You know after spending a couple of weeks using the Amazon Kindle Fire HD I am actually more impressed than I thought I would be. This really is a sleek little tablet and honestly a tablet I would recommend for someone looking for a tablet to read, watch videos and do some web browsing on. I think there are two categories of people who purchase tablets. The casual crowd that use tablets to read, watch videos and do a few other things. Then the more enthusiast crowd that wants to run pretty much anything on the tablet and is going to be doing more in-depth tasks. Let’s start with that group first.
They are not going to like the Amazon Kindle Fire HD. The main reason is that they will be stuck in Amazon’s ecosystem. With the Kindle Fire HD you can only download applications that are in Amazon’s App Store and they have blocked some of the most popular apps out there. You are not going to get the full Android experience either. Amazon has created their own UI for the device so some features that are on other tablets are not present on the Kindle Fire HD. Of course there are ways around those issues, but we will talk about that in another article. Finally there is no expandable storage. Many Android tablets have a microSD slot for extra storage, but the Kindle Fire HD is stuck with the 16 or 32GB of internal storage and that is it.
Now if you are part of the casual crowd you are going to really enjoy using the Kindle Fire HD. The UI that Amazon has created for it is extremely easy to use, even for a first time tablet user. There are tabs for your books, videos, music, etc. Everything is no more than two taps away. Reading books and watching movies on the device is great. The HD screen really does look good when watching HD content. The two speakers do a good job and you can use headphones with the device if you choose to.
If you are part of the Amazon ecosystem, if you have an Amazon Prime account or have had a previous Kindle then there is no reason why you shouldn’t consider the Kindle Fire HD. Everything on the tablet is linked to your Amazon account. All of your books, videos and music purchased through Amazon will show up on the device instantly once you register it. If you are a Prime member you can instantly stream HD movies or TV shows (for free!) and you get access to the Kindle Lending Library, which allows you to essentially rent books 1 at a time for free. Once you register the device you get a month of Prime for free then it is $79/year after that.
At the beginning of this review I mentioned that I had two tablets already, which I never use. I think the main reason is their size. They are larger tablets, are a pain to take with me places and at that size I am more productive on an Ultrabook. The Kindle Fire HD is different, its small, easy to take with me places and for what I really want to do on it (read & watch movies) it is perfect. The fact that it is tied into the Amazon ecosystem is not really an issue for me and I would consider myself an advanced user.
At $199 for the 16GB version I think you are getting a great tablet that is going to do everything you want and has a great ecosystem behind it for constant new content. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Amazon Kindle Fire HD a 9 out of 10 score and our Recommended Award.
- Powerful for its size
- Amazon UI is perfect for first time users
- HD screen
- Tied into the Amazon ecosystem
- 1 month of Amazon Prime included
- Can only download applications from Amazon’s App store