Fire or iPad?: A 16GB Kindle Fire HD with 7" Display, Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Dual-Antenna, and Wi-Fi Review
Nov 23, 2012
Even though I have and regularly use an iPad 2, I was excited to learn I was receiving a Kindle Fire as a gift. The previous Fire had been highly successful, and this would be my first opportunity to scrutinize an Android based device based on daily use. However I doubted the Kindle Fire would be a replacement for my iPad.
The Kindle Fire HD 7", made in China, is smaller than my 9.7 inch iPad and is more comparable in size to the new iPad mini. The screen resolution is amazingly vivid and detailed. Measuring approximately 7.625in/198mm by 5.375 in/136.5mm by .375 in/10mm inches and weighing 12.1 oz/343g, the Kindle Fire HD 7" fits comfortably in the hand for handheld uses and is compact for transport and storage.
Our Amazon prime account is in my other half's name. Therefore I can only use the shipping benefit even though my hard earned money goes towards paying for our membership. To reap the Amazon Prime benefits, I must either put the Kindle Fire in their name or wait for Prime to expire so I can purchase from my Amazon account. Unfortunately, doing so means my other half doesn't get the video and ebook benefits. It's unreasonable for us to share an Amazon account, and it's equally unreasonable for Amazon to deny one of us full Prime benefits. I can see why they limit benefits, but spouses who live in the same house, jointly pay bills, and sleeping in the same bed should be able to share the main account holder privileges.
The Kindle Fire is not only tied to prime benefits, but is definitely geared around purchasing Amazon products too. The first menu option is "Shop" which takes you right to Amazon to make purchases. Several menu items takes you to your content, but will also show a "Store" option so you can shop for content on Amazon. The offers shown at start up and through a menu option can be removed for a fee after the fact by changing the subscription settings under "Manage Your Devices". Purchasing on Amazon is fine, I do so regularly. I just don't like it appearing to be Amazon's purpose for the Kindle Fire HD.
It used to be I would recommend others to get the largest capacity device they could get. The Kindle Fire HD, like many tables, doesn't have the option of expanding its memory. However, the cloud is changing things. As long as you're connected to Wi-Fi, access to all your items are available through the cloud. I use both Amazon Cloud Drive and DropBox, and can access both easily. I just have to be sure to download anything I want for when Wi-Fi is not available. After a month of use and adding apps, I've only used about 1GB of space on the Kindle Fire so far. Alternatively, I've used up 22 out of 36 GB on my iPad 2 largely due to stored images and tunes.
I use my iPad 2 as a laptop replacement. Watching videos, playing games, and reading books is fine, but not the reason I have a tablet. I write, take notes, and download images from my camera as a backup in the field. The iPad 2 works well for my needs, but I can't imagine trying to use the Kindle Fire in the same manner. A big difference comes with size. I can comfortably type on my iPad while the keyboard is too small to type comfortably with any reasonable speed. I could purchase a Bluetooth keyboard, but carting around bulky attachments defeats the purpose of having a convenient portable device.
As an entertainment device, the Kindle Fire is amazing. Watching streaming video or listening to audio from Amazon works smoothly. Reading on the display is simple and works in the same way as the iPad with pinch and spread finger control actions. Amazon has practically every app I searched for. The Kindle Fire is great for reading magazines, however I prefer reading books on my Kindle Paperwhite.
There is no way theKindle Fire will replace my iPad 2 as my primary tablet. The Kindle Fire HD makes a nice secondary entertainment device, although I wouldn't recommend everyone purchase both. The iPad 2 is great for being productive, but makes an expensive entertainment device. If you're wanting to read email and be entertained, the Kindle Fire is the right choice.
PROS: Stunning color display Amazing sound Quick interaction
CONS: Amazon Prime usage a huge problem for couples with separate Amazon accounts Fire HD is an obvious gateway to purchasing on Amazon Keyboard too small for normal typing