"Fire is better for books. iPad better for all else."2.5 starson by nopcbs2
Pros: Relatively inexpensive (especially during the $250 special), lovely picture, good speakers, fairly light, starts much faster than my Kindle Fire. Like all Fires, great for buying stuff from Amazon.
Cons: Frustrating to use compared to an iPad. Poor human interface for anything but simple mail and reading Kindle books, annoying lack of a mechanical applications switch button. Slower wifi than my iPad 2. Slow screen refresh.
Summary: I really, really wanted to like this and intended to sell my Gen I Kindle Fire after I got the Kindle HD 8.9, but the more I use it the less I like it. It is just not "right". A iPad 2 can be had refurbished with 1 year warranty from Apple for $319 + tax and it is a MUCH better tablet than the Fire HD 8.9 is for everything except reading Kindle books and even there I think you are better off with a non-HD 7" Kindle Fire. The iPad human interface is much worse than the Apple iPad and we will not even go into the much larger library of apps for the iPad. I guess I expect more out of the 8.9" format than just a very good Kindle book reader. Mine is going back, much to my surprise and disappointment. I am NOT an Apple junkie. I bought a Toshiba Thrive because I did not want to be part of the Apple "cult" and only bought an iPad 2 as a refurb from Apple to see what the hoopla was about. That made me sell my ICS OS Thrive. iPads REALLY are better. Much better, sad to say.