Monday, 1 July 2013

Kindle Fire HD

I'd like to introduce you to my latest toy.

I realise that from this angle it probably doesn't look like much. This case actually arrived before the gadget itself, which meant that I had a good twenty-four hours of enjoying this beautiful purple spottiness before I got anything to put inside it.

Of course, it's what's inside it that really counts...

I have to admit that I was a little bit dubious about whether I actually needed a new Kindle. I mean, I'm quite attached to my old one. When I got my Kindle Touch I was rather apprehensive because I like books, perhaps I wouldn't really like it and it would be a rather expensive mistake. I felt very similar feelings after ordering this little guy.

After much debate, and consultation with Mr Click, we decided to go for the Kindle Fire HD with the 7.9" screen. There's a smaller Kindle Fire without the HD or there's a much larger one, but as I want it to be an eReader first, I decided to go for the smaller size to make it easier to handle.

You then had the choice between 16Gb and 32Gb sizes, so I went for the larger of the two. This was obviously the slightly more expensive option, but I figured that as I'll probably be using it for audiobooks/music (sometimes its nice to listen to mood music as you read), maybe photos, apps and videos as well, the extra space would be better. I think I'd rather spend the money on a larger one and not fill it up, than get the smaller one and then regret it because I'm having to juggle what I can put on it (as I have to do with my music on my phone and mp3 player).

Then there's the choice of 'With Special Offers' or 'Without Special Offers'. There's a £10 difference between the two. The special offers aren't freebies that come with your new toy, they're adverts basically. After reading up on what those might be and how they might affect your experience with the Kindle, I decided to go with the 'With Special Offers' option. This shaved £10 off the price, though if you find that they are too intrusive a quick call to Customer Services and £10 fee removes them. As with the size issue I figured I'd go with them since I'd have the option to remove them if I wanted to, and if they don't bother me, well it won't be costing me anything.

I ordered it on the Sunday and it arrived on Wednesday. I didn't go for the speedy delivery option because it doesn't always get things to the island quicker. If I'd paid for that it couldn't have been with me much sooner. In true Kindle form it arrives in a funky box (black this time) and inside it the Kindle and the USB cable. And nothing else.

Honestly the hardest part of setting it up was figuring out exactly where the on/off button was! It's set at the top beside the volume button and they're sort of flush with the top (whereas the Kindle Touch power button sticks out a little way at the bottom - making it easier to turn it on and off by accident). It starts up with a 50% charge so you can play with it right away.

Of course at this stage there wasn't much I could actually do with it because we don't have internet access at home. The next day I connected it to my Amazon account and downloaded a bunch of books as well as a couple of apps. All of your books are stored on the Cloud, so you can just download them as an when you want them. This has been a good excuse to have a clear out and so I only downloaded some of the books that I've bought/downloaded in the past to save filling up my new Kindle the way I did before.

With your Kindle you also get a free month's trial of Amazon Prime. It's not something I'm convinced would be useful to me, the thought of only getting one free book per month just doesn't really sell it to me. That said, I've already picked the book I'm going to use for this trial and I'll download it closer to the time that I'm ready to read it. As well as this you get a selection of fifteen CDs that you've bought from Amazon to download onto your Kindle from the Cloud. Some of the ones it was offering to me were bought for gifts for other people several years ago so I wasn't in any hurry to fill up my Kindle with them, but it did include The Hobbit Soundtrack, so of course I put that on.

The speakers on it are superb. I've only really played around with this soundtrack and haven't watched any film or TV on it, but it sounded fantastic. Nothing like the little tinny speakers on my iPhone at all!

This picture gives an example of what the 'Special Offers' feature is like. Depending on what you're hovering over in the 'Carousel' it gives you examples of things other people have bought or things that are on sale. If you're on a webpage on the Carousel it'll show you popular pages at the moment. As most of the time when I'm on my Kindle I'm not connected to the internet, this is not intrusive at all, though I can see why some people might not want this. It just doesn't bother me.

I was slightly concerned about the screen because I'd heard about problems with glare. So far I can't say I've had a problem with it. The backlight is fine and the brightness/colour of the background can be adjusted so that helps to counter that problem. The backlight is great for reading in bed at night and I've found it's actually reduced the amount of eyestrain I've been feeling when I've been reading in bed at night. I'm sure Mr Click appreciate's the fact that I can now read late into the night without turning the light on!

I've also made use of the web browser on it as well (when I've been at my in-laws' house). It's so much smoother than the 'Experimental' (Read: Crap) web browser on the Kindle Touch. I spent Sunday morning using it to look at Ravelry forums whilst I did some sewing. A huge improvement on doing the same thing whilst reading on my phone.

While it was expensive, it's a lot more versatile than being just an eReader. I'm still getting to grips with it, but I definitely think that I went for the right thing.


  1. I love my Kindle Fire - I was unsure when I first bought it, but I wouldn't be without it now :)

    1. I'm definitely in love with mine.

      When I'm at my in-laws' house and I can connect it to the internet it's fantastically clear for looking at photos and things online - even better than on my laptop. Plus it's infinitely more portable too. I'm definitely a convert!


Let me know what you think. :-)