Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review, Features And Technical Specifications

When Kindle Fire landed in stores last year, it was quite obvious from the initial sales that it will go on to become a competitor for iPad and create some real competition in the tablet market. While the 1st generation of Kindle Fire tablets were not as slick as iPad, however things have become very different in the wake of the release of Kindle Fire HD.

Let’s face it, Kindle was never suppose to initially compete in the tablet market on the basis of its features but was more attractive to people looking for a cheap Android tablet. I still remember the Kindle Fire commercial which mocked iPad for its inability to provide a comfortable reading experience in bright sunlight. However, Apple replied to that with its next generation tablet, known as “The New iPad” (wonder why they named it that). The New iPad does not suffer from the lack of display clarity in bright sunlight and came with a number of nifty features (as explained in my Review of the New iPad).

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD is meant to step up the heat and take things to the next level, this is why it has come loaded with features that are more likely to be a good return for your money, instead of offering a cheap tablet which appears as a doppelganger of the BlackBerry PlayBook. Kindle Fire HD seems to answer most (if not all) the questions and concerns that critics had from its predecessor. However, it will still have to prove its worth against Google’s very own budget tablet, i.e. Google Nexus 7.

Kindle Fire 2

Hardware And Design

While not being a complete knock out as far as style is concerned, its Corning’s Gorilla Glass protected surface with a modified design does look stylish. The 7-inch panel of Kindle Fire HD measures at 7.6 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches or 193 x 137 x 10.3mm. That is  3mm wider, 17mm taller and almost 1.1mm thinner than the previous version. To make it short, the Kindle Fire HD is slightly thinner but the weight has been reduced which is quite convenient. The weight of the current Kindle Fire HD tablet is 395g, with Amazon’s branding marked at every corner after starting the device.

Kindle Fire 7_back

Storage Options

There are two storage options for the Kindle Fire HD (7-inch version). These include the 16GB version for $199 and the 32GB for $249. In case you opt for the version with less space, you will end up with around 12.6GB space for personal use. On the contrary, the 32GB version offers around 26.9GB.

Kindle Fire Apps

Performance Enhancements

Kindle Fire HD uses a 1.2GHz dual-core TI OMAP4460 processor and the RAM at system check is displayed at 752MB. The Wi-Fi of the 7-inch Fire HD can simultaneously send and receive data. What does this mean for the common user? If you’re sending and receiving high volumes of data, you will receive a better response. Furthermore, the dual antennas also ensure better signal strength.

New-Kindle-Fire Performance

Display

As is obvious, the Kindle Fire HD brings the High Definition magic to your display screen. It has a resolution of 1,280 x 800, with an IPS LCD. The initial response from critics regarding the brightness and contrast seems quite positive, along with the wide viewing angles. But if you are looking for an even better deal than you can always use the HDMI output to boost things a notch.

Kindle Fire HD Display

Dolby Digital Plus

Kindle Fire is now among the very few (if not the only tablet) offering Dolby Digital Plus with its stereo speakers. However, how important might virtual surround sound be to someone is a matter of preference.

Dolby Digital Plus

Battery Life

It can be argued if the battery life of the latest Kindle tablet is good enough. However, it appears that a battery life of 11 Hrs (reading time) and 9:57 Hrs at maximum resource utilization is pretty decent. Nonetheless, some may argue that this is less than what Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 has to offer as it has a battery life of 12:01 Hrs, which is even better than Apple’s iPad 2 which offers 10:26 Hrs. In fact even the 2012 release of Apple’s iPad can only give you approximately 9:52 Hrs (HSPA) / 9:37 Hrs (LTE). Some of you may argue about the given stats for the battery life, as they can vary according to usability; however the point remains the same that Kindle Fire HD arguably fails before the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7.

Battery Life

New Inclusions

Kindle Fire HD has included the OfficeSuite, as well as a new email, calendar and contacts apps. Nonetheless, there are various valuable features missing including the inability to tap on an address within a calendar invite, no option to view view calendars that are shared with you using Gmail and you can’t even create a calendar without a name (which is often the case if you forget to add a name). The most annoying thing is that in case you forget to enter an event without a name, all your changes are discarded. If you would like to find out more about the latest Kindle Fire HD tablet, you can get some idea from the technical specifications given below.

Kindle Fire HD Design

Technical Specifications For Kindle Fire HD 7.6

Dimensions: Length 7.6 inches, Width 5.4 inches, Thickness 0.4 inches

Weight: 395 grams (approximately)

Processor: 1.2 GHz Dual Core (OMAP4460)

Operating System: Android

Battery Time: 11 hours of reading time and more than 9 hours of video playback, without the need to recharge.

Display

  • Screen Type: IPS LCD With a Capacitive, Multi-Touchscreen
  • Screen Resolution: 1280X800

Memory

  • RAM: 1GB
  • Internal Storage: 16GB and 32GB storage options

Camera: Yes

Sound And Audio:

  • Speakers: Stereo (Dolby Digital Plus)

Sensors:

  • Accelerometer
  • Proximity Sensor
  • Ambient Light

Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi: 802.11n frequencies, (5GHz, 2.4GHz)
  • Bluetooth: Yes
  • Headphone: 3.5mm
  • Micro USB
  • HDMI

Technical Specifications Kindle Fire HD 8.9

Dimensions: 240 x 164 x 8.8 mm

Weight: 567 grams

Processor: 1.2 GHz Dual Core (OMAP4470)

Operating System: Android, version 4.0 (customized)

Battery Time: Almost 10 hours of reading time.

Display

  • Screen Type: IPS LCD With a Capacitive, Multi-Touchscreen (up to 10 fingers)
  • Screen Resolution: 1920×1200, up to 1080p HD

Memory

  • RAM: 1GB
  • Internal Storage: 16GB (12.7GB available to user) and 32GB (27.1GB available to user) storage options

Camera: Yes (Front Facing HD)

Sound And Audio:

  • Speakers: 3.5 mm stereo jack and integrated stereo speakers, with Dolby Audio engine

Sensors:

  • Accelerometer
  • Gyroscope
  • Ambient Light

Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi: Dual band, dual antenna 802.11n
  • Bluetooth: Yes
  • Headphone: 3.5mm
  • USB: V2.0
  • HDMI
  • 4G LTE (for Kindle Fire HD  8.9 4G)

Note: This review was written at the time Kindle Fire HD 7.6 was released, the specifications for the 8 inch version have now been added.

If you would like to share your experience regarding what you liked or disliked in Kindle Fire HD, leave a comment below or send in your opinion posts.