Amazon Kindle Fire HD Fizzles Out: Review
Taking it out of the box, I found a sleek-looking 7-inch tablet in all black. Amazon got the look of the hardware right, that's for sure. After that, it gets a little more complicated. Turning on the machine isn't as dumb-proof as it should be. The on button is located on the side of the device, but not clearly marked. If you're in a dim room, this could be trouble.
The screen is clear, showing off 1280x800 HD display. In terms of pixels, brightness and clarity, it's no Apple (AAPL) iPad, but Amazon is making an effort. You can really see all 254 pixels per inch (ppi) packed into the display.
Even though I tested the 7-inch tablet, it felt heavy holding it for longer periods of time than it did initially. Conversely, Apple products never feel heavy no matter how long you're holding them.
Charging the device is somewhat disappointing. It takes 13.5 hours to charge via the USB cable provided, and with no wall charger provided this is a bit of a pain. Customers can add a wall charger for $10 when purchasing it, or $20 later.
Once charged, the look of the device is clean. The operating system, which is a custom-Android operating system, had a clean look to it and was easy to navigate between the different menu options.
There were multiple times where I incurred slowness and some pauses while searching for a movie, game, or music. Toggling between menus occasionally took a little longer than I thought it would. I'm not sure if that was the custom Texas Instruments (TXN) processor or not, but the device's performance could have been quicker.
The wireless connection also left something to be desired. Amazon talked up the wireless connection at the Kindle Fire HD launch event, and it's still not that great, especially considering the hype CEO Jeff Bezos and his team gave it at the event. Downloading apps and music were slower than expected as well.