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CNET First Look
The 2013 update of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD is a cheaper, less capable HDX alternativeSure, the Kindle Fire HD starts at only $140, but with a paltry 8GB of storage space, you'll want to move right to the 16GB version for $170.
This is the 2013 version of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD. It's essentially a less powerful version of the Fire HDX. The HD ditches the camera and microphones. It's a little bit thicker, larger and slightly heavier. Other than that is pretty much the same tablet from a designed perspective. There's a headphone jack and a micro USB port and just as what the HDX, the power button and volume button are seated on the back of the tablet and still take some getting used to. Did I say some getting used to? Well, actually I meant a lot. It's pretty awkward. Internally however, there are plenty of differences. The HD features a lower 1280 by 800 resolution screen and a slower processor. Thankfully it ships with the latest version of the Fire OS and a new more sensible interface. Web performance is a huge improvement over last year, sights low quickly and there is modern navigation. However, Riptide GP2 struggles to even low in a timely manner and doesn't respond well to turning on additional graph core effects. If you keep things simple though, it runs just fine. The Fire HD starts at $139 for 8 gigabytes of storage and there's also a 16-gigabyte version for $30 more. I'll recommend you get the more expensive $169 version. Eight gigabytes is just too little space to store your apps and media especially when that 8 gigabytes is actually only about 5 gigabytes or less of real space. Still, if you're only flatting to stream movies and TV shows, $140 is a pretty great price for a portable streaming box. That is if you can always ensure you have constant WiFi access. Check out my full review for more details. I'm Eric Franklin and this has been a first look at the Amazon Kindle Fire HD.