What I like and don’t like about my new toy – the Kindle Fire HD
Last Christmas I went over to the “dark side” and asked for a Kindle Fire HD as a present. My dad is a gadget fan and was surprised by my wish, but happy to buy it for me. He has an e-reader, but from a different company.
Thing is – I am not really much into gadgets. For me my laptop is a means to an end – it’s mainly a business tool. We bought a Wii for my parents-in-law two years ago, in the hope they would use it – but after three months of it sitting unopened in their cupboard they returned it to us. My husband mainly uses it, but we only have three games for it.
my Kindle Fire HD -locked
Up until a couple of years ago I was still using my ancient Nokia until it completely died (I couldn’t hear the caller at the other end anymore) and as I only use pay-as-you-go I ended up with the most basic entry-level LG phone – you can take photos with it and even access the internet but the screen is so small that I never bother. I am not very attached to my mobile phone and can’t understand people who are completely glued to their i-phones – apart from the fact that I find mobile phone addicts rather irritating when they text while walking and bumping into people.
So why on earth did I want a Kindle? Well – I love reading and a lot of books I read are non-fiction guides for business, craft, and marketing – that sort of thing. A lot of these types of books are available for e-readers like the Kindle. What’s more you can also upload – or side-load as it is called- e-books in pdf format onto the device. And at 32GB the Kindle Fire HD offers plenty of space for a lot of books. It frees up space in our house too and the books are also stored on Amazon’s cloud (so you can access them in case you delete them on your device). Amazon also offers the opportunity to just order sample chapters to see what the books are like before you order, there is always a special deal on and a lot of books can be found free on Kuforum.
The forum is also useful for general help (though I haven’t used it yet).
Another reason I fancied the Kindle was that I wanted to be able to access the internet when I am unwell or when my hubby is using the laptop.
So what is my impression of my new toy so far?
The sound is very good – I haven’t bought any music as I prefer to listen to BBC6 or my cd collection. So far I have one song on there “Let them all in” by “I am Kloot”, which was a free download, though I bought the cd anyway for my husband as a Valentine’s gift.
You can also find tons of free or cheap apps and games. I only have a few as a) I don’t want to get addicted to games and b) I want to keep most of the space free for books.
These are the games and apps I downloaded (some were already installed):
- Solitaire, Stupid Zombies (really for my OH), Mahjong Dlx, Jumbline 2 (word game), Bejeweled 2 (which I actually bought) and Animals Puzzles (it’s cute – as you know I love animals)
- ColorNote –it’s a diary where you can create notes and checklists –easy to use
- BBC News
- Battery – very useful as it shows you how much leccy you still got left on your Kindle
- Spirograph – I don’t use it much, but it’s free and you can use it when you get bored watching telly.
- Doodling – similar to the Spirograph
- SketchBookX – sketching app
- MyFitnessPal – though haven’t used it yet
- Avast!Mobile Security – my laptop has Norton so I thought my Kindle should be protected too.
- Converter – useful tool for converting currencies, metrics etc.
- Calculator Plus
- Adobe Reader
- Office Suite
The Kindle is sold with its own web browser called Silk and it takes a while to get used to it. I don’t find it super reliable and often I have to reload the page and wait (it might also depend on where I am in our house for signals) I am wondering if I can install a different browser such as Firefox or Google Chrome and might look into it.
Facebook on the Kindle is also very fiddly to use – often I click on a link and end up in the wrong section.
Another thing which is not ideal is the touch screen keyboard – I have bought a stylus (cheap for 99p on eBay) to tap the keys instead of my fingers (mainly to avoid fingerprints). I try to tap fast but often end up with lots of typos and it’s got a predictive text function, which I managed to disable. I prefer writing long emails, posts and articles on my laptop. So the touch screen is ok for basic and short posts.
Reading e-books on the Kindle is enjoyable. I haven’t even discovered all the bells and whistles but very much appreciate the bookmarks and being able to easily access the links when mentioned in the text. You can also highlight sections in the text. However when you read e-books in pdf and not the Kindle’s own format you won’t be able to bookmark the pages – which is a bit of a pain if the book has lots of pages. I have also noticed with one of the pdf books that I can’t click on the links, which is not so great (maybe there’s something I am doing wrong here).
my Kindle Fire HD book section
The Kindle has a camera, but I haven’t used it yet and from what I read it sounds like a lot of faff to create a decent image, mainly because of the way you hold it – the lens is looking at you (not sure how to explain this). But I didn’t want the Kindle for photography – I have a decent camera for this purpose.
Another downside of the Kindle is that while Amazon supplies it with a cable, they have skimped on the charger. I charged it up via the laptop which takes ages and bought a cheap charger from eBay (the cable is ridiculously short on that one). I noticed that it takes many hours to fully charge the Kindle and therefore I leave it on charge overnight so it’s ready in the morning. I also noticed that it does eat battery life! This is where the free battery app comes in handy – it shows you not only how much time you have left, but how much each task uses up – online browsing eats most of your battery ‘s life, while offline you can read for a long time. I tend to be mostly online though and don’t want to change my settings as it took me a while and several attempts (and searches on forums) to get it online in the first place.
Overall I am quite happy with my Kindle, because it frees up space and I discover books I might otherwise not stumble upon.
Would I stop buying physical books completely? No, when I want to buy books with lots of images, I will buy the “real” book. This is also true for instruction books for my jewellery. I just recently bought “Polymer Clay Color Inspirations” by Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio (more about that in another post) and wouldn’t want this on my Kindle as I can still read and follow instructions better from a book.
I hope you enjoyed this review and found it helpful (let me know by leaving a comment below)- and no I am not affiliated with Amazon – this is not a sponsored post.
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