Hi everybody! This thread will be a long-term report to see what happens when a Android tablet user (I own a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, rooted with Android 4.1) dives into the world of Amazon. I also own a Galaxy S3 as my phone. I'll be updating this as I go along. First off, why pick the AFHD when the Nexus 10 is clearly the "better option"? I thought about that too. My knee-jerk reaction was to get a Nexus tablet- I mean it will get the OS updates first, it's the pure Android experience. How could anybody pick a locked down Amazon tablet over it? Well here are my reasons: - My "real" use of tablets- Honestly, I just watch youtube, netflix, now Amazon Prime, and surf the web. Google now, widgets, and all that was fun for a bit and I haven't used it since. - Overlapping functionality- my phone and my tablet can do a lot of the same things, so there is this feel that my tablet is just a bigger, wifi only version of my S3. So in my eyes buying a S3 and a Nexus 10 is like owning a small SUV and buying a bigger SUV as a second car. Where buying the AFHD coupled with my S3 is like buying a sportscar as the second car. The AFHD is focused on one thing: content consumption. - I really won't miss the Android experience- I have a S3 I can play with. - Future-proofed- the AFHD is so focused in its functionality, future upgrades to Android or the hardware doesn't really matter. Who cares about lock screen widgets, google now, google maps? Give me more content. And if I do want those new features- I'll just look to my phone. Problem solved. - Price- the 32GB is cheaper than the 16GB Nexus 10 - You can sideload apps and root this as well ------------------------------------------------------------------------- REVIEW: PENDING PRICING At first glance, the 8.9" KFHD 32GB seems like a steal for $249 vs. the Nexus 10 32GB for $499. That's a $250 difference. But there are some hidden fees- 1) You have to pay for the AC adaptor (the KFHD comes with a cord that you can plug into your computer to charge) that is $19.99, but if you bundle it when you buy your Kindle you can get it for $9.99. Then if you want to remove the ads, it's another $15 I bought the ac adaptor but kept the ads to see what it was like. The difference now withers down to $225. But that is still a significant difference. Let me put it to you like this: when your Nexus 10 owning friends are ripping on you for getting the 8.9" KFHD because its not the pure Android experience, you can simply show them the 2nd tablet you just bought- the $199 16GB Nexus 7. Another advantage of the 8.9" KFHD 32GB is is that it comes with LTE for $499 with 250MB a month for a year for only $50 from AT&T, it comes with 20GB more cloud storage and a $10 Appstore credit. The question is what happens after that year? So in terms of pricing, you can't beat the KFHD. Build Quality It has a premium feel to it and I like the design. It's well built overall. It has a heft to it and doesn't feel ultra-light. It's not heavy and I'm OK with the weight. The physical buttons are very flush with the body and initially I thought I got the hang of it, but I've been fumbling with some of the buttons. The trick is to feel for the volume rocker which has a small bar of plastic jutting out. One section of the back gets warm with use. Overall it is a great bit of hardware. Sound This by far is the most impressive feature considering this is a tablet. I'm no audiophile, but to my very average ears, it sounds great. Display The display is sharp and bright, images appear way better than my tab. There is no reason why anybody at this point should buy any tablet without a high-resolution display. Comparing my tab and the KFHD, the white background when surfing the web has a slightly yellow hue where as the tab has a purple/blue hue. Reading on it is fine- I have no issues with it. Camera It's only got a front facing camera but no default app for it. Huh? They say it's for Skype… OK. Ads I opted to save $15 and go with the ads, which are very prominent. It is lock screen and as one review said- it makes you feel like this is not your own personal tablet. But I got over it. Other than that, under everything in the carousel there is another row of amazon recommendations that you can buy from them- I don't see it as annoying because some of the recommendations are interesting. Silk Browser It works. No flash, but you can access youtube videos. Generally, it sucks because of 3 things: 1) Stability 2) Speed 3) Load issues. Silk crashes often- usually I will get a pop-up window saying my active tab crashed and it will restore it. So the whole browser won't crash, just a tab. Speed- it does not feel as fast as my Samsung android devices. It feels sluggish. I've tried accessing the same websites on the KFHD (Dolphin & Silk) and my tab (Dolphin) to see which one was faster- there were times where the tab was faster by like 10-20sec. Then other times the KFHD was as fast or slightly faster than the tab. At this point, these are minor annoyances, but OK, I can be hopeful for an update. And now for the dealbreaker- loading issues. Scrolling through a blog with several posts, you except now that once the browser loads the website, you can scroll down and not have to wait for the content to load up as you scroll down. Not with Silk. Once you start scrolling down, you'll see nothing but white and then a second later the rest of the content will load. Basically, Silk sucks and I am not impressed. Amazon probably wants to develop their own browser so they can collect more data about you and offer you more stuff to buy from there. I get it. But Silk sucks. Fork off Chrome, "borrow" Opera, do something. Improve this now. But I sideloaded Dolphin and all is well with the world. So I did all this whining for nothing. OS It's stable- no horrendous crashes but it can be a bit sluggish at times. Not much to say except that it is locked down. If you think Apple is locked down and has no customization options... well let's put it this way- if Amazon ever locks down sideloading apps, we'll have an Android iPad. I can get my google calendar and gmail on it using the default apps. It's simple. The keyboard displays some lag at times. Not horrible, but not smooth either. You can swipe/type on it. Amazon Prime Obviously this goes hand in hand with the KFHD. Video The biggest problem I have with this is that there are two black bars when watching a video. Really? We can't get rid of that? Or lessen the size of the black bars? I have Netflix and Prime now and feel like a lot of content overlaps- I'm currently undergoing a trial evaluation to see if I can dump Netflix. Other than that, it works as advertised. Magazines/Newspapers You can subscribe directly through Kindle and some magazines have apps that you can download as apps. I haven't gotten any magazines yet, but looking around- I love the fact that you can unsubscribe as easily as you can subscribe- apparently you can just go to your account settings and unsubscribe. Great. The one big annoyance is that if you want the New York Times using a Stock Kindle and stock apps, you have to pay $19.99 for the "Kindle edition". Doesn't matter if you can access the app or website. So in effect you have to pay twice. Lame. Books It's like the Kindle app. Nuff said. It works perfectly. You can rent books which is great- I have 2 books at $10 a piece that I can rent for free. The drawback to renting books is that there is no great way to sift through the content- Amazon just vomits all the free books at you and you can only sort by the usual- price, rating, etc. You can't search the free books for a specific title, author. Value If you don't subscribe to Netflix or Hulu Plus and have no interest in it, then Prime is a killer deal- you'll make up the $80 fee through the free videos, books, and 2-day shipping. But if you have Netflix or Hulu Plus, I think the only way to make the $80 Prime fee worth it is to take advantage of the books and the 2-day shipping. So if you are an avid reader and/or shopper- you can make Prime worth it even if you subscribe to another video service. App Store It's a shadow of Google Play. You can get around this by sideloading apps or rooting. Hulu Plus, Netflix are available as well as some games, again nothing fantastic Conclusion So is this something for you to get? It depends on who you are. If you want a pure Android experience, which means you want to tinker with your tablets and do all kinds of customization stuff, run SNES emulators, etc and do not want to see it any other way, then pass on the KFHD. You'll find the KFHD is locked down. I'd say less than an iPad, but not by much. I suspect a few people out here will see this as a challenge and try the road less traveled- i.e. root, try to make the Kindle (which is cheap) a budget Android tablet. The other end of the user spectrum are the moms and dads- they don't care about customization, widgets, and think cyanogenmod is some drug school kids are taking. And on the surface, a KFHD looks like it would be a solid winner. But it's a gray area. The KFHD's functionality is so focused that you really can't get into trouble. But the app store is not as good as Google Play or iTunes. It's not as stable- the Silk browser is lousy and try explaining to granny about how to sideload apps? Yeah, no… And for people who are on dumbphones, the KFHD is no good for them either- I'd recommend something full-featured with the real Android experience. So who's left? Who should look at this tablet? 1) Amazon whores- all your content is from Amazon, including in the real world. 2) Android users. Wait. What? Yup. People with Android phones should seriously take a look at this tablet. And seriously look at what they need/want out of a tablet. If you are just mainly into content consumption, seriously take a look at this. Since we already have a full-featured Android device, we already benefit from all the fun stuff Android has to offer. If you're gonna buy another device, why spend several hundred dollars on more of the same? It's a cheap tablet, it's future-proofed because the focus is laser like (who cares about lock screen widgets? I'm just reading books), and provides a totally different experience than the Android experience (which we already get on our phones). For me, I see the phone as the bleeding edge tech that I use every day and carry with me all the times. The tablet can relax. The KFHD provides a different enough experience with Amazon's content that it's interesting and something new. For me, I don't want to tinker with clockworkmod in bed. I just want to read some comics, surf the web, and watch some movies. If you just want to consume content, this is it. I've decided to keep the KFHD. I like the tablet. It's not perfect out of the box. I downloaded the weather channel and netflix from the Kindle app store. I sideloaded the following apps: - Youtube - NY Times - Dolphin Browser - ES File Browser - Uniqlo alarm clock- didn't work unfortunately. Now it's pretty much perfect- it's the ultimate slacker device. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- UPDATES 1/3/12 The most ironic thing about the Kindle is that the amazon shopping experience is buggy. Sometimes when I search for a magazine, a book , whatever, it won't return results or will say "an error occurred" multiple times. So here I am trying to use it for Amazon's true intended use- to spend more money with them and I'm running into issues. Here are a few examples: I tried downloading adobe reader from the amazon app store and in the middle of downloading it, I got an error message. I tried downloading it again but the Kindle stubbornly said it was already download- which it was not. And I checked the settings -> applications -> installed applications. Here again, sideloading saved the day. Another instance I bought a Kindle book. It didn't download but showed up on my carousel. As a non-working icon. A restart cured the trick. This never happened with my Kindle app on other devices. There are times where I can't get a prime video to play- I'll get the spinning orange circle, but the internet browser is working. The wifi was buggy but after the Kindle freaked out and I had to decontent/recontent the Kindle, it was back to business as usual. But despite all this, I love this tablet. It's great. I can see myself using this for quite some time. Maybe I won't be on the warpath to getting the latest and greatest for the time being. 12/15/12 Wi-fi/buffering issues - There are times where youtube videos will buffer only 1/2, 3/4 of the video and then just stop. I can have issues with netflix as well. Strangely I never have problems with Prime- either it works or it doesn't (which happened once) - There are times where surfing the web is dial-up slow and often I need to refresh the page. This is with silk, dolphin, doesn't matter. Meanwhile I am flying through the internet on my laptop or cellphone. OS stability - Less stable than my Galaxy tab. One night the thing decided not to play any videos- no youtube, netflix, Prime. I reset it several times before learning deregistering/registering my Kindle could help things out. This worked. Fortunately everything is on the cloud, so there really is no backup issues. Assuming all your stuff is from Amazon. - Silk will crash the Kindle. - There are times where I will be trying to buy something from Amazon- a movie, a song, whatever and when I click on the movie link, it goes blank. That is horrible- you'd think they'd make the shopping experience as easy as pie. Silk browser - After the slow loading with Dolphin, I decided to try out Silk again. And the last time I tried it out, it's fast (but again, it only loads what you see- if you scroll down, it takes a second to load up the rest of the page). But it also crashes my Kindle. In about 15min of web browsing- no videos, nothing fancy, it managed to crash my Kindle twice. So away it goes until Amazon decides to update it. Battery life - I'd say this is on par with my old iPad or my galaxy tab 10.1. Which is a good thing. Keyboard - For the most part it works fine. The auto spell checker is only a billion times better than the one on my Galaxy S3, but that's not saying much. One quirk I have is that often it will not register the first letter I type in dolphin only. So if i'm typing in "cnn.com", it is not uncommon for the Kindle to register "nn.com". Stock e-mail app - Not as good as gmail on Android. Here's why: 1) If I get an email, no notifications 2) There are a few times where I'll e-mail myself something and it will take forever for it to show up in my inbox. Magazines - I bought a Car & Driver subscription and it was pretty easy. The format works flawlessly. It's exactly like reading a book on a Kindle app. 11/26/12 A nice touch was that Amazon e-mailed me an online guide to the KFHD. But today I get a email from Amazon selling the KFHD. I already bought one, is that not enough? I thought that was funny. Should be here tomorrow. 11/22/12 Signed up for Amazon Prime. Bought the following: - Amazon Kindle Fire HD Wifi only 8.9" - $369 - AC adapter - $19.99 - Grand total of $33.84 with free 2 day shipping. My credit card rewards program notified me that I had a $345.15 credit I could use at Amazon, which I used.