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Customer Discussions > Kindle forum

Torn between 7" and 8.9"

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Showing 1-24 of 24 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 18, 2013, 3:42:38 PM PDT
Sharon A says:
I am ready to buy a Fire but an torn between the 7" and the 8.9". I've read pros and cons for each and just don't know. I have so many questions still. I have the keyboard Kindle and that is so slow when there are a lot of books on it so it's time to upgrade. With 1,000 or so books on the Fire can you search for books without it going into a hang? Is there an appreciable slow-down in page turning or response time with that many books on it? Is there a noticeable weight difference between the 7" and 8.9"? I will be using it mostly to read books, so which do you all like better as for holding it to read? I've read that the 8.9 is just a "stretched" version of the 7", so is there any distortion? I might also use it to play some games but doubt that I'll ever watch videos or movies. I'll want to upload still pictures to it. Are there any free magazines out there or are they all subscription only? I'm also concerned about the glare factor, does the anti-glare screen protector make it any easier to read in sunlight? Is a charger and cable included with the Fire?

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2013, 4:03:37 PM PDT
Wow - do you have 1,000 books on your KK? No wonder it's slow! Mine got sluggish with 300 or so. Delete, delete, delete! Your books will be in the Archive whenever you want them, and your Kindle will be zippy again with fewer books on it.

The Fire has a backlit LCD screen - like a smartphone or laptop. It's going to be difficult at best to read in the sun, no matter what you do. Sitting in shade will help, as will increasing contrast. That will use more battery, though, and it still won't be anything like your KK.

I don't have a Fire, so can't really address your other questions. Remember, Amazon has a 30 day return policy, so you have the option to return whichever device you pick if it wasn't what you thought it would be.

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2013, 4:22:02 PM PDT
Shorian says:
Sharon A:

I have an 8.9, and I own a 7" tablet which is not a Kindle. Both are designed for entertainment, and not specifically for reading. I don't own 1,000 books, but if I did, I would leave them on Amazon's cloud storage and only put on the tablet the books I expect to read in the short term. I also do that for apps and games. Most of my apps and games are stored online. I download to the tablet the ones I use most often.

The 8.9 is not a stretched version of the 7. The 8.9 has a faster processor and higher screen resolution. Movies and games play just fine. I like the larger screen for movies. The 8.9 has an HDMI out to connect to my HDTV, so I can watch movies on my large screen TV. I also use it to show pictures and video on the big screen TV.

All the Fire tablets will have an issue with glare. I have a Kindle 3 with e-ink which is the best for reading in various lighting conditions. I have tried anti-glare screen protectors and wound up taking them off.

The main drawback to the 8.9 is weight. Adding a case can add significant weight to the tablet and makes long term reading difficult. If you carry around a tablet, the size and weight of the 8.9 is a factor to consider. The 7" form factor is the most common. Accessories tend to be cheaper and more abundant for the 7".

Most magazines have a trial period, but they are pretty much all subscription.

Charger and cable are extra.

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2013, 4:41:32 PM PDT
BooDittie says:
Keep in mind that none of Fires support collections so you're probably not going to want to keep anywhere near a thousand e-books on it at once.

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2013, 4:54:55 PM PDT
Bufo Calvin says:
Sharon, I have both the 8.9" and the 7" Fires, and RSKs (Reflective Screen Kindles, like your Kindle Keyboard) as well.

No, the Fire wouldn't appreciably slow down with 1,000 books on it. I'll point out that I only keep about ten Kindle store books on any of my devices at a time...the rest are in the Cloud/archives, where I can easily retrieve them.

The Kindle Fire comes in different size memory configurations, but you could easily put 5,000 e-books on any of them...if you didn't have anything else.

No question, I would say the 7" would be better for reading. It's noticeably lighter and more manageable. However, for just books, I would go with a Kindle Paperwhite, except for the significant disadvantage of not having audio (and therefore, no text-to-speech, which I typically use for hours a week in the car).

"Stretched" is not a good description of it: the 8.9" is just as sharp (sharper, actually) as the 7".

As to your questions about other uses:

* Games are fine...that's much more flexible than on an RSK (like your Kindle Keyboard). You can play things like Angry Birds and Dabble (a favorite in our house)

* Video is, in my opinion, one of the main reasons to have a Fire, although there may be some people who don't use it for that. That's not just movies and TV shows...that would include things like YouTube

* You can put still pictures (and/or movies) on it, but again, I only keep a few on there. I can get them when I need them

* As to free magazines, they pretty much all have free trials. It also depends a bit on what you call a "magazine". I read Flipboard on it in the morning. If you already have paper subscriptions, you may get a Fire compatible subscription for free (but that's up to the publisher)

* Glare isn't particularly the concern with a backlit device like the Fire, although that's something people commonly say. The concern is that the light coming from the tablet, coming from behind what you are trying to read, competes with light hitting the tablet from the front (like sunlight). I would describe it more as "wash-out" than glare. I don't use an anti-glare screen: to my understanding of that, it would tend to prevent the sunlight from reflecting back into your eyes, which isn't really why it is hard to read in sunlight

I'd summarize it this way:

I wouldn't buy the 8.9" over the 7" unless you particularly want the bigger, sharper screen.

If you are really going to use it primarily as a reading device, I'd consider an RSK. If you do want to play full motion games, and you want color for the magazines, that's an argument in favor of the Fire. Like many people, I have both: a Fire and an RSK (for long form reading, although I'm surprised at how much I do read on my Fire).

Hope that helps...

Posted on May 18, 2013, 6:06:03 PM PDT
Sharon A says:
Thank you so much for helping me with this.. I've been researching for weeks now. As for the RSK what would be the latest one that I could look up? I'm leaning toward the Fire because I really like the bright color.. The way I got 2,500 books on my Kindle.. I set it up originally to just download them to there and went nuts when I first got it. I travel a lot and used to carry around a pile of books.. I know it's silly but I like being able to take all those books with me. Lots of them are recipe books, but most of them are the free ones from indie authors or books from a few years ago. I kind of stagnated on the best seller authors and found that a lot of the books I got free are fantastic!

It would be a monstrous task to start deleting books unless I just hook up the usb and start blowing them away. I know that if I get them off the Kindle I may not ever get around to reading them even though I could pull them in from the cloud, but with them already on the Kindle, they have a good chance of getting read :) I know I will take both the Fire and the KK everywhere I go..

You say the Fire doesn't support collections - how do you put them in any order? By title must be it, eh? So now I have it narrowed down to the 7" one which is the one I was leaning toward, but have to decide between 16gb and 32gb. I know the 32 is only $30 more so that will probably be the one. Do you all use screen protectors at all? I may go out and get this at Best Buy tomorrow, which is another question.. is there any advantage of buying it from one place over the other? I think it's a little chintzy that they don't include the cable and charger - they did with my KK. So I would try to talk them into one or a deal on one..

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2013, 6:56:45 PM PDT
Bufo Calvin says:
The latest RSK would be the Kindle Paperwhite, which is the most comfortable reading experience I've had (including paper).

I don't typically have to delete books (and using the USB method could cause you problems, if you don't get all of the ancillary files that go with the e-book file). If I plan to read a book soon, I download it to one of my devices. If I don't, I send it to the free Kindle Cloud Reader. That's all I really tend to use the Cloud Reader for, actually. :)

I do not, and haven't, used any screen protectors on any of my Kindle devices...but I do use covers. That not only tends to protect the screen, but typically offers some drop protection as well, which can be useful.

I would buy it at Amazon, not Best Buy, myself. While Amazon services them both equally, you are beholden to the return policy of Best Buy if you buy it there. There may be a restocking fee if you return it, for example, although I'm not sure with that one. Amazon has a generous thirty day return policy, although they would ask you to pay the return postage if there was nothing wrong with the device. If there was something wrong (and I've had that happen), return is easy.

You can charge it with the included USB cable, or use the same charger you use for your Kindle Keyboard. I recommend getting the "PowerFast" charger because it is, well, faster, :) but that is optional.

Posted on May 18, 2013, 8:07:19 PM PDT
Sharon A says:
I'm so close to getting this thing.. and will order it from Amazon for the reasons you said. I know I have the option to return it, but would like to get it right the first time. The box stores have such a tight return policy, 15 days with all kinds of caveats. And the accelerated charger.. What do you think of 16gb vs 32gb? Is 32gb overkill for a few games and a bunch of books? From the looks of it you can't add memory.

And lastly, how intrusive are the special offers?? Do they show up every time you do something INSTEAD of what you were trying to do? Do they show up as you are reading a book? Do you consider them intolerable? On the Fire it's a difference between $199 and $244. It looks like most of the Kindles come with the "special offers". Are they bad enough that it would be worth the extra $$ to not have them?

This is the last of the questions.. next time around I hope to be answering questions!! So thank you for your patience..

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2013, 8:32:24 PM PDT
MikeJW says:
I'd get as much as you can afford. As to the SOs, no, not intrusive at all. Do not pop up when reading or doing things. Only negative: not much offered lately. But them, I hardly see them. They are on the sleep screen, so I only see them in the millisecond as I wake it up.

Posted on May 18, 2013, 9:12:56 PM PDT
Sharon A says:
Done!! I just placed my order for the 7" one with special offers, and the accelerated charger. Now I can't wait to get it! You all really helped me a lot!! This is going to be a lot of fun!

Posted on May 19, 2013, 6:37:55 AM PDT
G. McNeil says:
Sharon: Congrats on your selection. I am a little late to this conversation, but FWIW, you might want to give the 8.9 a trial run if you plan on using it for cookbooks/recipes - my wife will copy them from the 7" but will use the 8.9 as she can see more of the details with it standing out of the way.

Since you have a RSK, my guess is you will do most of your reading on it - just clean it up (delete some/most books) and it will speed right back up.

I also said movies/tv shows were not important until I got one and saw how much was free with a prime membership.

BTW, I own a couple of RSKs, a 7" and an 8.9 - the 8.9 gets the most use unless I am planning to read outside. Cannot beat the RSKs outdoors or "reclined" reading.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2013, 8:28:46 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 19, 2013, 8:30:51 AM PDT
J. Dionne says:
I purchased the Kindle Fire HD 7" because I believe the seven inch form factor the most convenient size; it is easily held in one hand. Being a small business owner, I find it's size makes it much more portable too.

I take my WiFi only Kindle HD 7" device with me everywhere, using my cell phone as a WiFi access point when free WiFi is unavailable. It has become my tablet of choice for when I am out of the office but must to keep in touch with office. I check email, use Skype calls and IM for communication, and web access to stay informed.

As far as streaming video, you may find this feature of the Kindle Fire HD very valuable. I am a news hound and being able to stay in touch with current events while away from my computer is its best asset -- IMHO. Most web news sites include streaming video reports -- prefer to watch see and hear the news myself rather than read a "journalists" impression of the facts. I also use the Kindle Skype app to keep in touch with my office, friends and family when I am on the road; an impressive utility I must admit. The clarity and speed of the Skype sessions is astounding.

All things considered, I think you will find the Kindle Fire HD 7" will meet and even exceed your needs in a ebook reader with features you have not even thought to be useful as yet.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2013, 8:28:59 AM PDT
Bufo Calvin says:
I see you made your choice...welcome to the Klub! :)

The Special Offers Kindles have been more popular than their non-ad-supported counterparts. I do find offers that I like, and it doesn't interfere with my actions. They do not appear in the middle of something: they show up before you get to where you choose to do something.

As to memory, the smaller one is probably okay with your use pattern. Magazines do take up significant memory, but not like videos. You can actually use a wi-fi drive if you want more memory later, but remember that you can move Amazon content in and out of the Cloud/archives pretty easily.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2013, 8:32:32 AM PDT
J. Dionne says:
The "Klub!" I like it!

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2013, 9:03:03 AM PDT
ScottBooks says:
So, they're like mirrors then?

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2013, 3:27:14 PM PDT
Bufo Calvin says:
ScottBooks, RSKs (Reflective Screen Kindles) are like mirrors...and rocks, and trees, and platypi. ;) None of those have an internal source of light (we'll ignore quartz for now ;) ) see all of them by light bouncing off them.

A mirror is, of course, particularly efficient at reflecting light, and they can have real glare problems...somebody using a signal mirror can really have glare. An RSK? Not as efficient as a can sometimes see a murky reflection of yourself in it, but not like your bathroom mirror.

A Kindle Fire, on the other hand, is more like a window. It's easy to see at night that your neighbor's living room lights are's hard to tell that during the day. That's a good parallel to the issue with the Kindle Fire and sunlight.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2013, 3:31:11 PM PDT
Just Peachy says:
So why call it Reflective Screen if it is not really reflective?
Why not just call it eInk?

Posted on May 19, 2013, 4:13:52 PM PDT
Sharon A says:
I'm proud to be a member of the Klub!! Hey! This is day two of waiting :) It should be here Tuesday. So I've already RTFM'd and am now feeling a little overwhelmed with the learning curve and managing two devices. I know the best way is to just get it and jump in. I've been trying to find answers to the questions I already have, like when I buy a book and press "buy now with 1-Click" how can I get it to download to the Fire now and not my KK? Is there any way to get it to download to BOTH devices?

I know as I start to get more sophisticated on this thing I will move up to the other functions - like videos. Next week I am going to master the above two things, and then dl'ing a game or two and then playing it. I think all I've really done is added another device to take wherever I go, my Macbook, the KK, and the Fire.. it's already out of control.

I really appreciate the friendliness.. it's just a mind-boggling thing to start digging through all this and I want to know it all - tonight :) Having worked tech and customer support in the past I will be plenty active here and do my best to help others as well..

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2013, 4:26:44 PM PDT
Bufo Calvin says:
Peachy, it is see it because it is reflecting the light. I know there are people who confuse glare with reflection, but they really aren't the same.

The reason not to just call it E Ink is that E Ink is a brand name. While that is the one commonly used (Kindle, NOOK, Sony), it's not a definition of the technology. There could certainly be RSKs (Reflective Screen Kindles) in the future that use a different brand of reflective screen (Mirasol, for example). I used the term just to keep it saying "photocopier" instead of "Xerox".

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2013, 4:31:35 PM PDT
Bufo Calvin says:
Sharon, here's how the ordering works:

When you first "buy a book" (you are really buying a license) from the Kindle store, it is sent to one of your devices. If you buy from the device itself (your Fire or your Kindle Keyboard), it will go to that device (assuming you use the built-in way to go the Kindle store).

If you buy it from your computer, there will be a dropdown, and you can choose which device should get it first.

It also goes to your archives/Cloud. From there, you can send it to any of the other compatible devices on your account. You can do that from

or directly from the device.

It won't automatically download to both. It will download to one, and then you can also put it on the other one, if you want...up to you. :)

That's from the Kindle store...other places (like Pottermore, where you get the Harry Potter books) may work differently.

I think you'll find it pretty easy. :) If not, you can ask questions in this forum (it's best to start a new thread if it's a new topic...more people will see it).

The key thing is to have the devices registered to the account you want, so they can share the content. A Kindle can only be on one account at a time (although they can bounce back and forth).

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2013, 6:15:57 PM PDT
ScottBooks says:
Well then why bother calling it reflective at all? Everything you can see is reflective. Seems silly. Why not call them monochrome Kindles?

Posted on May 19, 2013, 6:27:56 PM PDT
ScottBooks says:
Or you could call them Kindle e-readers. If people are interested in reading they don't want a Fire anyway.

Posted on May 19, 2013, 6:41:03 PM PDT
BooDittie says:
E Ink(R) Vizplex(TM) is the brand name but e-ink is no more a brand name than is electronic ink or, for that matter, electronic mail or e-mail.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2013, 6:52:39 PM PDT
Anne Shirley says:
Or kleenex, vs. Kleenex. By common usage it has become a common noun as well as a trademarked product. Same as Scotch tape.
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  11
Total posts:  24
Initial post:  May 18, 2013
Latest post:  May 19, 2013

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