Got a Kindle HD 8.9 for Christmas

  1. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Now what?

    It's a Kindle HD 8.9 with 64g memory. Got a great price on it and it came with 24/7 lifetime tech support so it's like the "Mayday" service, except I have to call them instead of press a button.

    But I don't know what to do with it. I tried reading a book with it and it sucks, it's heavy, awkward, cumbersome and uncomfortable. I would much prefer a regular book. The only reason I can see for using this for books is if I had to travel a lot and carry a ton of books with me. Otherwise, it's stupid.

    I do like it for viewing videos while in bed. Unfortunately, while the Dolby speakers are awesome, the are on the back of the unit and for some unknown reason Amazon stopped the volume very low, so some videos cannot even be heard. Music is out of the question in many cases due to this problem.

    But if you are lucky enough to find a video with high volume, you can block the back speakers with your hands or some object and the sound will be transferred to the front and is awesome.

    Unfortunately there aren't a lot of videos I want to see. Same goes with the selection of books. I bought it thinking I'd re-read my favorite old books, well, they're not available on kindle, so I'm getting them in paperback, which is better since the Kindle samples I've read are not worth the inconvenience.

    Lots of apps, lots of scary stories of how the apps are full of malware and destroyed their Kindle. So, I'm only downloading major network apps.

    I must say the tablet seems very well made, the video can be excellent (sometimes), the sound can be made excellent (sometimes), books are out of the question, unless I am desperate, don't really know what I can do with this thing.

  2. jcsd
  3. maajdl

    maajdl 374
    Gold Member

    You can't even use it as a candle!
  4. What was the reason you purchased it? If reading was the primary reason, you should have went with the Kindle Paperwhite. The Paperwhite is ideal for that, especially for those who want the "real" book experience, without the "glare", etc.

    I have the the older generation Kindle fire, and the audio is definitely spotty on that as well. My Windows surface is like 10 times louder, as are the Ipads. You can always hook up external speakers to the headphone jack though.

    The whole malware scare is kind of a joke in my opinion. As long as you become somewhat competent with the device, you can always roll back, or do a factory reset. It's never going to "destroy" the Kindle unless you do something really dumb.

    They're a toy. Apps, music, movies, reading...that's about it.
  5. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Hi Rick, I've come to the same conclusion, it's an expensive toy. The reason I bought it was so that I would have more options than just reading, and my guess was right, I really prefer regular books.

    One reason I bought it was that I live in tornado alley and my hall bathroom is my 'tornado shelter". During bad seasons, I've spent many hours sitting in my "shelter" (in my last house it was an unfinished basement). I figured this would keep me connected to the weather channel and also provide some entertainment, so I am keeping it for at least this reason, but to be honest, I'm just not using it. It's sitting on a shelf and haven't used it in a couple of weeks (bought it the day after Thanksgiving). I did end up buying a couple of actual paperbacks to read as a result of hunting for books to download and found that they weren't available, so I guess it's good for finding books. :biggrin:

    Oh, and the malware, to me it's just not worth the hassle. I was going to download some free apps, but then saw the warnings about the malware in the user reviews.

    Overall, except for the problem with the volume, which they have been dinged for in every tech review I've read about the device, it seems nicely made, maybe with time I'll find more uses for it. I do need to find a holder for it that makes sense, something like that wire harmonica holder that goes around your neck and holds the harmonica in front of you. They have stands, but you can't use them unless you have a surface in front of you that can hold it close enough to your face that you don't strain your neck.
  6. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    I'll bet there is an app for that!
  7. Greg Bernhardt

    Staff: Admin

    I have the same kindle evo. I use it primarily for travel. For the price it's a great value. There aren't near as many apps as apple has. That is the only downside for me. It's for surfing the web, watching videos and playing a few apps. oh and it was really nice to use Skype when I was traveling to talk to my parents.
  8. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    I used to travel a lot, and I think it would be great for that. I got mine with 64g, and with the free cloud storage, I figure that is plenty, lifetime support, and some other free stuff for $245, so it was a great price. I think it won't be long before more apps and tv stations will be available on it, right now I can watch ABC, so if I can use it as a 'kind of' tv, I would use it more, since right now, the only place to which I travel is my bed.

    I would highly recommend it for people that travel, or are in places where hauling a full size laptop around just for games, videos, web surfing etc..., is too clunky. Maybe this summer I will spend more time outside since I have it. My area is saturated with free wifi just about anywhere you walk. The empty field at the end of my block has wifi, so no need to subscribe to the optional 4G service.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
  9. Greg Bernhardt

    Staff: Admin

    oh another good use for it is recipes. I can prop up my kindle, load the recipe and have it in the kitchen while I cook. very nice!
  10. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Oh, I could use that!
  11. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    Sometimes we discuss buying a tablet with Marzena - just to have it in the kitchen :)
  12. turbo

    turbo 7,063
    Gold Member

    My wife has a Kindle. She bought it so she could play games with a couple of her friends. Now she has many "friends" that she has never met. "Words with Friends" is similar to Scrabble, and there is a drawing game that keeps her busy. She has almost no artistic ability, but that doesn't slow her down.
  13. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Unfortunately I am not into games, which I believe is a big thing for these tablets.

    I think, aside from the problem with the volume control, it's a very well made tablet. I'm just trying to find something that makes it useful for me. Right now, books are out.

    I'm going to check out the Silk browser and see what search engine options, if any, there are.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014
  14. phion

    phion 154
    Gold Member

    I had a Kindle. Read maybe 2-3 books in total. Sold it for gas money.
  15. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    I hear you. I *REALLY* want to find a use for this. :frown:
  16. dlgoff

    dlgoff 3,158
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2014 Award

    I'm sure if I had had one since Christmas, it would have been modified and used as a component for something unrelated to reading books. But that's just me.
  17. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    There are Kindles for reading, and there is Kindle tablet, these are different devices.

    I have an older Kindle, Marzena has Paperwhite she got for Christmas - and we are both happy with using them for reading. But these are e-ink B&W devices, with no sound output, and only some limited web browsing capabilities.
  18. harborsparrow

    harborsparrow 423
    Gold Member

    I stopped buying Kindles and started using the Kindle reader app on my smartphone. However, I've been tempted to buy a newer Kindle JUST SO that I could watch Amazon Prime movies on it, as Amazon prohibits streaming (or storing) on non-Kindle hardware. And I came to the conclusion that I wasn't willing to pay for the newer Kindle just for that reason.

    I also have a nice 10" Samsung tablet (pretty much the Android equiv. of an iPad), and you know what I ended up using it for? Reading Kindle books and playing Solitaire. I hate using it for web surfing. But it is so much superior to, say, a laptop for playing games. Yes, tablets are great little portable gaming consoles. Good reading devices. And, IMO, poor web surfing/emailing/puting devices.

    The Samsung tablet has the best camera though, and using Dropbox, it automatically uploads all photos to my laptop. So I also use it as a camera. Not sure that Kindle can be useful that way (since I haven't bought a Kindle tablet yet).
  19. Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    It's a Kindle, not a candle.
  20. I'd root it and install the Google Play store on it, then you can use it as a normal Android tablet.

    It could work okay as a PDF reader due to its high res screen, unless eye strain on its small size is an issue. I'd prefer an e-ink Kindle though since it is easier on the eyes.

    Other than that, a rooted Kindle is basically equivalent to an iPad. There are some nice things you can do on it, like control a Windows computer with Remote Desktop, use it as a graphing calculator, remote control a Matlab kernel, use it as a star-chart to overlay what you're looking at, Skype with it, et cetera. But you're right, it's not like the Surface Pro where it is a "real" PC. You're limited to Android apps, which are mostly geared toward consumption, not creation.
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