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Amazon Kindle Fire HD video review

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD (review here) is as much an over developed eReader as it is a cut-down, 7in Android tablet. Here's our Kindle Fire HD review.

The Kindle Fire HD has 7 inch 1280 by 800 screen. It has a dual-core processor, dual-band Wi-Fi and a 10-point touchscreen.

The Fire HD runs a customised version of Android 4, but you wouldn't know that if it wasn't for the occasional in-app advert for Android apps on the Google Play store.

Amazon would prefer you to think of the Fire HD as a touchscreen eReader with more capabilities, such as videos, music, games and apps.

Kindle Fire HD: hardware and performance

At just under 400g the Fire HD is pretty heavy. It's feels like a solid slate with no creaking or bending. A micro HDMI output on the bottom means you can hook it up to a big-screen TV. On the right-hand side is a volume rocker, the power button and headphone socket.

A front-facing HD camera is primarily intended for Skype - there's no rear-facing camera.

In terms of performance, the Fire HD isn't as fast as we'd have liked. It doesn't feel as snappy as an iPad mini or Nexus 7, especially when browsing the web or launching apps. Scrolling around web pages shows a white screen until the content is loaded.

In Geekbench 2 the Fire HD managed 1124 which is slower than the Nexus 7, which scored 1452. Running the SunSpider Javascript test returned a score of 1783 miliseconds, which is again slower than the Nexus 7.

Kindle Fire HD: books & films

The interface on the Fire HD is almost identical to a traditional E-Ink Kindle. Of course, the experience is completely different as this tablet has an LCD screen.

Thanks to the fact that it's an IPS LCD screen, viewing angles are very good and the resolution is high enough to make characters sharp and words easy to read.

Whispersync means you can carry on reading any title from where you left off, even if you pick up on a different device.

You can access Lovefilm's library of on-demand movies. The selection isn't all that impressive, though.

More disappointing is that there's no offline viewing, so you can watch videos only when you're connected to Wi-Fi.

Movie soundtracks sound better than on most tablets thanks to a pair of rear speakers with dual drivers and Dolby virtual surround technology.

Kindle Fire HD: apps and browser

Amazon's Appstore has a lot of popular apps, but it's not packed as Google's Play store.

You won't find Google apps at all, for instance. There's no GPS receiver, but you can use Google Maps via the web browser as normal.

The browser is based on Amazon's Silk technology and looks much like the standard Android browser. However, it doesn't support Flash.

Kindle Fire HD: verdict

If it had been launched a year ago, the Fire HD would have been easy to recommend. However, with stiff competition from other 7in tablets - mainly Google's Nexus 7 - it faces an uphill battle.

However, if you're after something that's very easy to use, don't need GPS and don't want to stretch your budget to £200, the Fire HD is a good buy.

Video Source: PC Advisor
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Video Category: Review

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