Now, to be fair, it’s a half-decent tablet. If you have limited budget and limited needs, I can totally see why you’d be tempted by this device. And, if you’ve never owned or used an iPad, it would be very easy to think you’re getting a great deal.
Physically, it feels every bit the cheap device that it is.
The lack of a physical home button on the Fire HD was also quite disorientating.
That simple lack of one physical button makes the Fire HD a much less user-friendly device.
One thing the Nexus 7 seemed to have nailed was the quality of the device. It was, without a doubt, the nicest hardware I have ever seen in that form factor. It was just pleasing to the touch and the screen ratio means it would fit in more pockets than either the Kindle Fire HD or the iPad mini. The software, on the other hand, was rubbish. I’ve long established that I’m not interested in using half-baked software that promises to be release quality. I don’t want to have to make the Beta allowances for a flagship device and it’s equally important for the people who think Jelly Bean is great to appreciate that I disagree. It’s simply not good enough.
Similarly, the Kindle Fire HD just looks like a media browser. It’s agnostic on the media, presenting recently used apps and movies and books with a disturbing equality. These things are not the same. To say that I’m keen on finding a jacket-pocket tablet is an understatement. But I’m reserving the right to be cautious and to test every device. Buying cheap hardware is something I simply won’t do (it took ages to sell our HP TouchPad).
There are now four major forces in Tablet computing. Google (outsourcing their manufacturing but not the design), Amazon (soon to make their own), Microsoft (making their own) and Apple (surprise surprise). Between them, one will make a device that will suit your particular needs.
I’m reserving judgement for my next purchase until after I see the iPad mini. I’ve seen the Kindle Fire HD up close, I’ve played extensively with the Nexus 7. Nothing yet fits my jacket pocket.