidity and performance enhancements have be added but it is difficult to see what they are as the device does so much you don't know where to look for the enhancements.

-Amazon states that the touch navigation is more responsive and again it is difficult to see changes. I do seem to notice that the back arrow symbol on the bottom of the screen seems to be more responsive.

There is a post on Amazon to download this update using a computer and a micro-USB cable but I have updated two Kindle Fires using the method I discuss above without a problem. If you would like to look at the Amazon post look here:
Many people may not own a micro-USB cable.

I could not use the automatic update mode where it says to touch the "Update Your Kindle" button on the Kindle Fire under the Device page as that selection was grayed out. Cycling the power to do a hard reset forced the download automatically. You should receive this update automatically on your Kindle Fire in a day or two after it begins the automatic update roll-out.
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Tracked by 18 customers

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Showing 11-20 of 255 posts in this discussion
Posted on Nov 17, 2011 1:05:56 PM PST
jjceo, thank you for the great post. I generally take folks at their word and I too work in IT (security) and appreciate your input.

Something folks are just NOT getting here is that this device isn't an iPad nor is it really "fair" to compare the two to one another. On the other hand, most who are purchasing the Fire aren't doing so because it IS an iPad, but more of a smaller version of the device.

My wife uses and iPad pretty much exclusively now as opposed to her desk top computer. I still carry around a netbook everywhere. It's awkward, but then again, SO IS THE iPad! It's simply (for me) too big.

I want a tablet computer I can use to do email, write some quick notes, look at some web sites and read on. I have a Kindle DX for my books and won't give that up. The Fire will double as a computer for me that is small enough to carry and use effectively, but is MUCH bigger than a smart phone (which is too small for my elderly eyes any more, lol).

I think this is one of the better reviews I've seen thus far and thank you for your time writing it.

Posted on Nov 17, 2011 1:13:48 PM PST
Chazz says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Nov 17, 2011 1:20:07 PM PST
I'm always a little amazed when people vote "unhelpful" when a review is well written and helpful. Knuckleheads.

Thanks for a good review.

Posted on Nov 17, 2011 3:12:34 PM PST
Kathy W says:
Thanks for the great review. I know virtually nothing about iPad and Kindle. You were simple and to the point, explaining from the point of view of someone who used both devices, you explained in a way that I could understand.

Posted on Nov 17, 2011 7:23:14 PM PST
Alicia says:
Thanks for this review- it's really helpful in making my decision! I do have a question for you though: can you add movie files to the Fire? For instance, I have files of digital copies (from Blu-Rays) that I have stored on my external hard drive...I think they are mp4 files? Hmm. Anyways, can you add movies and watch them? Any idea as to how many would fit on there?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2011 6:14:54 AM PST
JJCEO says:
Yes you can add mp4 movies by using a USB to micro USB cable and connecting the kindle to the Computer. The kindle then acts as an attached hard drive to your computer. Transfer the movies to your video file folder on the kindle and then touch the kindle screen to detach from the computer. Use gallery app to play the movie. I put two very high quality movies on mine and used 2.6 GB so I could have put four on the kindle as well as 100 books and 30 apps. They play in very high quality. Have fun. Check your digital Camera accessories for a proper connection cable, you may already own one.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2011 7:06:20 AM PST
Alicia says:
Excellent, thank you so much for answering my question!! You've been a great help and I do believe you've convinced me :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2011 11:12:23 AM PST
Red Rose says:
Does the kindle fire book section show real page numbers?

Posted on Nov 18, 2011 12:37:52 PM PST
JJCEO says:
Red Rose, Kindle shows a location number instead of a page number. In addition it shows the percent read of the book. While reading a page you can touch the center of the screen and see this information on the bottom of the screen. In addition if you have read a part of a book the percentage is shown on the upper right corner of the book icon in the carousel mode. Kindles used to show page numbers but I believe they stopped that about 8 months ago. I don't know why except that since you can manipulate the font size for ease of reading, the page number loses its validity as several Kindle screens may only represent one page of the same number.

Posted on Nov 18, 2011 2:12:21 PM PST
the freeze up issue associated with netflix may turn into a problem

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