"First eReader"5.0 starson by Norman-Perry
Pros: Super light & thin
Screen is bright and clear
HDMI output works great
Dual WIFI antennas
Easy to use User interface
Free 30 days Prime membership
Cons: No external indicator of when the unit is fully charged
On/off switch is hard to locate by touch
No power adapter
Summary: As the title suggests, this is my first eReader. I've had some time to play around with the original Kindle Fire and the Samsung Galaxy 7" Tab, and so far I'm loving the Kindle Fire HD. For a while I did a side by side comparison with the Samsung tablet that I bought earlier this year. They both have their strong points, but I'm reviewing the Fire HD so that's where the focus will be, even if I use the Samsung as a reference point. So lets get started with what an eReader is all about! Reading books...
Books - The Kindle Fire HD gives you three different backdrop colors to choose from when reading books. White, black, and sepia. I started off using white but then moved to sepia because it's just more comfortable. One of the biggest reasons I waited so long to jump on the eReader train was because I like paper books. I still do. However, I'm shocked at how quickly I've 'adjusted', if you can even call it that. Switching to the Fire HD was seamless because of the screen clarity and ease of use. The sepia choice makes it seem more like a book I suppose. You can also change font styles and sizes, but I haven't touched much of that. One thing I would like to mention here is that reading on this vs the Samsung only differs really in the margins. The Kindle gives you a larger area for text where as the Samsung cuts off a sentence or two. Minor difference, not much of a setback. Changing pages is easy, you tap the screen. Adding bookmarks to save your place is easy as well and I've only used it a few times when the book would close on it's own and start from the beginning. Not sure why it's done that, but it has happened. One fantastic feature that comes in handy is being able to highlight and then search keywords throughout the entire book. I'm currently reading a detective novel and it's extremely convenient to be able to highlight a name and see every time it's been used previously so I can refresh on a character's background from earlier in the story.
Movies - The HD screen really shines here. Of course everything I use as far as movies is streamed through Amazon, so internet connection is a big player here as far as clarity. Whenever I have a good connection though, it's fantastic to see these movies and TV shows with such clarity. The color quality on the Fire is amazing as well. No complaints here. It's worth noting that the Fire HD has fantastic speakers as well. I was able to hear everything without having to blast the volume and it even has surround sound.
Magazines - One of the main reasons I gave this item 5 stars was the convenience factor. I can't explain how great it is to carry a magazine, book, and movie with me all in one device. I honestly didn't think this would matter, since carrying a book or magazine with me or throwing it in the car isn't necessarily hard, it's just beyond convenient to have it on one device. I've seen reviews on magazines saying they prefer the paper to take in certain pictures and read the articles in larger print, but I can honestly say I prefer the Fire HD. I read Bike Magazine and they put out some phenomenal pictures and the HD screen does them justice. I'd even argue it's a better look than the paper version. It also gives you the option to read the articles in full page view, just like you're reading the magazine, or by double-clicking an article to read it in eReader mode where you can adjust font size, etc, etc.
Apps - you're locked into Amazons app store, but they give you the majority of any app you'd need. This wasn't a big selling point for me. I've only really put Sudoku on mine. I have a smart phone for apps. Amazon does have a great selection and a majority of the top games and applications can be found on their market.
Browser - It's nice that it comes with a browser, and can handle the desktop sized websites, but it seems like the Samsung I was using loaded websites faster than the HD. However -- the general interface of the Fire HD itself (scrolling through material & shopping in the market) went faster than the Samsung did because of how Amazon has kept everything very simple and you don't have the option to have a main screen to put apps and links on. I realize these are two different devices entirely, but just figured I'd mention it. Another thing I'll add to this small section is the added wifi system they put in the HD. I'm not the most technical person, but I can pick up on wifi networks from much farther distances than most other wireless devices I own. It's great for range, but speed stays the same.
Screen Quality - As I've stated before, it's stunning! I've been able to watch tv and movies and enjoy the fantastic pictures in my magazines. It's also a perk to not strain your eyes as much as other back-lit eReaders caused me to do while testing them out in the store. I'd also like to mention that when they say they've added anti-glare technology to it, that's true to a certain extent. The black siding to the screen definitely shows a reflection, but it doesn't matter so much. The screen itself with your media on it has a slight glare that I had to look for to see. I haven't used it outside, and really have never seen the need to yet, but inside with lamps around it doesn't pick up any extra light to create a glare, which is another plus. I also like that this is a little wider. The original Fire's screen sort of bugged me for it's shape.
Weight - Super light & thin. I hardly notice any weight at all when carrying it. It's also comfortable to hold when reading.
Accessories - I bought the leather case that Amazon sells for it and it's very nice. I like the stand when watching movies and it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to have something cover it, even if it doesn't protect from drops.
Ports / Storage - So far I haven't filled up really any of the space on it. For what this device is used for, you really don't need a lot of space unless you're downloading movies to it, in which case you need to upgrade to the larger size as there are no SD card slots or any of that jazz. As far as I know it's still the same principal of only using the usb to charge and not transfer data as well, but I could be wrong on that so don't take my word for it. That's just something I heard about the older Fire.
Battery - So far I've gotten a solid days use out of it no matter what I'm doing. Whether I'm watching video or just reading it usually gives me the same charge of roughly a day.
All in all I'm really enjoying this product. I've had it for about two weeks now and am really getting into it. Amazon Prime is a nice perk at first, they give you a free 30 day trial with your purchase. I've taken advantage of the free 2 day shipping already, but I'm not sure I'll renew this service. I feel like buying the product should give you more time to use it or at least a discount on purchasing it. Streaming videos and movies has been great though. Compared with the Samsung, I'd say go with whatever fits your needs more. I would have chosen the Samsung if I wasn't JUST looking for an eReader. At first the HD screen and added speaker quality of the Fire were just a plus but now I can see how they'd be a definite selling point. The Samsung is great too because of it's expandable storage and access to anything and everything android. The biggest downside to the Fire is being locked into Amazon's market, which isn't a big enough issue to cause me to down-rate it at all. After all, it is Amazon's product.
Best Offer for this Kindle fire HD at --> Amazon.com/dp/B0083PWAPW/?tag=amz-kindle-20
I hope this helps and if there are any questions please feel free to ask them and I'll try to respond quickly.