Kindle Fire HD - Amazon’s Kindle e-Reader

1/10/2013 5:24:13 PM

The Mini Tablet incarnation of Amazon’s Kindle e-Reader blazed the trail for such devices, and was the first to catch on in a market previously dominated by nine-and ten-inch devices. The Kindle Fire HD has a 7" colour touchscreen (note: not an e-ink screen like the standard Kindle), 16 or 32GB of SSD storage, 1GB of RAM and a TI OMAP 4460 CPU, which is based on the ARM Cortex-A9, similar to the Tegra 3, but dual rather than quad core.

Kindle Fire HD

Kindle Fire HD

As you can see, it puts up a reasonable fight where hardware is concerned, but it's still a little behind the market leaders. At least the screen is completely up to scratch - A 7" IPS panel with a resolution of 1280 × 800, which is the same as most recent devices in its class. The only area it stands out, hardware wise is its dual-band Wi-Fi which is more reliable and faster in theory, anyway. In practice, it depends on your network's capabilities.

Kindle Fire HD

Connectivity is only available through Wi-Fi, though, (no 3G version exists) and microUSB. The operating system is based on a modified version of Android 4.0 that allows it to access both Amazon’s App Store and the Android Market, as well as all other third-party Android stores. That said, the 'curated' nature of the app store means software you want may be unavailable - and there's an extra charge to opt out of adverts that otherwise display on the lock screen, which is frankly scandalous.

Kindle Fire HD

Some of the Kindle Fire's best features come from its Amazon integration, however. It doesn't offer a very complete Android experience, but the close integration with Amazon's entertainment library of books, movies and TV programs makes it a fantastic entertainment device, particularly for Amazon Prime subscribers, who receive extra perks.

In some ways, the Kindle Fire HD seems unashamedly low-end for a device released this year. For light web-browsing and entertainment purposes, it's a good choice, if only because it's dirt cheap. Its specs aren't a million miles away from the iPad Mini, but it costs $160 less!


·         Screen Size: 7"

·         Internet: Wi-Fi Only (Dual Band)

·         Price: 16 GB ($259) / 32 GB ($326)

·         OS: Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

·         Release Date: September 2012


·         Quality: 6

·         Value: 9

·         Overall: 7


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