February 12, 2015

In Which I Give In and Buy a Kindle (A Kindle Fire HD 6 Review)

In Which I Give In and Buy a Kindle (A Kindle Fire HD 6 Review)

A little more than three years ago I bought a Kindle, kept it about a week, and then returned it because I didn't like it. About a month ago I bought a Kindle Fire, and have already read ten books on it. As you can see, when I said last summer that e-books have changed my life, I wasn't exaggerating.

I knew I wanted something backlit, as I mentioned in last week's #bookwormproblems. And luckily, in the last three years, Fire prices have come way down. The base price is $99, plus I paid extra so that I would have ad-free screensavers, and I bought a case, warranty, etc. All together it was about $175, which seems like a pretty great deal for what we're using it for.

  • I read on it a lot. The battery seems to last about 7-8 hours, depending on how bright I have the screen on.
  • Noel and I have both watched shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime on it, and the pictures are really clear.
  • I purposely didn't load Facebook or Twitter, so that I won't get distracted, but I added Words with Friends, and the graphics are good.
  • I love that I can make separate profiles on it. I made Eleanor a profile, and then set it so that she gets a daily limit of 30 minutes. I loaded some kid apps (Word Girl, PBS kids, the Bible for kids) and downloaded some kids' books from the library (Berenstain Bears, Put Me in the Zoo). So since my profile is password protected, when she accesses the Kindle from her profile, she can only get to what I put on there. Which is great - she can't accidentally access sketchy YouTube videos or anything. And then when her 30 minutes are up it locks her out.

I do have two marks against it:

  • The camera isn't great, pictures are grainy. I don't mind that much though, since I like the camera on my iPhone. 
  • The sound quality is pretty terrible. I tried listening to some of my Audible audiobooks on it in the car, and it was really hard to hear them - the speakers in my iPhone are much better. When we've watched TV shows on it, we sync it to this little bluetooth speaker we have, and it's fine. I'm just a little frustrated that it apparently needs the external speaker to really get good sound - I was hoping to use it for audiobooks in the car, to help save my phone's battery life.

If you're wanting a tablet for a ton of movies/music, you might want to go elsewhere. If you're looking for a tablet that you're going to mostly read on, and occasionally watch tv on, with the added bonus of letting your kids use it stress-free, I highly recommend the Fire HD 6. I love the ease of syncing my Audible books and e-book purchases, I've downloaded tons of library books to it via Overdrive, it's sturdy (Juliet dumped her sippy cup on it when I'd had it about a week, and after sitting overnight in a bag of rice, it's fine!), it's easy to hold in one hand, and the graphics/images are good.

So there you have it! My take on my first foray into the tablet/e-reading world. Do you have a tablet or e-reader that you love?

I bought the Kindle with my own money. If you happen to want to buy one too, use this link: Fire HD 6 and then I'll earn a small percentage of the sale! And I'll probably use that money to buy more e-books to review for you, so see? Win win. Ha! Thanks for supporting Quirky Bookworm.