The Good The Amazon Kindle Fire HD (2013) is faster than its predecessors, has an affordable price, and runs the latest and greatest version of the Kindle Fire OS.
The Bad Its default storage size -- 8GB -- is too little space for most tablet needs. Also, there are no cameras and Amazon's video chat customer support is not available. Ad removal still costs an extra $15.
The Bottom Line The 2013 Kindle Fire HD works perfectly as an e-reader with a few extra tablet features, but users looking to take full advantage of Amazon's ecosystem should pay more for the Fire HDX.
An e-reader alternative with tablet extras
Editor's note (September 18, 2014): The product reviewed here is discontinued and has been replaced by the Kindle Fire HD 7.
The Kindle Fire HD (2013) is Amazon's new ultrabudget tablet that starts at $139. At just $20 more than the company's e-ink Kindle Paperwhite reader, it's at a great price and if all you plan to do is stream videos and music, read books, do some light gaming, and occasionally surf the Web, it will certainly meet your needs. The problems arise if you wish to do anything more.
With this entry-level model -- basically the 2012 Fire HD with updated hardware -- you're giving up cameras, and settling for a miniscule amount of storage. Indeed, the 8GB of storage in the $139 model actually works out to less than 5GB of usable space; that's not enough to fit most HD movies or more than a couple of episodes of an HD TV show. Throw in a couple of high-end games like Asphalt 8 and the space fills up swiftly.
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