Yesterday afternoon I was so excited to get my new Kindle Fire HD 7″ that I hung around my office an extra two hours waiting for the UPS truck to pull into the parking lot and hoping it would get there before the office closed for the weekend. Suddenly I got a glimpse of brown coming around the building and ran down to greet the UPS driver at the door.
Opening up the usual brown box with it’s Amazon logo, I reached inside and found a black box with another Amazon logo on it. This box was much slimmer than the large brown box that the Kindle Fire 1 came in and was the first clue that Amazon is finally making a big deal of the Kindle Fire HD series.
Then I tore the zip strip off and lovingly opened the box.
Nestled in the center of the box (with the protective plastic wrapped around it) was the Kindle Fire HD 7″. From the moment I saw it I fell in love with it. THIS is a professional Kindle Fire. Other than being black and 7″ and with a shiny screen – there were no similarities to the two devices (at least from an external glance).
Also within the box was a “getting to know your kindle” card and a black USB cable. The charging cable it probably the entire reason the box is so much smaller than for the Kindle Fire 1. That device came with a one piece cable/charger unit. If you wanted to attach your Kindle Fire to your computer and put files on or pull files off, find another cable that would work for you. With the Kindle Fire HD devices, you have to charge your Kindle Fire HD through a USB port on your computer. Or – for $19.99 you can buy the Amazon Kindle PowerFast for Accelerated Charging (for all Kindle Fire models, not included with device) (that’s a mouthful).
The Prize in the Center of the Box
(and I’m not talking Cracker Jacks).
The Kindle Fire HD is very nice to look at. Rounded edges, sleek looking, it fits well in your hands (OK – make that my hands). The tablets proportions look very graceful. The front facing camera even winked its eye at me.
Turning over the Kindle Fire HD – the back was also a pleasant surprise. The kindle designation is much smaller on a black shiny strip about 2/3 of the way down the back instead of covering a large portion of the back. The speakers are at either end of the black strip and look very nice. Not at all like the two holes on the top of the Kindle Fire 1. The rest of the back is a matte finish, similar to the Kindle Fire 1.
Just a quick glance inside
It actually took me a little bit to find out how to turn on the Kindle Fire HD. There was no awkward, ugly button yelling at me and indicating “This is the place!” Instead, I turned the device from side to side, first noticing the hdmi/micro usb ports on the bottom, and then on the right side I saw the earphone jack, a volume control button and a smaller button that I pushed and turned on the Kindle Fire HD.
The unlock swipe is from right to left as it was before, but it actually has a lock on it to let you know what the swipe is for. After hooking up to my WiFi, I started downloading a few books and apps while checking out the device.
Back on the opening screen – there are now advertisements instead of generic Amazon wallpapers.
The carousel is still there (no luck getting rid of that), but it does not look like a set of shelves in the background anymore. The favorites section at the bottom has been replaced by a “Customer Also Bought” section that changes with each book or app you have front and center. Also an ad to read Harry Potter for free with Amazon Prime. As you can see – in the first few seconds you get three plus ads thrown your way – an ad on the opening screen, an Amazon Prime ad and ads for other items based upon your selection.
I’ll write more on my adventures tomorrow, but here is a glimpse inside a book – so you can see some of the changes that have taken place.