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Kindle Fire HD Review: What You Need to Know Before Buying

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I have had my Kindle Fire for almost a year now, and it has been both extremely fun and surprisingly convenient. With the new Kindle Fire HD out it seems they’ve kept everything I have loved and added some new features to boot — all while keeping it at $199. There are of course minor downsides, but you would expect them to be much more prominent for such a low price. In all the Kindle Fire HD is a perfect gift, especially for an avid reader, student, or really just anybody.  

I am a student and a city-dweller. What this means is that since getting the Kindle I have never had to pay for an actual book at a bookstore and I have also never been sitting bored and idle on the subway. All of my school books I have been able to find a Kindle or e-book version of for a fraction of the price of getting it used from the bookstore. Even better, for older classics that I am often required to read for classes I have been able to find free PDFs of floating around the good ol’ internets. In just my first semester of having the Kindle Fire it had more than paid for itself just because of school books.

In the morning when I rush off for the train I now only need to grab one thing to have everything with me. Everything as in comics, magazines, games, and videos. Running out of space isn’t much of a problem because you get unlimited Amazon Cloud storage space when you get a Fire, so when you do need to switch things you just need a Wi-Fi spot. So now on the train or bus you’ve essentially got your whole entertainment life at your fingertips.

After a year of owning my Kindle Fire, my screen is literally scratch-less, and I have never had an issue with the OS causing me to hard reboot or restore it to the factory defaults. The Amazon App store is not nearly as robust as the Google Play store, but a simple Google search will give you instructions as to how to use the Google Play store on your Kindle Fire. The actual performance of apps and games on the Fire is splendid though if you have a lot of apps open at once you could notice some lagging. As for the quality of videos it really mostly depends on the quality of the actual video that you are playing as opposed to the display quality of the Kindle itself.

The new Kindle Fire HD has all of this and more. The volume buttons are now actual physical things as opposed to hidden away in a setting menu. There is a Kids mode called “FreeTime” that enables parents to set parental controls on the Kindle for when there children use it, a front-facing HD camera, improved screen with anti-glare, dual antenna Wi-Fi, improved processor, and graphics core. What does all of this mean? That what felt like a steal for $199 just got better but the price stayed the same.

Of course, it can’t all be good news. So as to make some sort of profit on the Kindle Fire HD, Amazon has put advertisements on the lock screen. You can pay an extra fifteen dollars (any time after you purchase it) to have these ads removed. Of course, I am sure many people won’t pay the extra to remove them because, let’s be honest, how often are we staring at the lock screen? But needless to say the addition of advertisements to the lock screen is far from a bonus.

So I would highly recommend getting a Kindle Fire (HD or otherwise) for that special someone, especially if they are a student. Heck, I do recommend it whenever inquiring eyes as “What is that anyway?” After a year of using my Kindle Fire I have encountered no problems and I don’t have any reason anyone would with the Kindle Fire HD either. Convenience and fun is a good combination and the Kindle Fire has it.

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