Amazon have been kind enough to lend me a Kindle Fire HD to play with. I’ve really enjoyed having it around. But I’m still writing this review up on my iPad. Which to me is the difference between the two devices.
Even though the post-PC era of tablets has only been upon us for about 3 years the iPad quickly established itself as the dominant force – and the market is still pretty much iPads vs non-iPads. But the non-iPad market hasn’t stood still – and in certain areas has made giant leaps. It’s definitely no longer just where the pale imitators are found.
The 8.9″ is a perfect content consumption device. I’ve heard it described as a mobile Amazon store vending machine and in many ways the analogy holds true. The device comes pre-registered with your Amazon username so there’s virtually no set up. The OS’s home screen is just a wall of content, and there’s a seemingly endless number of opportunities for Amazon to point out what other people who had bought your particular app/book/song had also sought out. This is in many ways brilliant – I love finding out about new shows, books or bands and “discovery” as an activity on the Kindle Fire is brilliant.
The Kindle Fire HD feels like the next generation of the ereader. The iPad feels like the next generation of the laptop.
This is also aided by the excellent hardware. Whilst a little too big to hold in one hand (which after all is what the Kindle Fire 7” is for), the tablet was excellent for novels, magazines, streaming video and low-level gaming. The stereo speakers sounded great when listening to video (and pretty good for music playback obviously), the 1920×1200 HD screen was crisp and the build quality of the device more than up to scratch. If you want to kick back on the sofa and whizz through someone else’s hard work then this has a very good chance of being the tablet for you.
However, on the content creation front things felt a little less satisfactory. Sure there are the tools to do all the same things I can do on an iPad. They just aren’t as readily available. The massive third-party ecostructure of apps, accessories and app-cessories that make creating art, music or even writing seamless and care free just weren’t there. The Kindle Fire HD feels like the next generation of the ereader. The iPad feels like the next generation of the laptop.
Now 10% of people produce 90% of the content so if you fall on the passive side of that made-up statistic then you should be more than happy with life using a kindle fire HD, especially at the low, low price of £229.
Out now from Amazon