Thumb Reources Kindle Fire HD and Paperwhite Review
In late 2011, Amazon released the Kindle Fire, and in late 2012, Amazon is at it again, updating their whole line of Kindle products including the Kindle Fire HD and the Kindle Paperwhite. The HD version is more of an entertainment device, while the Paperwhite is primarily an e-reader for books, magazines, and newspapers.
Why the release of new a new line of products, and are they any good? The HD version was released to bring high definition video in the basic model at $199, while the upper end models are more like a tablet or the New iPad 3 but considerably cheaper, and only a tiny bit worse in some aspects. The Kindle Paperwhite has solved a major complaint about the original Kindle and Nook, which is, the need for a light. The back-lit screen evenly illuminates all of the text for indoor reading, while the Kindle non-reflective screen technology makes it easy to read outside as well. Take a read below for full review of both devices.
An In-Depth Look at the Kindle Fire HD
The new models of the Fire bring about a lot of changes, and it shows that Amazon doesn’t just want to be considered a content consumer, or solely a producer of an entertainment device. While the cheaper models allow just that, the more advanced models can be used as on-the-go tablets to allow you thoroughly enjoy a movie, while afterwards, enable you to check your email, create a power point presentation, and Skype with a client or friend.
The most advanced models cost $499 and $599, but with those price tags, comes a great deal of power and capability. You are essentially buying a super compact less powerful laptop. Why purchase these devices over the new iPad 3? The costs are close, but you’re paying another $129 for not much more, while the Amazon tablet beats the iPad in some categories as well.
Comparing the Kindle Fire models
There are several differences among the $159 model and the $599 model of the Kindle Fire series. Lets take a look at a complete breakdown of the Kindles, before we go into details into the differences.
|Kindle Fire 2||Kindle Fire HD||Kindle Fire HD 8.9″||Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 4G LTE Wireless|
|Price Depending on Storage||$159||$199-$249||$299-$369||$499-$599|
|Screen Size in Inches||7||7||8.9||8.9|
|Screen Resolution||1,024×600||1280×800 with 720p HD||1920×1200 with 1080p HD||1920×1200 with 1080p HD|
|Sound||Stereo speakers||Dolby Audio dual-driver stereo speakers||Dolby Audio dual stereo speakers||Dolby Audio dual stereo speakers|
|Size in Inches||7.44 x 4.72 x .45||7.6 x 5.4 x .4||9.45 x 6.5 x .35||9.45 x 6.5 x .35|
|Weight in ounces||14.2 oz||13.8 oz||19.8 oz||19.8 oz|
|Capacity||8GB Plus cloud storage||16-32GB Plus cloud storage||16-32GB Plus cloud storage||32-64GB Plus cloud storage|
|Connection||Wi-Fi||Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi||Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi||Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi and 4G wireless|
|Processing Power||Dual-core, 1.2GHz OMAP4430||Dual-core, 1.2GHz OMAP4460||Dual-core, 1.5GHz OMAP4470||Dual-core, 1.5GHz OMAP4470|
|Battery Life||9 hrs||12 hrs||depends on usage||depends on usage|
|Updated as of 10/2/2012|
Several new and notable changes and highlights
Hard Drive Space
First, the Kindle Fire HD model is an upgraded version of the Kindle Fire released last year. The screen is absolutely stunning, but it lacks tablet features of the new iPad 3 or the Kindle Fire HD 4G Tablet. However, for a quick, slim, and easy entertainment device, it is a fantastic choice. It carries more hard drive space, either 2x or 4x as much as the original Kindle Fire, so you can carry more movies, games, apps, magazines, books, and more on the go without needing to jump on the Wi-Fi connection. You have the choice of the either the 16 GB version or the 32 GB version, depending on your needs, with a $50 difference. The more ‘tablet’ type Amazon Kindle, will carry 16-64 GB, depending on what you choose. The Kindle Paperwhite will be able to hold more than enough books for you, over 1,000.
Video and Audio Improvements
The original Kindle Fire had a simple speaker, but now the new Kindle Fire HD models have Dolby audio and dual stereo speakers. Also, Amazon has pushed the limits of screen technology, getting rid of a lot of glare that you find in most other tablets, including those made by Microsoft and Apple. Both of these deliver a video and audio performance that is both enjoyable and impressive. The screen enhancements for the Paperwhite make it possible to read both indoors and outdoors directly in the sun. Before, you needed a little light clip, but now, the back-lit screen makes it easy to read and illuminates the screen evenly.
Connectivity / Wi-Fi
Amazon gives you several different options when it comes to connectivity. The Kindle Paperwhite can come in a 3G or wi-fi only option, with a $60 difference in price. The more basic Kindle Fire HD models come with wi-fi or a sped up wi-fi that is supposedly 40% faster than the iPad 3 when it comes to downloading and streaming. This is great news for all of us at home, at coffee shops, or at the airport. However, for those of you who will be traveling a great deal, or just don’t want to deal with the hassle of finding a hot spot, the higher end Kindle Fire HD comes with a 4G LTE option. This allows you to connect to the internet no matter where you are(for the most part).
Facebook, Twitter, Angry Birds Space and Where’s My Perry? are all easily available for you to play. Have 50 different apps, a couple movies, and a bunch of TV shows on your device and you need to delete a few apps to make more space… but you’re worried about losing your progress? No worries! It is saved in the Amazon cloud which will reload all of your progress when you want to swap content in the future. Along with a whole host of free apps including, Netflix, HBO GO, Hulu Plus, Pinterest, The Weather Channel, Magic Piano, and more! The Paperwhite model is more about reading, than apps, so choose what features you’d like.
Since the Paperwhite is a simple e-reader, for both day and night use, it’s battery lasts approximately 8 weeks with the wireless off. The HD models are blasting out a higher processing chip, amazing graphics, and more, so the battery life is 9 hours on the lower end model, and up to 12 hours on the higher end models.
Front Facing Camera
One of the major complains when comparing the iPad 3 with the Kindle Fire was that there was no front facing camera. Is having one really that necessary since everyone owns a nice phone with a camera or a digital camera? A lot of people didn’t think so, but still, they decided skyping was definitely something people wanted on the more tablet like Kindle Fire HD 4G model. The camera is a feature only on the HD models.
Kid Friendly – New Feature
Want to share your Fire HD with your kids, or give a great gift for the Holidays to tech savvy younger kid? Kindle FreeTime is a new feature that allows you to set limits concerning daily screen allotments, age appropriate content, and it comes with with all the Kindle Fire HD models. This is a great hands-off feature for keeping the balance between leaning over your kids shoulder, and allowing your kids to roam on their own.
Fast Internet Browsing, E-mail, and more
Of course, you want to read e-mails seamlessly, browse the internet without a lot of lag, and enjoy the latest books, magazines, and newspapers without having to sacrifice a view of a larger screen. One of the nicer features is that this is light and small enough to fit easily in your back pack, brief case, or purse, but still big enough to enjoy highly detailed websites.
New Feature – X-Ray for Movies, Books, and Textbooks
One of the new features of the Kindle Fire HD models is an X-Ray feature for movies, books, and textbooks. For example, if you want to learn more about what actors are in the scene, simply pause the movie and x-ray the scene. If you want to learn more about a phrase in a text book, use the x-ray feature to look at all the related pages, the glossary, YouTube, Google, and more in just a couple seconds.
Amazon Prime has been around for a long time. The Prime membership has increased in value while remaining the same price for the past few years. This includes movies, TV shows, one Kindle book a month, apps, and two day shipping on millions of items for sale on Amazon. I have college friends who have saved a lot of money by getting their text books in two days, along with food, and other items. I know moms that have saved money, because they don’t want to lug all the kids to the store, but they can jump on Amazon for two minutes to order a dozen important items and have them delivered in two days. You get one free month of this, and a yearly membership is pretty cheap.
Kindle Fire HD Review Summary
Overall, for the price points that Amazon continues to deliver in their Kindle line of products, it is a great value.
Check out all the different Kindle options below at Amazon
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