Jury Is Still Out on Kindle Fire HD
Tis the season for new high-tech products, and this year is poised to be one of the biggest explosions of new products ever seen in the tech world.
Manufacturers are introducing these products in Septem-
ber and October to give them just enough time to skyrocket to the top of holiday wish lists and to top sales in the holiday gift-giving season.
The hottest products this year are sure to be tablets. The choices will be absolutely mind-boggling.
As you all know, the iPad is the cat’s meow in tablets. With everyone and his uncle trying to compete with the iPad, the choice of what to buy is going to be difficult.
There are already many inexpensive, no-name tablets on the market. Last week Amazon added to the fray with their release of the second rendition of its popular Kindle Fire tablet, called the Kindle Fire HD.
This is a 7-inch tablet that is selling for $199. Since I’ve used it for only two days, I can’t give you a full review until next week, but I can tell you that the Fire HD is much improved over the first Fire tablet.
Following Apple’s lead, Amazon is leaving the first Kindle Fire in the market. It is selling for $149. Don’t even consider it because for the extra $50 you’ll shell out for the Kindle Fire HD you’ll get:
Better design with tapered edges
Much improved, actually quite beautiful, screen, with clearer text and better colors. The clearer text is especially noticeable when reading books.
Dolby Digital Plus stereo speakers
Front-facing camera for Skype
More storage — 16 GB versus 8GB for the old Fire
Faster processor (dual-core 1.2GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4460 processor)
HDMI output for streaming high-definition movies from the Fire to your HD television
Physical volume controls
Improved, faster interface based on Android’s 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system
What you won’t find in the Fire HD compared with some other tablets:
Cellular connection, which will be available in their more expensive, larger tablet that will be available in November
GPS for directions
This first look at the Fire HD tells me that, in spite of these few exceptions, you can do a lot with this little device.
You can surf the Web, send and receive email, play music, watch videos, read newspapers and magazines, read books, display photos, listen to audio books, play games, make video calls to your friends, and download apps that will do everything from waking you in the morning to helping you lose weight and organize your life.
I am, however, nervous about a few things. The Fire HD comes with ads that can only be turned off by paying Amazon an extra $15. The accessories seem pricey.
Amazon offers a special wall charger that may actually be necessary for faster charging. And I am a little concerned to find out if the battery life meets expectations.
More details and a performance report on the Fire HD next week.
Contact Sandy Berger at email@example.com.
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