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Turning a Kindle Fire HD Into a Power Tablet 81

jfruh writes "The Kindle Fire HD is in theory a powerful device at a reasonable price — but its Android-based OS is so oriented towards Amazon's ecosystem that it can be tricky to unlock its full potential. Still, with a little savvy you can get underneath the covers, improving battery life, getting full access to cameras and other devices, and even listening to music you've purchased through iTunes."
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Turning a Kindle Fire HD Into a Power Tablet

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  • by tsj5j ( 1159013 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @11:45AM (#42871747)

    Kindle Fire HD isn't especially cheap or well-specced for its' price. For a little more, you can support the idea that Android users DO want devices not laden with locked bootloaders, operating systems, forced UI makeovers, etc. with a Nexus 7.

  • by tsj5j ( 1159013 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @12:16PM (#42872115)

    The Nexus 10 is larger, higher-res and better specced at $85 more (comparing ad-free).

    I'll willing spend that much to vote with my wallet for an open, customizable device; not for one which is laden with commercials, locked to a single provider and essentially wants you to consume content only. I certainly don't want it to become like a portable TV, for viewing certain sanctioned content only.

  • by coldsalmon ( 946941 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @12:43PM (#42872441)

    Perhaps some of us would rather have Amazon spying on us, instead of Google.

  • by MangoCats ( 2757129 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @01:12PM (#42872755)

    I have a 10" tablet (iPad) and I actually prefer the 8.9" form factor, it's easier to handle - 7" is even more convenient to carry, but around the house, 8.9" is my personal sweet spot - so, no bonus assigned for a bigger screen that makes the device unwieldy to use.

    Resolution: do I really care if my tablet has more pixels than my 42" TV? Personally, 1920x1080 is good enough for me - and well worth having as compared to the first generation iPad, it is much easier to read.

    $85 more? Well, let's just say I don't care about ads on my lock screen and compare $399 to the $249 I paid for my Kindle Fire HD on pre-Christmas sale. That's a 60% premium you're paying to get your software ecosystem of choice, and I'm willing to bet the Nexus device also has waiting list / delivery time issues that the Kindle does not.

    Choice is the key here - I'm learning to love the Amazon ecosystem model, they're much better about auto-configuring the device than Apple has been: all my previously purchased apps were installed "out of the box," MP3s of my CD purchases instantly available for free. Yes, it ticks me off that they're always trying to sell me a TV show or movie for $3, or a book for $9 (where does that pricing model come from?), but mostly I find it easier to use than the iPad/iTunes model - does what I want without me burning a lot of time configuring it all.

    Seems to me, if you want to spend a lot of your time to configure it all, you should be paying less for your device, not more, but that's just an opinion.

  • by tsj5j ( 1159013 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @01:16PM (#42872793)

    A few points of contention here...

    1.) You are implying I'm blowing 30% only to make a point, which is only partly true. The extra money pays for better specs and future proofing. The Nexus 10 can probably last you longer (longer support for latest apps, longer support for new Android updates from Google) than the Fire HD can. Long-term, the Nexus 10 is definitely the better value proposition.

    2.) Tablets are in itself a luxury for most. 10 inch tablets are even more so the luxury than their 7 inch counterparts, where Nexus 7 is the priced the same as the ad-ridden Kindle Fire HD 7 inch. If you're spending 300+ dollars on a "want", 80 dollars more is barely a stretch, isn't it.

  • by adisakp ( 705706 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @03:52PM (#42874689) Journal

    If you can't afford $85 more for a tablet with better spec's without the hassle of having to "do something to make it work better", you probably shouldn't be buying a tablet at all.

    You never considered the possibility of receiving a Kindle Fire HD as a gift and then wanting to maximize it's utility? Significant numbers of Fire HD's were given as gifts (with a huge spike in sales around XMas).

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