Saturday, 23 March 2013

Kindle Fire HD Review

starting from just $159, and offering a 7-inch HD display and a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD appears to offer great value for money.
Even if you plan to download only 16 ebooks with it ( which would cost around $160 if purchased from a store) you get your money back! Also after downloading them you can sell your kindle for $120 on amazon!
But it also needs to offer a stand-alone tablet experience that's capable of matching - or even surpassing - its illustrious rivals.

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD certainly matches the Nexus 7 in terms of price and raw hardware, and it comfortably trumps the iPad mini on price and screen resolution.
But, as we've come to realise, Apple's dominance in the tablet market has been built on strong design, coupled with a peerless content ecosystem and a super-slick UI.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD review

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD may be cheap, but ultimately it will still need to embrace all three of these key elements if it's to succeed.
If you still think of Amazon Kindles as those little monochrome holiday companions, then you should know that the Amazon Kindle Fire HD is a completely different beast.
Rather than focusing on the very specific job of downloading and reading electronic books, this is an all-purpose tablet that acts as a window onto Amazon's wider multimedia world - films, music, apps and games are all included in the Kindle Fire HD's remit.
With that in mind, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD is a much simpler, purer design than the original Kindle.
The emphasis here is on the screen first and foremost, with the only hardware controls coming in the shape of some weedy and difficult-to-locate volume and power buttons on top of the device, right alongside its 3.5mm headphone jack.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD review

The lack of a fixed home key adds to that minimalistic vibe (we'll discuss the effect that has on usability later). The only detail on the front of the device is a 1.3-megapixel camera for video calls - there's no rear-mounted camera here.
Despite that impossibly cheap price point, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD doesn't feel like a cheap device. It's solid in the hand, with none of the creak you find in many budget Android tablets.
There's a nice contrast between the Amazon Kindle Fire HD's smooth, glass front and its grippy matte back. It's quietly pleasing from a tactile perspective, even though it lacks the sheer machined precision and premium feel of Apple's tablets.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD review

While Apple has opted for a super-slim bezel for its iPad mini - partly to facilitate that wider 7.9-inch display - Amazon has been more generous with its own offering.
Indeed, the thick border around the smaller 7-inch screen brings it closer to the full-sized iPad in design than its miniature brother.
We like this approach from a purely practical perspective (it actually makes it look a little chubby, if we're honest).
It's still comfier to hold the Amazon Kindle Fire between your thumb and fingers than it is to rest it in the span of your hand, even when held in portrait view. Of course, that's partly because it's slightly chunky for its size - at 395g it's almost 90g heavier than the iPad mini.
One area in which Amazon would hope to gain a big advantage with theAmazon Kindle Fire HD over its rivals is with its display. As we've mentioned, we're talking about a 7-incher here, but it's the quality of that screen that's causing Amazon to boast.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD review
The company claims that the display features a polarising filter and anti-glare technology, which apparently boosts colour and contrast, as well as improving viewing angles.
Despite such claims - not to mention early positive reports from the US - we have to admit to being slightly underwhelmed by our initial experience with the Amazon Kindle Fire HD display. It seems distinctly yellow to our eyes.
Of course, it could just be that we've been conditioned by Apple's slightly cooler, bluer high-definition displays.
Indeed, once your eyes have grown accustomed to its warmer hue, you'll no doubt begin to appreciate the Amazon Kindle Fire HD display's more naturalistic colour contrast - particularly when viewing video content. It's certainly richer than the somewhat washed-out and dim Nexus 7 screen.
That's only half the story with the Kindle Fire HD display, too. The clue is in the name - that 7-inch display is sharp. It's high-definition-sharp. In fact, with a resolution of 1280x800 and a pixel density of 216ppi, it's considerably sharper than the iPad mini equivalent.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD review

This isn't particularly apparent within the main Kindle Fire interface, but it certainly bears fruit when reading a book or browsing the internet, where small text remains clear and eminently readable.
This display is powered by a capable 1.2GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4460 CPU. While this is far from the most powerful processor on the market, it is very well balanced and certainly doesn't come up short when faced with demanding tasks like high-definition video and 3D games.
One final piece of hardware-related info we really must cover is the Amazon Kindle Fire HD's impressive speakers. Positioned on either side of the device (if you're holding it in landscape), they're surprisingly punchy, given their size.
They really do crank out some respectable stereo sound - both in terms of volume and clarity.
Naturally, we'd recommend using earphones whenever possible, but for those times where you're just following a quick email link to a YouTube video, they're more than adequate.


  1. A rich HD display requires an effective processor and optimized software to drive it. Kindle Fire HD uses a quick dual-core processor with an Imagination PowerVR 3D graphics core, so even graphically-intensive games operate smoothly and render spectacular scenery.

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  2. This isn't particularly apparent within the main Kindle Fire interface, but it certainly bears fruit when reading a book or browsing the internet, where small text remains clear and eminently readable.

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