Dec 2, 2013 at 9:46 am #1310483
i just bought one because it was only100$ and since i dont have a smartphone anymore(saving lot$) i can use this for weather updates etc when near a hotspot.Just wondering if this is a good device for websurfing and email.My needs are simple.I am not a geek and i dont know or care about all these apps they talk about.I plan to use a tab for travel in europe as well for train,museum,weather,hotels.Dec 3, 2013 at 1:56 pm #2050434
We have two original Kindle Fires in the house – they are fine devices and I'd expect the HD to be the same with a better screen and processor.
Having said that – I do find Amazon's 'shell' on Android to be less useful than a straight Android install – for a little more I'd get a Google Nexus 7 (I have a first generation) and get Android stock from Google – access to the play store – no memory partitioning (which Amazon does) – bigger number of apps, etc…Dec 3, 2013 at 11:53 pm #2050637
the price was the draw for me.At 100$ its disposable.I dont need one badly but if i had brought it with me on bp trip last week,i would have saved about 20bux in gas by avoiding unnecessary driving.Dec 5, 2013 at 7:16 am #2051051
Don't get me wrong – I think they are great devices and we've been happy with ours.
At that price point it is hard to go wrong really.
I'm more of a tinkerer I suppose and find navigating without the Amazon interface easier. But its far from a deal breaker.Dec 5, 2013 at 3:07 pm #2051223
David BarnesBPL Member
I have 3 gen I's in my house. I like to say they are 75-80 % of an ipad at 25-40% of the price. Despite my kids being issued iPads for school, they still like they Kindle for its size re carrying it about and using it for Pandora, Netflix and the books.
At 100ish all in, you got a great deal on a very capable device that will give you years of service. I am a firm believer in going to TJ Maxx, Marshalls etc for cheap cases and headphones for these as well.Dec 5, 2013 at 3:18 pm #2051225
Greg MihalikBPL Member
"Despite my kids being issued iPads for school…"
Your school district furnishes iPads to all students?Dec 5, 2013 at 10:05 pm #2051405
as well as buying the kindle i grabbed an f3 lg smartphone/no contract for god knows what reason.Well i just found out i can use that phone as a tablet as well albeit with a smaller screen than the kindle…now i like the kindle but weight wise and portability, the phone cant be beat…one of my future uses for one of these devices will be for travel to europe and using it for reservations for hostels,trains,museums and then weather,email.So now i have to decide…Dec 9, 2013 at 6:16 am #2052416
I admit I have too many devices and several operating systems.
A tablet is for most systems a bigger phone without the phone and sometimes without data service (WiFi only devices). I do think a 7" device is the best compromise of screen size and usability for most uses – web surfing reading short email etc… But obviously less portable. I often have both with me depending on the trip.
If you are using it in Europe decide what connectivity you want – if you want a phone make sure it has a gsm radio… Otherwise you are on WiFi only which in Europe is less constricting than here as there are more hotspots.Dec 9, 2013 at 8:13 am #2052448
Sumi WadaBPL Member
@detroittigerfanLocale: Ann Arbor
I like Amazon and love my Kindle BUT I can't say I'm impressed with their durability. I'm on Kindle number 3 in as many years. I got their original reader, which I think last about 1-1/2 years before the screen went. I've had a Fire for 2 years and the screen is pulling away from the "frame"; there's about a 1/8" gap all the way around, and the AC-power plug is temperamental. It still works, amazingly enough, but I don't travel with it anymore. I didn't abuse either one though the original Kindle reader did go backpacking with me. I don't think there's any excuse for the Fire to have fallen apart.
My husband and son still have their original iPad's, going on 4-5 years. They take them everywhere and are handled much rougher than I do my Kindles. I've replaced my Kindle reader with the cheapest one they sell simply because it's the lightest option and, for the price, I won't be broken-hearted if it fails in a year. But I won't be putting my money into the more expensive Kindle models anymore. As much as I didn't want to, I'm moving to the iPad mini.Dec 9, 2013 at 8:19 am #2052451
Im not going to use the smartphone as a phone here or in europe since i hate costly data plans and already have a dumb phone contract.I would only use the smartphone for websurfing all without the bulk of a tablet.When it comes to devices i like small stuff.Im not at all interested in watching movies or youtybe on any small screen like a tablet…i dont get watching movies on anything less than 2o inches…movies are made to fit large screens not small.
Im trying to figure out if i would like to carry a tab in my backpack in europe and if its larger bulk would be justified or a major pain….i could see it as nice for watching stuff when im on the train or plane or just for the advantage of it being a larger screen than the smartphone…however that tab would get bashed around being so bulky and awkward sized…the smartphone to me seems so much more logical.What am i failing to see with the tab?Dec 9, 2013 at 8:33 am #2052460
Sumi WadaBPL Member
@detroittigerfanLocale: Ann Arbor
FWIW, my phone has significantly less battery life when used as a web-browser than the iPad. Phones can differ from model to model, as well.Dec 9, 2013 at 8:34 am #2052461
If you're using the phone essentially as a wifi small tablet the only difference between comparable systems (i.e. assuming both are Android using the same "shell") is the size of the screen. This is ignoring relative processing power but we'll assume they are roughly equivalent and that the screens are similar in terms of resolution – but those are differences inherent between tablets as well or phones generally.
You're asking the right questions I think however. How do you use it? For some the smaller screen size is fine due to how they use it and what they want out of a device. The bigger the screen, the easier some things are like typing and particularly watching media. 7" tablets are great for reading on the Kindle app, easier to handle and hold for an extended period. I also have a 10" tablet that is nice for TV and web surfing, but not so much better than the 7" that I go to it all the time – I use the 7" (Nexus 7 in my case) more often.
I have an iPhone and a Nexus 4 – both are great devices but for my 40 something eyes extended sessions on the small screen are less than fun and I would not want to read for any extended period on one – the small font and limited amount of text available would irritate me. But younger sharper eyed folks may have less issues!Dec 9, 2013 at 8:37 am #2052463
thanks Sumi for the durability report…Dec 9, 2013 at 9:01 am #2052476
Phil,its mainly for looking at train and museum schedules and hotel stuff…honestly the concept of using a tab for reading or watching tv,movies etc is almost implausible to me.I guess im way old school.The young salesperson at best buy told me she watches movies on her iphone in bed with her husband(or while eating at the table-isnt that rude to the other people at the table? ) vs watching her big screen tv which sucks too much costly energy.It blew my mind and she looked at me like i was strange for not being able to relate-id like to show her a rotary dial phone or answering machine!Dec 9, 2013 at 11:11 am #2052534
Dave – I get that completely. My wife and I just upgraded from a 29" flat panel to a real big screen. Must have been the very last folks to do so. No way am I choosing to watch TV on a tablet or a phone if I have a real TV. I only watch media periodically when travelling. But I understand young folks really like watching stuff on their phones which i don't really get either if you have better alternatives…
I do read on a Kindle most of the time – I do like that I can have access to a book on my phone or tablet and don't have to haul it around – this holds for backpacking especially. I admit I also got hooked on the Kindle when I was in consulting and travelled a ton = it was so much easier. I check out digital books from the library cause I'm also cheap = I don't like buying digital content particularly if I'm buying it I want a real book.
Mostly for me its web browsing and finding information like you. for web content I still prefer the bigger screen of a tablet given the choice but certainly understand why some are fine on a smartphone screen.
When backpacking I often don't take a tablet and just use my smartphone for the Kindle app in airplane mode to save the battery – I still like to read for a bit before going to sleep – even if it's only a couple pages!Dec 9, 2013 at 6:57 pm #2052728
you can check out library books on a kindle or smartphone?i was thinking of packing a whole book in my pack…i really dont know much about apps and all this computer stuff.Dec 9, 2013 at 7:51 pm #2052741
Jennifer MitolBPL Member
@jenmitolLocale: In my dreams....
Yes, you can check out library books on most e readers, I am a huge fan of the nook glo light, that way I don't have to use my headlamp to read in the tent at night. I can also have dozens of books on there if i finish one, or just don't want to read one any longer…..
No apps or anything on those e readers, but the batteries literally last a month on a single charge.Dec 9, 2013 at 9:41 pm #2052775
@rosyfinchLocale: the mountains
another, lighter way to go is a small iPod and audio books…
BillyDec 10, 2013 at 7:13 pm #2053021
David BarnesBPL Member
My children attend a private school. The fees we are paying for books have been shunted to paying for iPads, insurance, training etc. It started with 6th grade last year, went to all the middle school this year ( 6/7/8) and is going to the high school in the fall.Dec 10, 2013 at 8:59 pm #2053071
Sarah KirkconnellBPL Member
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
I read on my Kindle app on my Nokia Lumia 1020 every day. It actually works quite well when backpacking, although yes, it does eat battery.
And depending on your library…it can be a goldmine. I use King County Library, which is I think second biggest in the US – we even can check out magazine digitally using a service provided by Zinio – for FREE. I grabbed Zinios app and I can even download magazines onto my phone for reading when in airplane mode, same as for the Kindle app.
When I think how I used to take reading materials only 4 years ago I cringe. I am one of those who can read a book a night. Now….I can read as much as I want, and all I have to haul is a way to charge my phone if needed.
I heart my smartphone. I really, really do (and it is my 4th smartphone so far…..)
PS: My husband just got the new Lumia 1520. Holy cow that screen is amazing for reading on.Dec 10, 2013 at 11:45 pm #2053115
Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Google LA Unified School District iPad.
Plan to spend > $1 Billion on iPads.
LAUSD is one of the lowest ranking districts in one of the lowest ranking states in the country.
Watch out, Apple is going to fix the problem.
To the OP. Most of these devices are consumer goods and most will do what you want. For the $100 you spent, you will be able to determine how you want to utilize it. If it doesn't work then you will have a beetle idea of what you need and then research those needs. All good stuff.Dec 11, 2013 at 2:20 am #2053124
they already spent it…and that doesnt include the annual licensing and upgrades…this doesnt address theft of the devices etc…its unreal that they paid above retail and that apple didnt give these away or heavily discount these items.Boondoggle.Lausd is run by idiots and is a hugely wasteful and corrupt organization.Dec 11, 2013 at 2:08 pm #2053283
@lunchandynnerLocale: Pacific Northwest
I've been using an HDX 7" for the past few weeks, as part of a 30 day free trial.
I've been using android products/phones since the original G1, and am currently on the Nexus 4.
I've got to say, the Kindle Fire sucks. Its nice having a larger form factor vs a phone and all, and browsing is decent when the wifi works, but other than that, it's not worth getting it over a Nexus 7.
You are severely limiting the functionality of the tablet by getting the Kindle Fire because their app store is miniscule compared to stock Android app store. Sure, you can root and custom ROM the kindle to access it, but then why not just get the Nexus 7 and still maintain the warranty and skip the hassle at the same price point.
Wireless connectivity is spotty, even when "connected" internet/data access will be unavailable frequently (several times per hour) unless you cycle through wifi off/on or airplane mode on/off to reestablish data connection (other devices connected to same network does not experience this problem).
Also, the app store is pathetic, and what few apps are available don't work well, such as the Spotify app… It will only play one song and never continue to play the next songs, no matter what settings I use. There is no gmail app or map app, and the built in email client can't search your emails the same way that google can.
The battery life is quite good though, and I can go a couple days before having to charge it. The sound is really good too, with the stereo speakers in landscape mode.
However, for the same price, the Nexus 7 is surely the better deal. You get full access to the app store and all the updates from google directly.
Of course, this applies to the HDX, which when 244 without adds when I "purchased" it. The 100 bucks you paid for the original is a steal, and you could probably get 100x more use out of it by installing a custom ROM.Dec 11, 2013 at 4:43 pm #2053336
"i can use this for weather updates etc when near a hotspot.Just wondering if this is a good device for websurfing and email.My needs are simple."
I recently purchased the Fire HD for my wife as a gift. For $100 and your stated needs, I don't know how you could do much better.
I like my Nexus 7 but it's had a couple bugs along the way. The issue du jour is that the gyro function will not transition my YouTube videos from portrait to landscape when I flip the screen.
Most stable platform I've found is the iPad. Wife still has gen 1 and it works flawlessly. Unfortunately she's not receiving updates for it anymore but it's a tank.
Again, for $100, you hit the jackpot imo. I can’t speak to the long term issues so I’ll defer that to Sumi.Dec 11, 2013 at 6:28 pm #2053363
i still havent taken the fire out its the box…i went to bbuy today and was holding it in my hand and it seems heavy,maybe too much so for my needs or wants…i then was looking at those big samsung phones and that really appeals to me-minus the price or contract.They are bigger than the lg phone i picked up but still quite portable.
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