Kindle Fire HD Review: Highlighting New Features for Reading on Fire HD 7″

This 9-minute video shows what it’s like to read books and a newspaper on the new Fire HD, as well as show you why the Special Offers feature of the Fire is not much of a problem, in my humble opinion. I’ll also tell you why I think WhisperSync for Voice and Immersion Reading are such significant breakthroughs for readers. Enjoy!

Note: If you are reading this post on your E Ink Kindle through a subscription–if so, thank you!–you will need to switch to a computer or tablet and navigate to TheKindleChronicles.com to view it.

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Comments 17

  1. LCaution wrote:

    Couple questions re reading on the Kindle Fire HD (based on my experience w/ the original).

    1. Can you dim the screen when reading a book? On the original, you can adjust brightness when on the web, but not when reading a book. At night, in bed, I’d like it to be less bright.

    2. Page numbers?

    3. Dictionary support. None on the original, except for the one dict. that comes with it. No support for foreign language dictionaries or even a different English language dictionary.

    4. Is there support for book categories? i.e. can one create sub-libraries like one can with Kindle PC?

    Other:
    Am I correct in noticing that the power on button is now on top? And that the adapter slots are on the right side? Does this present any problem when using the Fire in landscape mode? (I use the original upside down and it works for all but a few apps, but it is irritating.)

    Posted 15 Sep 2012 at 1:22 am
  2. LCaution wrote:

    Just realized why I asked about the adapter slots position: I keep my Fire in a RooCase that doubles as a very versatile stand (I can pretty much flip it in any direction) and keeps it well-protected.

    I’m trying to imagine different cutouts and the effect on both the protection provided by the cover and the flexibility. Not your problem or Amazon’s of course. Just curious.

    Posted 15 Sep 2012 at 1:27 am
  3. Tom Lichty wrote:

    Seven-inch Fire HD: got it; tried it; returned it.

    Without hesitation, I describe myself as a Kindle (and Amazon) fan-boy (four Kindles in a two-person household, both Prime members), but the HD that I just returned was a letdown. Too big, and none of the improvements I had hoped for (thickness, weight). I *had* hoped for an external volume control, but like the new power switch, I found it nearly impossible to locate without a lot of searching, every time.

    In retrospect, I’d say that the best bargain Amazon has to offer is the $159 Fire: faster, more memory, longer battery than the original, and the original was a legendary bargain to begin with.

    See you on the next go-around, Kindle.

    PS: The Livescribe video was great fun. I could hear you scratching as Bezos talked.

    Posted 15 Sep 2012 at 12:34 pm
  4. Len Edgerly wrote:

    I know what you mean, Tom. I might give that $159 Fire a try. I have to admit the HD 7″ is growing on me, but I sure wish it has as attractive a form factor as the Nexus 7. That plus Amazon content and services would have swept the field.

    Posted 15 Sep 2012 at 3:52 pm
  5. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Sorry about the delay in replying.. 1. Yes, you can dim the screen when reading a book on the Fire HD. The brightness control is actually easier to access–a simple pull down menu–than before. I haven’t tried it in bed yet to see if I am going to need the ScreenDim Full app, which I’ve used a lot on the original Fire, to reduce the brightness further than you can with the built-in controls. 2. Page Numbers: yes, when available on the book; not all have them. 3. No dictionaries except the one built in, but the info page says “currently,” a hint that this might be an improvement in the future. 4. Collections? Apparently not.
    Yes, power button is on top, next to new volume controls. They are absolutely impossible to find, as they are built so as to appear to be part of the case. Bad ergonomics, IMHO. HDMI and miniUSB ports are on the side, right next to each other, which makes it tough to know which is which. They are different, but not radically so to the naked eye in poor light.

    Posted 15 Sep 2012 at 4:01 pm
  6. Len Edgerly wrote:

    That’s a very good point. On both the Marware cover and the Kindle cover for the Fire HD 7″, the side of the Fire that has the power port is the one it rests on, so you wouldn’t be able to use the case as a stand with the power cable attached. Another drawback, one that I hadn’t noticed before you mentioned it.

    Posted 15 Sep 2012 at 4:03 pm
  7. LC wrote:

    Thank you so much. Very fast response, if disappointing results. I don’t understand crippling the ebook functions, except to force one to buy two devices. Volume control was such an issue – I didn’t expect it to be until I started to listen to podcasts at night – that I can’t believe Amazon screwed it up.

    Can you tell how the memory is divided between apps and other stuff? (Hard for me to believe, but I’ve run out of app space.)

    Posted 16 Sep 2012 at 12:04 am
  8. LC wrote:

    Screendim! Never occurred to me to look for a dimmer. Thank you again.

    Posted 16 Sep 2012 at 12:12 am
  9. Tom Welch wrote:

    Does the new Kindle Fire HD use the same power cord as the Touch? Can you access Pandora an the Fire HD?

    Posted 16 Sep 2012 at 4:07 pm
  10. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Tom, Pandora works fine on the Fire HD. I just loaded it and it’s working. I tried plugging it into a white Kindle charging cord and did not see the battery charger indicator turn green. I’m not sure, exactly which cord that is – maybe a Kindle 3 or even a 2. The cable that comes with the Fire HD is black, without a power adapter, which is sold separately. I was able to plug my Nook charger cord into it and got the light.

    Posted 16 Sep 2012 at 7:22 pm
  11. Tiffany F wrote:

    I have to new kindle fire hd and I love it. I just have one problem with loading pandora while at work. Everything else works on the wifi. When I try to load pandora all I get is the blue screen. I need a little bit of help figuring out this problem.

    Posted 21 Sep 2012 at 8:46 am
  12. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Tiffany, I wonder if the WiFi at your work has a filter on it that is blocking Pandora. I’m playing a Four Seasons station on my Fire HD here at the house in Maine, and it’s working fine. You might try connecting to Pandora at another WiFi site, preferably a home, to see it works. Good luck!

    Posted 21 Sep 2012 at 8:52 am
  13. Tiffany F wrote:

    I just found out that for some reason the it dept is blocking pandora radio for some stupid reason. Thanks for all of the help though.

    Posted 21 Sep 2012 at 9:19 am
  14. Tiffany F wrote:

    Can anyone give me a few music apps that I should try out to replace pandora at least while at work.

    Posted 21 Sep 2012 at 9:20 am
  15. Christina wrote:

    Hi,

    I was wondering… i have a usb hub that can be plugged to a power adaptor, if i found a power adaptor with the Kindle’s requirements what are the chances of not frying it? Can i use the adaptor the usb hub came with?

    thank you in advance

    Posted 20 Jan 2013 at 3:21 pm
  16. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Christina, I am not an expert on the specifications of USB cables for the Kindles and Kindle Fires. I have used lots of different cables to charge my Kindle devices, and have never fried any of them or my Kindles. My layman’s advice is you can probably do this without taking much risk, but for a higher level of certainty you might consult Kindle Support at (866) 321-8851 if you are in the U.S.

    Posted 20 Jan 2013 at 3:32 pm
  17. Christina wrote:

    Thank you Len, the problem is I’m not is U.S. and I really don’t want to buy a whole kit of power adapters just to use the one for Europe, that’s why I was wondering for a way around that.

    I think I’ll try and pray really hard not to fry anything

    Posted 21 Jan 2013 at 11:48 am

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 1

  1. From How I turned my Kindle Fire HD from a cash register and billboard into a good machine for an e-book lover | LibraryCity on 16 Sep 2012 at 10:06 am

    [...] relevant pointers. Meanwhile, as a fan of the Kindle Chronicles blog and podcast, I’ll recommend Len Edgerly’s in-depth coverage of the the new Fire, complete with a YouTube illustrating the reading and listening experience, including the use of [...]

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