Tuesday, 15 April 2014

REVIEWS:The Kindle Fire HD 8.9

So, as the iPad finally gets a completly slighter version, the Kindle Fire HD gets a slightly larger one.

Both versions are, fundamentally, identical as the latest versions of the respective series. On the other hand, both are oddly sized additions to their respective families. The iPad Mini is 7.9″ therefore is not, accurately speaking, a 7 Inch pc tablet and, not to be beaten, this new Kindle Fire is 8.9 Inches and so is therefore not, strictly speaking, a ten-inch version of their (usually 7-Inch) Kindle Fire HD.

Historically, tablet pc’s come in 2 sizes, 10″ and 7″, and both dimensions have their advocates, just as much as both sides have advantages and disadvantages. I confirmed this new Kindle Fire in an attempt to discover if bigger really is better…

THE SPECS

Maybe I’d have been better off evaluating the Kindle Fire HD to the Google Nexus instead. The Asus nexus 7 is, after all, really the only tablet in Kindle Fire’s price range that matches it for efficiency, specs and reputation.

Originally a 7″ tablet, the 10″ Nexus model was released to about as warm a greeting as George Costanza’s toupee and sold rather poorly from there. In fact, there is barely around 680,000 Google nexus 10 models currently in use, which looks terrible, especially in comparison to estimated 6.8 million Nexus 7 tablets.

Why is this? The Nexus 10 was just as good a tablet the Asus nexus 7 (and also the Asus nexus 7 is an incredibly, good tablet). However, for some reason, it just did not cut the mustard.

Perhaps it is a size thing. Larger tablets basically are not as portable (or as cheap) as their smaller counterparts. Basically, it seems that when people go big, they go apple ipad.

Ostensibly, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is identical classy, cosmopolitan accessory as the regular Kindle Fire HD, however it’s just a little bit bigger this time around. This means these have a similar duel WiFi antenna, similar dazzling array of downloadable apps and content and the same specifically designed Dolby surround sound system.

THE COST

The 8.9 version + Kindle Fire HD is a good buy costlier than the 7 Inch model. For example, I could buy a 7″ Kindle Fire HD (with free delivery, no less) from Amazon for £160, however the 8.9-Inch version, which is, barring one or two minor changes, the same tablet, will set me back about £230. That’s quite a bit to consider.

THE OPERATION

Now, I’ve talked (at great length) about the Kindle Fire HD in a variety of other places, so I will frankly summarise here so as to save space and avoid repeating myself.

The Kindle Fire HD is really a masterpiece of condensed computing; it offers an easy, likeable user interface, brilliant media playback with a fine array of apps to boot. The Kindle Fire HD is a wonderful all rounder that offers great value for money and is a really sensible choice for that commuter, first-time purchaser and/or the casual user.

Skilled software engineers will probably find the Fire HD restrictive (Amazon are notoriously heavy-handed about what you can and can’t install, for instance) and its not on the level of an apple ipad or a Surface when it comes to processing power. Though, it is an excellent product overall.

The 8.9 Inch version differs in only the one, achingly obvious, way.

The size increase does benefit from a bigger display, that is a genuine boon to a visually impaired user, but further than that, it seems slightly superfluous. The increased size makes the Kindle Fire HD feel that rather more cumbersome and clumsy, whilst also making it less likely to fit on your bedside, or as cozily right into a handbag or rucksack.

The difference in size is not as jarring as a 10″ model would have been, but it is certainly noticeable. #On the# one hand, it is nice to possess increased options, but on the other…

THE VERDICT

Fundamentally, the smaller size of the Kindle Fire HD is one of its major selling factors. Cheap and cheerful, the 7″ Kindle Fire HD was seemingly made for livening up tedious bus journeys, replacing the book on your nightstand and being a ideal journey companion on the last-minute getaway. Conversely, the 8.9 Inch version lacks nearly all of these charms, whilst at the same time also missing the processing power of the 10″ pc tablet.

This new Kindle Fire HD remains to be a exceptional tablet, but the dimensions (as well as the cost) increase doesn’t seem likely to cause it to many new friends. Do not get me wrong, I’m a fan of the series, but I predict this one sharing a similar fate to the Nexus 10.