For many people when you hear the word Kindle Fire you immediately think of a stripped down Android OS that is no good for much, locked to the Amazon Appstore and a reduced set of apps and games. Let me tell you why the 7″ Kindle Fire rocks for me and why I will be upgrading to the Kindle Fire HDX, in-fact I’ve already pre-ordered one.
I always experiment with new hardware, new phones and new tablets, I’m not locked to one eco-system although primarily I do prefer Apple, but that said I have a number of other eco-system devices like the HTC One Android phone, the Nexus 7 Android tablet, the HTC 8X Windows Phone 8 and the Microsoft Surface RT Windows tablet. You never know what you want until you try something and for me I pretty much use my Kindle Fire HD for one thing and one thing only, content! I don’t use many apps on it, or play many games, I have my iPhone and iPad for that. I will use the Kindle reader app on the Kindle Fire HD when I’m not using my Kindle Whitepaper, but video playback for me is key.
Currently I run an Windows 7 laptop, a Macbook Air running OS X Mavericks and a Mac mini running OS X Mavericks. I prefer to watch video on the big screen, a 55″ television or if that’s not possible then one of my computer screens. I don’t always have internet access with me or if I do I don’t want to stream it over the internet for various reasons, e.g. one of them being bad or slow internet connections, so my Kindle Fire HD’s job every night at 3am is for Beyond Pod (which is a podcasting app) to download all my Video content. Whether it’s tech shows or other shows, it pulls any updated feeds and downloads the content so I have it offline.
Now I could watch the video direct on the Kindle Fire HD and I do sometimes, and prefer this over the iPad or iPad mini because quite frankly the dual dolby speaker in the Kindle Fire HD is much louder than that of any other tablet I’ve had so far. However, when I’m near my Windows 7 laptop or Mac laptop or even near my Mac mini which is plugged into a larger 55″ television, I can Airstream the video content direct from my Kindle Fire HD direct to any of these devices, meaning I can watch the video in a large screen format. Then when I need to leave, I can pause the video and continue on the device, when I come back I can continue where I left off streaming to a large screen device again.
The beauty of Beyond Pod is that it will also delete the content and I use MediaShare on the Kindle Fire HD to stream the content to an XBMC receiver app on Windows or Mac.
Now, you could stream the content from an iPad or iPhone and have a smaller setup, but there’s several problems here. From iOS it’s very unreliable, sometimes I only get audio and no video, this is a known problem with XBMC, but from the Kindle Fire HD it works flawlessly every single time. The second problem I’ve had is I am usually maxed out at 32gb of video content on the device, that’s a lot of video to watch I know! However, if I tried to put that on my iPhone or iPad then I would be out of space without installing any apps on the device.
This setup does however mean that I need to carry an additional device around with me, but likewise I find the 7″ Kindle Fire HD tablet great for watching video content due to the screen size without being too large and cumbersome like the full size iPad. Likewise I could get away with a slightly lighter setup with the iPad mini (which I also have) but again there’s that space issue. So for me the Kindle Fire HD is a great media consumption device, even though the UI is pretty locked down to the Kindle carousel, but it just works!
Then there’s the price, for a tablet £199 for 16gb, £229 for 32gb or £259 for 64gb Kindle Fire HDX (or £119 for 8gb Kindle Fire HD or £139 for 16gb) it really can’t be beaten.
For anyone wanting apps or games, there’s frankly plenty not he Amazon Appstore, most of which you’ll find on the Google Play Store you will find on Amazon all baring a few.
I’m not really a fan of the Kindle Fire web browser, or the email app but they work. For any child this would be a great start on a tablet and pretty much locked down so they can’t do any damage to the operating system or mess too many things up.
So for me the new Kindle Fire HDX with it’s improved Kindle Fire OS 3.0, faster processor and better graphics resolution along with the improved 11-17 hours of battery over the 10 hours on the Kindle Fire HD will be pretty good, and now sporting a front-facing HD camera and offered in storage sizes up to 64gb which will keep my video content habits going a little while longer.
||7″ high definition touchscreen; 1280×800 resolution at 216 ppi, video playback up to 720p, with IPS (in-plane switching) technology, advanced polarising filter, and anti-glare technology
||191 mm x 128 mm x 10.6 mm
Actual size and weight may vary by configuration and manufacturing process
|CPU & RAM
||1.5GHz Dual-Core CPU, with 1GB of RAM
||8GB (4.7GB available to user) or 16GB (12.0GB available to user) of internal storage, plus free, unlimited Cloud storage for all of your Amazon content
||Up to 10 hours of reading, surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music. Battery life will vary based on device settings, usage, and other factors such as web browsing and downloading content. Actual results may vary
||Fully charges in under 4 hours using the Kindle PowerFast power adapter included in the box, or slightly longer with other micro-USB power adapters that you may already have
||Dual-band, single-antenna Wi-Fi. Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n standard with support for WEP, WPA, and WPA2 security using password authentication; does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks
||USB 2.0 (micro-B connector) port for connection to a PC or Macintosh computer or to charge your device with the included power adapter
||3.5 mm stereo jack and integrated stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus audio engine
|Content Formats Supported
||Kindle (AZW), KF8, TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible Enhanced format (AAX), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, Dolby Digital (AC-3), Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3), non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, PCM/WAVE, OGG, WAV, M4V, MP4, AAC LC/LTP, HE-AACv1, HE-AACv2, MKV, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, HTML5, CSS3, 3GP, VP8 (WEBM)
||Location-based services via Wi-Fi
||External volume controls, built-in Bluetooth with support for A2DP compatible stereo headphones and speakers (no microphone support)
||COMING SOON – Screen Reader, Explore by Touch, and Screen Magnifier, enabling access to the vast majority of Kindle Fire features. Screen Reader features IVONA’s award-winning natural language text-to-speech voice. Also includes adjustable font sizes/colour, and built-in dictionary. Learn more
||Kindle Fire HD is ready to use right out of the box—no setup, no software to install, no computer required to download content
|Warranty and Service
||Kindle Fire HD is sold with a worldwide limited warranty of one year provided by the manufacturer. If you are a consumer, the limited warranty is in addition to your consumer rights, and does not jeopardise these rights in any way. This means you may still have additional rights at law even after the limited warranty has expired (for further information on your consumer rights, click here). Use of Kindle is subject to the terms found here.
|Included in the Box
||Kindle Fire 7″ HD tablet, USB 2.0 cable, 9W power adapter, and Quick Start Guide