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Old October 28th, 2012, 03:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default An hour with the Kindle HD.......

My alter ego on a travel forum (same user name, the one I use everywhere), wrote this review of the Kindle Fire HD earlier today. I own a Nexus 7 and an iPad 2 myself. I bought my sister a Fire HD for her birthday and she bought it round over the weekend. I had a play and I mostly like it. Review:

Well, I gave her the dosh for for it as it made sense for her to order it using her own Amazon account (the Fire HD then comes fully setup). She bought it round yesterday, so here are my thoughts after half an hour of fondling her new toy:

Firstly, it looks and feels somewhat more expensive than it actually is. They've mastered the old Japanese engineering knack of creating that feel of premium.

Second, it's slick. I'm talking full on Apple slickness here. And the screen is superb. Same PPI as my Nexus 7 but I get the impression (more engineering smoke and mirrors, perhaps) that this is a bit nicer than my Nexus 7. In spite of this, it also feels a little lighter. Seriously, this is perfect for reading books indoors. Oh, and unlike the Nexus, the built in speakers are actually very good. You can watch a movie in your hotel room without having to use a set of cans.

Now for the problems: The feeling of closedness is inescapable. This device makes Apple seem open! For one thing, there's no launcher, at least in the conventional sense of the word. And then there's the smaller store (only option unless you root the device and put vanilla Android on it).

Speaking of the store, like Google Play, it can give you the impression they sell something when they don't. For example, in the search I typed in "Swift" and it immediately finished "Swiftkey 3" but then found no results. Also, I doubt you'll ever find products competitive with Amazon in this store. Forget Netflix - you will be stuck with Amazon's inferior (in the UK at least) LoveFilm streaming service.

Also, this device has GPS but I couldn't find a built in mapping application. Nor was I impressed by the options in the store (but then again, I only know Google, so some of the options may well be excellent).

All in all though, I can't complain. The Fire HD is remarkable value for money, giving a premium end user experience at a relatively low cost. Most users aren't going to notice the closedness of the device and the Amazon ecosystem as it will deliver all the books and entertainment content they need, while providing a full on web browsing experience.

For business travellers, this device offers compatibility with their email and calendar services, whether they be Google, Hotmail/Outlook or the corporate Exchange server (corporate policy allowing). The available office options may well be good enough for delivering presentations (bearing in mind the device gives HDMI output) and the premium version of the built in Office application claims compatibility with Google Drive and Microsoft Skydrive.

Internaut's original review here.

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