Amazon CEO Bezos demonstrates the Kindle Paperwhite during Amazon's Kindle Fire event in Santa Monica (Photo : Reuters)
After the Paperwhite and Kindle Fire HD 7" and 8.9" models were announced, tech journalists were let loose to try out the new devices. While the 8.9" was not available to test, there have been a number of extensive hands-on reports about the 7" version posted online. The 7" Kindle Fire HD features a Dual-core 1.2GHz processor, is available in both 16 and 32 GB models, features Dolby Audio dual stereo speakers, has 11 hours of battery life, and displays at a resolution of 1280 x 800. This is what technology reporters had to say.
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"The exterior designs are slick and minimalist, similar to the new Nexus 7, featuring a black body and no buttons. Photos, videos and books all look great on the HD's glossy screen and very nice on the Kindle Fire's screen."
"Navigating on both devices is a snap. The operating system is a heavily reworked version of Android, custom-made by Amazon."
"The soft-sell is also present in the new X-Ray feature for movies, which allows you to hit pause and automatically see IMDB profiles for actors in the flick, finding out what else they've appeared in. This list of other movies is great for settling arguments, and you can also click to buy them from Amazon or add them to your watch list for future purchasing. Crafty."
"Speed still appears to be an issue on the the Kindle Fire HD. After tapping on an app or a photo, there's a bit of lag time before you're taken to your destination. It's the same if you flip too quickly through a magazine or book. This came up on the Kindle Fire HD and the Kindle Fire across a variety of apps and media. It wasn't noticeable while streaming videos, which played smoothly and looked crisp and seamless on both devices."
"The Kindle Fire HD menus seemed snappy and responsive, whether I was moving among apps, playing games, or opening up and fast forwarding through the high-definition movie The Hunger Games."
"Aside from the vastly improved display, the most exciting new hardware feature is the Kindle Fire HD's Dolby Digital Plus audio processing coupled with dual-driver stereo speakers."
"Amazon has spruced up its Kindle Fire OS with a noticeably improved interface. The home screen is simper, ditching the visually kludgy bookshelf metaphor. Instead, the OS has big, bold icons in the vertical scroll menu, category access along the top nav, and shortcut icons to functions within some apps (such as mail, which now lets you directly launch a new message from the home screen)."
"Unlike the plain ol' Kindle Fire, the new HD models are comfortable to hold. They're well-balanced, thin, light and reminded us a bit of the Nexus 7 and the way it made us feel like Goldilocks after she found the right bed."
"Amazon seems to have gotten the body right. What about the guts, though? Those might be a mixed bag. Perhaps our expectations were too high or perhaps we'd been spoiled by the Nexus 7 and iPad, but the Kindle Fire HD seemed downright sluggish at times, lagging at odd moments."
"Inside of the media apps, things are familiar. The audio and book-reading interface is about the same as you're used to anywhere else, just with Amazon's extra features. But there are so many features now that it feels a little cluttered. The claustrophobia shows up in the books interface, but even more so in movies, where the X-Ray and IMDB logo and everything else just coalesce into a visual mess."
"And after using Jelly Bean on the Nexus 7, it's just impossible to go back to Ice Cream Sandwich without it feeling horribly slow and laggy."
"More than anything, it continues to provide an easy-to-navigate gateway to Amazon's massive content library, and now more than ever before, everything is in the cloud."