Kindle Fire HD – What will Kindle Fire HD features mean for Real Users?

It is very hard to determine which of the touted new features for the Kindle Fire will be wonderful additions and which are just smoke and mirrors. Things will be clearer once Kindle Fire HDs are actually out in users’ hands. This does not refer to professional reviewers, but to REAL PEOPLE (amateur tablet users like you and I).

For a geek, I am not a technical geek. Over the next few days, I am going to try and give you more details on these features as I research them.  If you are like me, things like PPI (Pixels Per Inch) don’t necessarily mean a whole lot to you.  What I will try and find out is what these will mean to average end users.

The three Kindle Fire HD devices are as follows:

  • Kindle Fire HD 7″. This Kindle Fire HD is selling for $199 for the 16 GB model and $249 for the 32 GB model. An upgraded 7″ tablet for a great starting price. Even without a microSD slot, this provides a decent amount of memory on a 7″ tablet.
  • Kindle Fire HD 8.9″. This Kindle Fire HD is selling for $299 for the 16 GB model and $369 for the 32 GB model.
  • Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ with 4G LTE. This Kindle Fire HD is $499 for the 32 GB model and $599 for the 64 GB model. (If you want the 4G to go with this model it is 250 Mb per month for 12 months for a one time fee of $49.99 (for the first year)).

Here are some of the touted features (will share more details on each of these later) -

1) Display:  HD display with a polarizing filter and anti-glare technology.  The anti-glare technology is supposed to help with cutting down glare with overhead lighting and such.  Will it help with that big overhead light we call the sun?  Probably not. The Kindle Fire HD’s HD screen also includes higher resolution and pixelation for a sharper and clearer image.  I will be comparing these to other 7″ tablets currently on the market (once my Kindle Fire HD arrives).

2) Audio – Dolby audio dual driver speakers.  I don’t have a great ear for sounds – but I know that Dolby is a trusted name.  We also don’t know yet where the speakers are.  Again – more research will be coming on how this might be of benefit and if this will help you in the decision-making process.

3) Kindle Free Time – Amazon is finally listening to parents about getting some parental controls on the tablets. You can (supposedly) set up multiple users that each have designated content they can access and limitations on how long they can use each type of content every day.

4) Whispersync for Voice, Movies, Books and Games – Using cloud technology, you can sync movies, books, games, audiobooks, and music between multiple devices.  I can see a lot of potential in this for commuters and busy families. I think a look into the benefits and drawbacks of this feature will be useful.

5) “Immersion Reading” – Amazon is touting 15,000 books and companion audiobooks (from their Audible.com subsidiary). Talking points are real-time highlighting and deeper understanding and comprehension.  Is this just a high-class, more expensive method of doing text-t0-speech on the Kindle Fire HD?  It will be interesting to see. I have several series where I own both the Kindle book and the audiobook version.  Hopefully they will include series that people actually want.  Also – Is this a method to increase sales of audiobooks?  Will they be trying to link us to buying more Audible memberships in order to get monthly downloads?  Or will they also offer a “2 for” where they discount the price on the book+audiobook if you buy them both at once?

6) X-Ray for Movies and X-Ray for Books – I forgot about the X-Ray for Books feature because when I got my Kindle Touch last year, it was included in so few books.  Now I am going to re-examine this feature for Books and also how it will work for movies. Will X-Ray for Books make us all smarter?  Is X-Ray for Movies a method to get us to buy more movies on the Kindle Fire HD? (I’m sure it is…. Love this actress? See what else she is in and download it while finishing the movie….).

Please let me know if there are other features you are interested in greater details on.  I will be starting with the above list, but am happy to help users determine what tablet might work best for them.

9 Responses

  1. As an owner of the original kindle fire I believe NONE of the features you mentioned will matter. The current kindle Fire had all of those features and these are just improvements on what already existed.

    BTW: I think the original fire screen was awesome. Its best feature. The sound is pretty good to. I could put on Pandora and leave it in the middle of the room to listen while I worked on read on my e-ink kindle.

    The $159 is great for consuming content. What makes the HD great is that you will be able to create content. Audio and Video INPUT will make Evernote on Kindle AWESOME.

    Bluetooth will allow you to add keyboards and sensors and wireless speakers.

    USB is the wild card… we don’t know what USB functionality will be supported. Will it support Keyboard and Mouse USB flash drives we don’t know.

    But with HMDI out and bluetooth for Keyboard you can turn your HDTV into a basic computer.

    This was IMPOSSIBLE with the original kindle fire. The limit is what Amazon decides to enable. I learned to accept and like the kindle virtual keyboard but…. I really wanted to use swype keyboard.

    • Well, we’ll find out if none of the features mentioned in the post will matter.

      I think the screen will make a difference. Kindle Fire screen was good but not great. I found the Nook Tablet screen better and Nexus 7 was also better though a bit washed out.

    • Well, we’ll find out if none of the features mentioned in the post will matter.

      I think the screen will make a difference. Kindle Fire screen was good but not great. I found the Nook Tablet screen better and Nexus 7 was also better though a bit washed out.

  2. until you get your hands on the real kindles I will be eagerly following your blogs

  3. ” We also don’t know yet where the speakers are”

    The amazon quick tour video shows the speakers are on the back edge at 2:20 minutes into the video. I think Samsung tablet speakers are on the front. I do not see how speakers on the back can sound better than speakers on the front.

    • This is very annoying. All these companies (Amazon, B&N) putting speakers on the back. If you lay your Tablet down on a flat surface the sound gets messed up.

  4. The HDMI out could be significant depending on what kind of limitations they impose. Would I be able to use a KHD to funnel Amazon Prime to my big screen HDTV? Can I do the same with my own content that I load onto the KHD?

    I’m also interested in what demonstrable effects a new processor will have as well as the MIMO Wifi. If that means I have to buy a new MIMO router to take advantage of that then it’s not worth it… I wonder if Amazon sells MIMO routers LOL.

    • 1) Would I be able to use a KHD to funnel Amazon Prime to my big screen HDTV?

      Yes, I think that’s the whole point of having HDMI.

      2) Can I do the same with my own content that I load onto the KHD?

      Unless Amazon loses its marbles and adds some restrictions, I don’t know why not. Even if they try to restrict you should be able to sideload apps that allow you to do this.

      3) Processor Speed. Not sure how much of an improvement it will be. I think moving to Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) might be significant too (for performance).

      4) MIMO modem. Yes, it would be better than normal modem. My understanding is that just MIMO on Kindle Fire HD would help a bit but for the best improvement you would also need a MIMO modem. I have a dual band modem but not sure it’s MIMO.

  5. What about the camera? Can I use it as a still camera?

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