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Customer Review

7,740 of 8,090 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great device, you will enjoy it, November 15, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
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 41-50 of 255 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2011 6:33:55 PM PST
I've noticed that if you inadvertently have a finger on the screen with the hand that's holding the Fire, it won't recognize the tap on an app with your other hand. Hope that helps some of you that posted about non-responsive kindles. :)

Posted on Nov 20, 2011 6:49:11 PM PST
JJCEO says:
I have seen multiple comments on posts in Amazon regarding the strength of people's WIFI system. I have found a great APP named WIFI Analyzer that is free and it is a great tool. It offers multiple screens that can provide an analysis of your WIFI strength as well as all the WIFI systems around your house. It provides sound engineering data on how well your network is performing. It will even tell you which channels are the most open and best for you to choose as well as the signal strength of your network and all others:

Screen 1 is a WIFI spectrum analyzer map showing all the area networks (including yours) and what bands they are using and the signal strength. My WIFI booms at -45 to -55 DB ( a very good signal strength) all over my house and yard and it allows very fast and good access.

Screen 2 gives you an analog meter that will provide you with accurate strength readings of your WIFI.

Screen 3 provides a bar graph of your network and all of the surrounding networks and their signal strength.

Screen 4 tells you which channel you are on and which channels in your area provide the best open reception so you can reprogram your wireless router and improve your WIFI performance.

Screen 5 provides signal strength versus time recording so you can monitor your WIFI to make sure it is stable and if any neighbor is walking on your WIFI.

This APP is a great tool and allows you to walk around your home and monitor your signal strength and look for dead zones and problem areas where other WIFI systems may be causing you trouble. It can even help you aim and align your WIFI antenna for optimum performance. I would strongly suggest you look this APP up and try it. You can stop the guess work and use this APP on your Kindle Fire to check out your WIFI with a real measuring tool.

Posted on Nov 20, 2011 8:07:24 PM PST
Victor says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2011 10:04:28 AM PST
Page numbers are useful for students, or people trying to share references. When a teacher says "Study the quote on page XX" you can't find it, nor can you reference a page number in an essay.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2011 4:38:36 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 21, 2011 4:42:01 PM PST
Stefan says:
@Chazz: You can download eBuddy for free. It has all the IM software you can think of.

Posted on Nov 21, 2011 6:58:49 PM PST
May I ask a question please? Can I upload photo's to share on it. I don't want to send them, or print them, or anything like that - just have them as a photo album type view-ability. Thank you for any input you can give me.

Posted on Nov 21, 2011 9:39:13 PM PST
EmR says:
I am surprised that, as an avid reader, you gave the Fire such a high rating. I did not have such a good experience with the Kindle. Mine had a malfunctioning touch screen that was often unresponsive. I did succeed in loading a free book with my free Prime trial. I found the back lit, bright white screen quickly irritated my eyes. This however, was not a sticking point with me as it was not what I bought the Kindle for. Had I gotten one with a working touch screen, I would have given it 3 stars...maybe 4. Yes, I agree, a fully functioning Fire would be well worth the money. I kind of feel left out of all the excitement of owning this new phenom. Good luck with yours.

Posted on Nov 22, 2011 9:00:07 AM PST
JJCEO says:
Yes you can copy photos to the Kindle Fire. The fastest way is to use a USB to Micro USB cable and connect your Kindle Fire to your computer while it is off. Turn it on or when it comes on swipe the on arrow and enter your password if you have one. The kindle will then open a window on your computer, select "Open folder to view files". You will see a folder titled Pictures that is on your Kindle. Transfer the photos you want to that folder by dragging them from your computer pictures folder to the Kindle pictures folder and when you are done you can touch the button on the Kindle Fire that is labeled "disconnect". Open up the APP titled Gallery and you will see a group called Pictures with the number of pictures shown. You can open the folder by touching it and view your photos. In addition you can crop or rotate the photo to view it on your Kindle the way you want to see it. You can even see the details of the photo by selecting details.

If you don't have a USB to Micro USB cable you can e-mail the photos to yourself and open up the e-mail on your Kindle. You can detach the photo and view it on your kindle and save it. It will now appear in the APP titled Gallery.

Once photos are on your Kindle you can view them or email them to other people. I hope this helps.

Posted on Nov 22, 2011 3:26:56 PM PST
Geoff says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Nov 22, 2011 6:13:13 PM PST
JJCEO says:
Geoff, first let's do the math. The book I was speaking of is actually 22,540 Kb so it is a lot larger than your figures. In addition your ISP and WIFI have everything to do with your connection speed. My WIFI is running at -45 dBm or better and my neighbors as measured from my home is -85dBm. This means that my WIFI signal is 10,000 times stronger than his is at my home. This in comparison to real time use is like being able to connect to a web site in 2 seconds versus a minute or even 2, if you could even connect at a -85 dBm signal. In addition, not all wireless routers broadcast in a symmetrical pattern. The Broadcast pattern depends upon the number and type of antennas the router has (and frequency and bandwidth). This is why a WIFI Analyzer like the one I suggested people download is a useful tool to determine if your router is a good one and if it is even aimed properly to provide the best coverage for your home. The WIFI Analyzer APP monitors the 2.4 Gigahertz bandwidth which is the most common one in use today which relates to the 802.11b and 802.11g systems.

Your comment asking what your ISP or WIFI has to do with your Kindle Fire is that it means everything regarding your connection to the internet and the ability to browse and download books, programs or APPS. I am just trying to help people understand why their WIFI may be a problem.

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