Daddylibrium Review: Amazon Kindle Fire HD

Amazon KindleThe first time I heard about the iPad I chuckled softly up, or in the general vicinity of, my sleeve. Who needs a mini computer when I’ve already got my oh, so portable laptop?

Flash forward a few years, and I couldn’t wait to join the tablet revolution. It’s why I chose the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, the recently released update on the successful Kindle Fire. The price sure was right – $200 – and the early reviews made it clear many of the problems associated with the early Kindle Fire had been resolved.

My Amazon loyalty sealed the deal.

I’ve had the tablet for roughly three months now, which makes me feel comfortable enough with the device to share a full-bodied review. As a busy father, any tablet offers a chance to catch up on emails, web surfing or just the weather in a way that’s more satisfying than simply squinting at my smart phone. And if you need a 10-minute break from the kids, you can crank up an educational game app and enjoy a few moments of tranquility.

The tablet also comes in handy at restaurants where a little “Curious George” can distract the kiddies from an impending meltdown. Your fellow diners will thank you, trust me.

The Amazon Tale of the Tape

The Kindle Fire HD, with a 7″ viewing screen, is slightly larger overall than its nearest competitor, the Google Nexus. It’s handsome all the same, with a black matte finish and sleek lines. The placement of the power switch takes some getting used to, but after a few weeks your fingers will find it easily.

The main screen begins with a security lock combined, more often than not, with an advertisement. Swipe your finger to unlock the device and the ad is no more. The main screen offers an array of icons representing apps and web sites recently used. It’s not a perfect system – sometimes I’ll use an app and when I go back to the main screen it’s not the most prominent icon before my eyes. Generally speaking, it’s a handy way to remind me what places in the cyber realm I visit the most.

The top of the screen features a list of device options – shop, games, apps, books, music, videos, newsstand, audio books, web, photos, docs and offers. For me, the options that matter most are apps, videos, the web and books. The parade of icons sits at the center of the screen, with customer-based suggestions in a row at the bottom.

The icon carousel keeps me the busiest, and its smooth action lets me scroll through the options easily. One complaint – some services I  haven’t used in weeks still appear prominently, and wouldn’t you know it they often involve Amazon products or features.

Coincidence, no doubt.

The tablet’s web browser is adequate, nothing more, and the bookmark feature could be smoother. The apps page is faster and more satisfying.

Fathers will certainly appreciate the crush of entertainment options now at their disposal, from a pleasant reading experience via the Kindle side of the ledger to streaming videos from either Netflix or Amazon Prime. The former still has more content options, but Prime is trying to catch up. Amazon’s video streaming also offers an “X-ray” option which allows you to view the IMDB.com credits from the actor or actress currently on the screen by tapping their image.

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD offers the proverbial bang for your buck, particularly those who have some customer loyalty to all things Amazon. For fathers, the tablet is a helpful tool to entertain the kids or spend some down time in a digitally invigorating fashion.

(NOTE: Daddylibrium purchased the Amazon Kindle Fire HD independently of Amazon or other retail outlets)

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