When I first heard Amazon’s announcement on the new Kindle Fire HD, I thought to myself, “No matter what, I will get my hands on that device.” Four days later and 200 less dollars in my bank account, I finally have the kindle in my grubby hands. What first impressed me was the slick and glossy display of the tablet. Amazon advertises the specs of the picture quality to be 1280X800 HD pixel display, a bit better than 720p but not as crisp as 1080p. Even at 720p, the video and picture quality is stunning for a small table of its size. Accompanying the beautiful display is the Dolby built in speakers located in the bottom rear of the Fire HD. Pumping at full blast, the tiny speakers filled the small enclosed space of my room with some of my favorite quotes from the BBC series Doctor Who.
A feature that has been introduced only to the Kindle Fire HD is the installation of a dual-band antenna. Most Wi-Fi devices are sending and receiving data on a frequency of 2.4Ghz. This new antenna gives the tablet the option of sending data on either a 2.4 or 5.0Ghz frequency. Because 5.0Ghz is not as crowded as 2.4, devices with a dual-band frequency is able to send and receive data at a much faster rate. If using a dual-band wireless router, the Kindle Fire HD will download the same content much faster than other devices such as the New Ipad or an Iphone 4s.
The processor speed of the Fire HD is running at 1.2Ghz dual core, giving it more than enough juice to run most of the basic apps and games out in the Amazon app market. Speaking of the app market, the one disappointment I have with the Fire HD is the limited amount of apps available in the Amazon App Market. Some of my favorite apps that I can find on the Google Play Store are simply unavailable for my Fire HD. For now, you might have to either wait for the app to become available on the Amazon App Store or wait until someone finds another way to download 3rd party apps.
If you plan on taking full advantage of your Fire HD, one thing you must purchase is an Amazon Prime membership. The cost is $80 per year but it is well worth it. For one, you get free two day shipping on all purchases that are eligible for prime shipping. Second, you get unlimited online streaming on all available Amazon Prime eligible TV shows and movies. Third, every month you gain access to Amazon’s extensive library of Prime books and borrow one book of your choosing. Not only do these titles offer bestselling classics but it also offers many of the latest ebooks.
Another feature I dislike of the Fire HD is the front facing camera. The quality of the camera is okay for Skype calls and the occasional Evernote picture; however, don’t plan on using it to take high quality wedding pictures or portraits. For my purposes though, the camera will do just fine. What really bugs me about the Fire HD camera is that it does not have an easy app for access. On almost all smartphones, pictures can be taken by just pushing on the app and taking a picture with a push of a button whenever you felt like it. The only way to take a picture on the Fire HD is to use an app that has camera capabilities such as Skype or Evernote.
Overall, I found the Kindle Fire HD to be a powerful microcomputer that is well worth the price. Some of the features could be improved on, but for now I find the Fire HD to be an excellent choice for the low cost of $199. I couldn’t go through all the features the new tablet offers, so expect a second part review focusing on the handling and software of the tablet. In the meantime, I leave you with three videos of my first impressions of the Kindle Fire HD. What are your thoughts on the Kindle Fire HD? Let me know by commenting below.