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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    northern Virginia
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    Kindle Fire HDX and other tablets?

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    I know there are other threads here about tablets and e-readers, but they're pretty old and technology changes quickly, so... I currently have a laptop (Windows-based) and an Android smartphone. I'm seriously considering getting a 7" Kindle Fire HDX to complement these two gadgets.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...comp_sm_th_txt

    Today while I was out shopping I stopped into Best Buy and played around with one, and I liked it. The screen looked great and the interface was very intuitive, which is important because I don't have patience for technology that is not intuitive. The price is reasonable, plus it's on sale this week.

    I see that it gets very good reviews on websites that review technology, like cnet and pcmag. But those reviewers are very techy people who often have different priorities than I do. So I'd like to ask for input from real people who I trust, i.e., folks on TE who have a Kindle Fire of some kind.

    I'm interested in the Kindle for web surfing, email access, playing a few games (mostly Words with Friends and some kind of solitaire) and reading books and magazines. I don't think I'll use it for watching TV and movies, though I guess that could change at some point. I imagine I will probably play music on it, though I'd want to be able to transfer music files from my laptop (I tend to be happy listening to the same old CDs rather than buying lots of new music).

    I have a few specific questions. How much memory is enough? 16gb? Also I'm not a big cloud user, though it seems I will probably end up storing things on the Amazon cloud if I get a Kindle. Will I hate the cloud, find it frustrating or restrictive, or is it a good, useful and trustworthy thing? Is it easy to transfer files between a pc and the Kindle? Will I curse them for not including a slot for an SD/micro SD chip or thumbdrive? Is there something else either wonderful or really annoying that I'm not even thinking about but should know before buying?

    A little more background on why I'm thinking of getting a Kindle --
    1. I used to read a lot back in the day. Lately, I hardly read at all, but I do waste time playing games on my phone. I think having an e-reader will get me reading again -- if the games and the book are on the same device, I think I would close the games and open the book instead. Also I'd rather read digital magazines than paper ones, and it will be easier to bring reading material with me when I travel.

    2. I currently have to use my laptop for work, bringing it with me to and from the office every day. Most nights when I get home I am too lazy to take the laptop out of my backpack, take out the power cord, plug it in and open it up. Instead I use my phone to check email and look up anything on the internet that I need to look up. It would be easier to do these things on a tablet instead of the phone. And (I hope) it would be easier to type things on a Kindle, like responses to threads on TE and to Facebook posts, than it is on my phone.

    Thanks very much for any insights and information you can share.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
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    4,403
    I will speak to the parts that can relate to general tablet use and general e-reader. I have an iPad and a Nook, so the technology is different but some things are the same.

    1. I used to read a lot back in the day. Lately, I hardly read at all, but I do waste time playing games on my phone. I think having an e-reader will get me reading again -- if the games and the book are on the same device, I think I would close the games and open the book instead. Also I'd rather read digital magazines than paper ones, and it will be easier to bring reading material with me when I travel.

    2. I currently have to use my laptop for work, bringing it with me to and from the office every day. Most nights when I get home I am too lazy to take the laptop out of my backpack, take out the power cord, plug it in and open it up. Instead I use my phone to check email and look up anything on the internet that I need to look up. It would be easier to do these things on a tablet instead of the phone. And (I hope) it would be easier to type things on a Kindle, like responses to threads on TE and to Facebook posts, than it is on my phone.
    1. sounds like a good plan. I have to put down the ipad and pick up the Nook to read; easier said that done lol. However, consider the screen. The dedicated e readers have a non glare screen, which is much less tiring on the eyes than a standard glassy screen.

    2. Convenience.... omg... I love my tablet for the exact reasons you state. I look things up online all the time. All the time. Take quick glances at my email, surf the web for things that pop into my head, keep my grocery list.... its endless what you can do with it.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
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    1,352
    Kindle should be fine for the things you're using it for. I went with the Nexus 7 because I wanted the apps I had bought on the Google play store on my tablet. You can't do that on the Kindle unless you are willing to root your Kindle and tweak it. If you're only playing games like Words With Friends this shouldn't be an issue for you because you can get it free on Amazon's app store.

    As far as cloud storage goes I'm a fan when it comes to things like movies, music and pictures. 16gb should be enough if you use the cloud. My tablet is 32gb, but I have several very large apps on it so I wanted the space.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Oregon
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    468
    One short comment. I travel a lot so a kindle was much better for me than lugging around books. I have the Kindle 3 (the one with the keyboard) and I have a Kindle Fire. I used the Fire once. Just once and went back to my Kindle 3. Some of my flights I take are 15 hours and the Kindle Fire only held a charge for 8 hours or so. My other can go a month without recharging. I would prefer not to carry the charging cord with me when I am only traveling with a backpack.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,204
    Did you compare reading and viewing on the 8.9 vs the 7? Unless money is a real consideration I'd go at least 32gb if not 64gb just to have the room and so the processor doesn't slow as you add more data. I always get more memory and a larger hard drive than I think I'll need especially with something I can't add more to. Audible books take up a lot more data storage so keep that in mind if you think you'll use those. No experience with the cloud. Besides work which is backed up on the companies servers I really only have my photographs to think about saving off my computer. I trust external hard drives over a cloud for those, especially for security. I still prefer paper books and my music is on my iPad air, which I also use to get photos off my camera if needed while out photographing or to quickly work on and to show to or send them off to someone.

    For what you want to do the Kindle should be great!
    Last edited by rebeccaC; 04-07-2014 at 02:01 AM.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,957
    I agree, get more memory than you think you will need, it is amazing how easy it is to fill it up especially with music and you don't want it to slow down as you add more data as Rebecca pointed out. I do like the cloud for music, don't know how well it works to stream music to your Kindle from the cloud or if it is better to store it on the device (I stream it from the cloud to my Samsung Note II phone). I've been considering getting a Nook HD or other tablet for the same reason you are considering - though to be truly useful for me for work I would need to find a device that I can use a Citrix VPN connection to my computer at work. I suspect that would have to be a Windows device and I don't know that I am willing to do that. I DO like the non-glare screen of my basic Nook device, and the battery life just rocks.

    I think those are all great reasons to get the device, good luck with your decision! I've been building up my home gym or I would have already pulled the trigger on something like this.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    774
    I had a Sony e-reader thinking I would read a lot on it, and charges kept a long time. Well I ended up selling it after reading only one book. The reading style was perfect. But it was not really fun to do internet (even to get books). Magazines would not have been fun, etc. So I sold it to a friend who is super happy with it.

    I have an Nexus tablet I use at lunch time at work. I love it very much. I can do it all, and I read a lot of books on it.

    I have at home a 2014 note 10.1 tablet. Still in love with it. Does all I want to do and more. Got a 32g because it's all they had in the store but a 16g would have been ok for me. I do not keep much stuff in there because they are not my main "working" tools.

    I have a Asus - big screen and way too heavy now laptop, which is my preferred choice for daily things, but do not read books on it. If I need to type something, I will definitively use my laptop. I hate hate hate typing on tablets. Almost a pet peeve of mine. Needless to say I don't type much on a smart phone. ah.

    So for reading, if you want to read magazines (which are much nicer with colour), I'd try something a tad bigger if you can. I find 10'' tablet is great. My 7'' one is good but I don't think I'd like using it as much as my note 10.1. If I could get a 12'' tablet I think I'd go for it. But that's me.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catrin View Post
    though to be truly useful for me for work I would need to find a device that I can use a Citrix VPN connection to my computer at work. I suspect that would have to be a Windows device .
    Be nice to whoever does your IT work ....There are Citrix Receiver App's for both Android and OS X. An IT person should be able to help you figure it out. I can connect with my iPhone, iPad air and Macbook pro.
    Last edited by rebeccaC; 04-08-2014 at 06:04 AM.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,856
    Thank you all for your input. I went to the store at lunchtime to look at them again. The 8.9 is definitely a better size for reading. The reviews indicate that it also has better battery life than the 7". Unfortunately it's not on sale like the 7" versions are.

    I think I am deciding between the 7" with 64gb and the 8.9" with 32gb. The larger screen size with 64gb is really more than I want to spend. Actually the 8.9 with 32gb is more than I want to spend, but I'm having a bit of a hectic week at work right now, the upside of which is that I get paid for some OT, and I was thinking that this would be an early 50th birthday present to myself...so I will think about it for a couple of days and maybe will decide to go with one of the 8.9 tablets.

    Thanks again!!

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Sillycon Valley, California
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    I went with the Nexus 7 32 gig because of the android os. I prefer my Kindle paperwhite for reading, I just don't like the shiny screen on the Nexus for reading. The Nexus has been a lifesaver during chemo, I'm able to stream Netflix, thus starting a major House of Cards addiction while I get my infusion.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
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    Re: Kindle Fire HDX and other tablets?

    Quote Originally Posted by snapdragen View Post
    I went with the Nexus 7 32 gig because of the android os. I prefer my Kindle paperwhite for reading, I just don't like the shiny screen on the Nexus for reading. The Nexus has been a lifesaver during chemo, I'm able to stream Netflix, thus starting a major House of Cards addiction while I get my infusion.
    I have the same combo. Love my kindle Paperwhite for reading in bed and my nexus 7 for watching tv in bed :-)
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Rowland Hts, CA
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    473
    I was trying to be "cheap" and use my Kindle Fire for BOTH reading and internet searches and games and movies.

    Unfortunately, my eye strain was killing me when I used the Kindle Fire as an e-reader. I even have an anti-glare screen cover on my Kindle Fire.

    So, now, I only use my basic Kindle e-reader that a friend gave to me for free to read books.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Concord, MA
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    I have a Kindle that's old and only for reading. While I like the ease of taking it on vacation and quickly getting my books, I miss going to the library... I kind of don't get why you would need a Kindle to do stuff like search on line. I mean, I if I really have the urge, when I'm not at home, I use my phone.
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
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    I have an older Kindle, but I've wound up doing all my reading on my iPad. It's so much more versatile. Yeah, the Kindle is lighter and easier to hold, but when I'm away from home I only want to be hauling around one device, and the iPad (plus Bluetooth keyboard) replaces both reader and laptop.

    And, depending on your library, you might be able to browse the new e-book acquisitions just as you'd browse the print editions.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    I have a Kindle that's old and only for reading. While I like the ease of taking it on vacation and quickly getting my books, I miss going to the library... I kind of don't get why you would need a Kindle to do stuff like search on line. I mean, I if I really have the urge, when I'm not at home, I use my phone.
    I find the phone is too small. It's a pain to type anything longer than a text and it can be very hard to really search for something online, when you need to drill down through multiple pages of a website.

    And having to use my laptop for work everyday, carrying it back and forth to the office everyday, it is just wearing me down and I end up leaving it packed up in the bag when I get home instead of taking it out to use it. In theory this is a temporary arrangement, but there is no end in sight. It doesn't make sense to buy a second pc so that I can keep one at home and one at work, because if they ever do get us pcs at work then I will have an extra that I have no need for. I think a Kindle would fill the gap so I can use the web at home more easily without needing to unpack the laptop, and it would be better for traveling than having to bring my laptop with me or be limited to the small screen of the phone. I never go to the library now, I don't have the time or the energy to fight traffic to get there. I don't want to buy more books or subscribe to magazines because I don't have room for them in my tiny condo. With a Kindle I can get books and magazines from the library without having to leave home, I can buy them online if I want to, and I can still get a physical book now and then if it's something special that I will want to keep.

    One lesson my father taught me was to really think long and hard before making a big purchase, to be sure that it's something that I will really use and that will be worth spending the money on. I think this is something that will be useful for me. I have to work late tomorrow night, but I'll be running some errands either at lunch or in the evening, and I plan to pick up the Kindle then.

    Thanks again for everyone's input.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

 

 

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