$50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

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ilovepiano
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$50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by ilovepiano » Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:28 am

Received the tablet yesterday, here are some initial impressions to those who are interested:
(Background: I am a lifelong Apple guy, own several ipads, iphones, macs, apple shareholder etc)

Build quality-- very impressive, this is not a cheap feeling device. it has a nice weight, and is very solid feeling. the back of the device is a plastic type material but overall nice.

Screen quality-- it is not a high definition "retina" type display, but it is also quite nice. good viewing angles, I would liken the display to the pre-retina ipad displays.

User experience (speed)-- again not bad at all, I thought it would be laggy but it's not, it's actually quite smooth.

Apps-- I am not an Android/Amazon user, but there seems to be a decent amount of apps. I like spotify, and the good thing with spotify is that you can play any song from your playlists (from a tablet) so this would be a great use for this device, the speaker sounds Mono but the volume is decent. There seems to be a decent amount of games available from first glance.

I am giving this device so far, a high recommendation- there is no way amazon is making a profit off this device.

* this does not feel like a device solely designed to get you to shop on amazon or consume amazon digital media

pochax
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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by pochax » Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:46 am

how is it as an e-reader?

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Toons
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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by Toons » Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:57 am

ilovepiano wrote:Received the tablet yesterday, here are some initial impressions to those who are interested:
(Background: I am a lifelong Apple guy, own several ipads, iphones, macs, apple shareholder etc)

Build quality-- very impressive, this is not a cheap feeling device. it has a nice weight, and is very solid feeling. the back of the device is a plastic type material but overall nice.

Screen quality-- it is not a high definition "retina" type display, but it is also quite nice. good viewing angles, I would liken the display to the pre-retina ipad displays.

User experience (speed)-- again not bad at all, I thought it would be laggy but it's not, it's actually quite smooth.

Apps-- I am not an Android/Amazon user, but there seems to be a decent amount of apps. I like spotify, and the good thing with spotify is that you can play any song from your playlists (from a tablet) so this would be a great use for this device, the speaker sounds Mono but the volume is decent. There seems to be a decent amount of games available from first glance.

I am giving this device so far, a high recommendation- there is no way amazon is making a profit off this device.

* this does not feel like a device solely designed to get you to shop on amazon or consume amazon digital media

Thanks for the review,I am in the thought process of purchasing one :happy
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matjen
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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by matjen » Fri Oct 02, 2015 8:15 am

ilovepiano wrote:Received the tablet yesterday, here are some initial impressions to those who are interested:
(Background: I am a lifelong Apple guy, own several ipads, iphones, macs, apple shareholder etc)

Build quality-- very impressive, this is not a cheap feeling device. it has a nice weight, and is very solid feeling. the back of the device is a plastic type material but overall nice.

Screen quality-- it is not a high definition "retina" type display, but it is also quite nice. good viewing angles, I would liken the display to the pre-retina ipad displays.

User experience (speed)-- again not bad at all, I thought it would be laggy but it's not, it's actually quite smooth.

Apps-- I am not an Android/Amazon user, but there seems to be a decent amount of apps. I like spotify, and the good thing with spotify is that you can play any song from your playlists (from a tablet) so this would be a great use for this device, the speaker sounds Mono but the volume is decent. There seems to be a decent amount of games available from first glance.

I am giving this device so far, a high recommendation- there is no way amazon is making a profit off this device.

* this does not feel like a device solely designed to get you to shop on amazon or consume amazon digital media
I will second this review. Hard to beat for $50, I have owned Kindle Readers, iPads and Android tablets and Windows tablets (Surface Pro 3). This is a perfect little tablet/reader if you are an Amazon Prime member. Video and e-reading is smooth. Many basic/important Android apps are available. The Web browsing is smooth. This wouldn't be my main device but for kids, a second device for travel/vacation and or knocking around it is hard to beat.
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Broken Man 1999
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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:17 pm

Mine arrived yesterday, and I charged it last night.

I can pretty much echo the findings above, as I think it is a nifty little device.

Now, I am an Amazon-centric person, having an Echo device, a Kindle Paperwhite reader, Amazon Prime membership.

So, when I finally turned the unit on this morning, it started updating everything, and syncing to my other Amazon services. All my books, Amazon Prime movies/TV shows, Amazon Prime music, are all available via the tablet.

Speaking of music, it is only monaural, though the jack is the typical 3.5mm.
pochax wrote:how is it as an e-reader?
Actually not too bad. The screen is shiny on the tablet, vs flat on the e-reader. [Note: There might be settings that can optimize the reading experience, I'm sure there are many things I will need to learn about this device.] Some might be served better by just using the reader (which has an experimental browser) to read, especially if they do a lot of reading, like I do. Others, who seldom read, might be perfectly happy with the tablet.

Originally I bought the tablet to protect my Samsung tablet from my grandkids, as the Samsung was much more expensive. And, after I have enjoyed it for a bit (and bought a case for it) I might let them use it. :D

I am positively delighted with my purchase.

Broken Man 1999
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jmr1948
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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by jmr1948 » Fri Oct 02, 2015 8:16 pm

I've had mine for about 3 days. I agree that for 50 dollars this is a high quality device. I''m a big Android fan, so was concerned about the degree to which Amazon restricted the pure Android experience. I didn't root the device, which would void warranty, but found an easy way to "side-load" regular Android apps. With a little more research, figured out how to have Google Play Store, Google Maps, Youtube, Google search, Chromecast app and a couple of other Google apps on the Fire without rooting or otherwise screwing up the device. Created folders like in regular Android, and I think I'm happy. Strange but true: Amazon Books app will not play mobi files not from Amazon, which regular Kindle readers will. But downloaded Cool Reader for that purpose (from Google Play).

What you can't do is utilize aftermarket lauchers, like Nova launcher. Device will not allow you to change default launcher from Amazon Fire launcher. But I'm still happy.

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matjen
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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by matjen » Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:30 pm

jmr1948 wrote:I've had mine for about 3 days. I agree that for 50 dollars this is a high quality device. I''m a big Android fan, so was concerned about the degree to which Amazon restricted the pure Android experience. I didn't root the device, which would void warranty, but found an easy way to "side-load" regular Android apps. With a little more research, figured out how to have Google Play Store, Google Maps, Youtube, Google search, Chromecast app and a couple of other Google apps on the Fire without rooting or otherwise screwing up the device. Created folders like in regular Android, and I think I'm happy. Strange but true: Amazon Books app will not play mobi files not from Amazon, which regular Kindle readers will. But downloaded Cool Reader for that purpose (from Google Play).

What you can't do is utilize aftermarket lauchers, like Nova launcher. Device will not allow you to change default launcher from Amazon Fire launcher. But I'm still happy.
Were you able to load Google Chrome as the browser? Can you share a couple of good links regarding how-to get Google Play/regular Android apps? Thanks.
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.

jmr1948
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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by jmr1948 » Fri Oct 02, 2015 10:39 pm

Just Google "Google Chrome on Kindle Fire."

Luke Duke
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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by Luke Duke » Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:29 pm

What video formats can it play?

mw1739
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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by mw1739 » Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:01 pm

We just got one of these over the weekend. My son broke the screen on his iPad and after seeing the cost to replace the screen, I started looking for cheaper alternatives and came across this. Having never used any other tablet besides an iPad, I agree I was impressed with the build quality and screen for the price. Where I found it doesn't come close to an iPad is in the speed. Every time you touch something there is a significant lag to open the app. My son also complains about the lack of a physical home button, but I imagine he's just used to the iPad. For the price and my intended use (throwaway kids tablet) I'm satisfied. Personally, I'll stick with my iPad.

rjbraun
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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by rjbraun » Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:13 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:Some might be served better by just using the reader (which has an experimental browser) to read, especially if they do a lot of reading, like I do. Others, who seldom read, might be perfectly happy with the tablet.
Would you please elaborate on why someone who does a lot of reading may prefer to use the reader? Is it because of weight, screen quality, battery life ... all of the above? ... or something else entirely? :confused

Thanks! :D

ilovepiano
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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by ilovepiano » Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:44 pm

Have had a few days with the tablet now.
I really like it. I have always been anti android but I'm beginning to see some advantages. I've been able to sideload google apps like google maps which arent available on the amazon app store. This is actually a very easy process, basically transferring apps to the tablet from the computer. You can also download torrents directly to the tablet which is really nice, that's not possible on iOS.

This is a good ereader

It plays video files superbly, there are many video playing apps you can download that will play avi, mp4 files etc.

Still very happy with the tablet. I just purchased a 64gb SD card for the tablet (20$)

Highly recommend

Luke Duke wrote:What video formats can it play?

incowtown
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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by incowtown » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:21 am

rjbraun wrote:
Broken Man 1999 wrote:Some might be served better by just using the reader (which has an experimental browser) to read, especially if they do a lot of reading, like I do. Others, who seldom read, might be perfectly happy with the tablet.
Would you please elaborate on why someone who does a lot of reading may prefer to use the reader? Is it because of weight, screen quality, battery life ... all of the above? ... or something else entirely? :confused

Thanks! :D
I'm an avid reader and often read my kindle for hours at a time. I haven't read a book on a tablet, so I'm not giving a balanced opinion ... but I like the e-ink screens on the dedicated e-readers. Here's a link on the subject http://www.howtogeek.com/181577/e-ink-v ... r-reading/ Battery life is also a plus. Even reading for hours at a time, I don't usually need to charge my kindle more than weekly.

I'm also a bit prejudiced because I don't like touch screens. I have kindles with physical page-turn switches on the side. I would like to try the Kindle Voyage 3G - but I can't justify the expense until my current kindles die. (I still have one of the old 3G keyboard kindles as a backup to my regular kindle.) Of course, I just looked at the amazon site and they are offering to buy back old kindles ...

rarebit
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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by rarebit » Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:18 am

ilovepiano wrote: This is a good ereader
...

Highly recommend

Luke Duke wrote:What video formats can it play?

Thanks so much for sharing your review and experience. Would / Could you recommend it to be used solely as an ereader? I don't care for other gimmicks and functions (although they might turn out nice to have, I'm mainly looking for a cheap-ish ereader).

Thanks.

rjbraun
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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by rjbraun » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:49 am

incowtown wrote:I'm an avid reader and often read my kindle for hours at a time. I haven't read a book on a tablet, so I'm not giving a balanced opinion ... but I like the e-ink screens on the dedicated e-readers. Here's a link on the subject http://www.howtogeek.com/181577/e-ink-v ... r-reading/ Battery life is also a plus. Even reading for hours at a time, I don't usually need to charge my kindle more than weekly.

I'm also a bit prejudiced because I don't like touch screens. I have kindles with physical page-turn switches on the side. I would like to try the Kindle Voyage 3G - but I can't justify the expense until my current kindles die. (I still have one of the old 3G keyboard kindles as a backup to my regular kindle.) Of course, I just looked at the amazon site and they are offering to buy back old kindles ...
Thank you - your comments were helpful as was the review you shared via the link.

I have been a happy owner of an iPad mini for about a year now, and I recently purchased a Kindle (paid $49 during that recent Amazon one-day anniversary? sale, saving 30 bucks off the list price). I was debating whether to now spring for the $50 tablet, after reading all the favorable reviews here. Not sure it's warranted but will give it more thought.

I'm pleased that the Kindle seems to have been a good purchase decision. It was kind of an experiment. I suppose the reduced price helps to offset the "loss" I took on a nook I purchased on "Black Friday" several years ago. Initially, I got the nook to work okay for me, but that turned out to be short-lived. :annoyed

SO has been eyeing my Kindle. I think an e-reader probably makes more sense for him than a tablet. That said, it seems kind of hard to justify spending $30 more for a device that kind of has fewer capabilities, arguably.

SRenaeP
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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by SRenaeP » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:51 am

incowtown wrote:
rjbraun wrote:
Broken Man 1999 wrote:Some might be served better by just using the reader (which has an experimental browser) to read, especially if they do a lot of reading, like I do. Others, who seldom read, might be perfectly happy with the tablet.
Would you please elaborate on why someone who does a lot of reading may prefer to use the reader? Is it because of weight, screen quality, battery life ... all of the above? ... or something else entirely? :confused

Thanks! :D
I'm an avid reader and often read my kindle for hours at a time. I haven't read a book on a tablet, so I'm not giving a balanced opinion ... but I like the e-ink screens on the dedicated e-readers. Here's a link on the subject http://www.howtogeek.com/181577/e-ink-v ... r-reading/ Battery life is also a plus. Even reading for hours at a time, I don't usually need to charge my kindle more than weekly.

I'm also a bit prejudiced because I don't like touch screens. I have kindles with physical page-turn switches on the side. I would like to try the Kindle Voyage 3G - but I can't justify the expense until my current kindles die. (I still have one of the old 3G keyboard kindles as a backup to my regular kindle.) Of course, I just looked at the amazon site and they are offering to buy back old kindles ...
I concur. I have an old Kindle e-reader as well as a Kindle Fire. I rarely read books on the Fire because of the low (as compared to the e-reader) battery life and my preference for e-ink. I can read for hours on the Kindle with no eyestrain but don't find that to be the case with the Fire (most likely due to the backlight). That said, I do love the Fire, just not for reading books.

-Steph

Broken Man 1999
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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:16 am

rjbraun wrote:
Broken Man 1999 wrote:Some might be served better by just using the reader (which has an experimental browser) to read, especially if they do a lot of reading, like I do. Others, who seldom read, might be perfectly happy with the tablet.
Would you please elaborate on why someone who does a lot of reading may prefer to use the reader? Is it because of weight, screen quality, battery life ... all of the above? ... or something else entirely? :confused

Thanks! :D
It is the screen.

Not much I can add that hasn't been said. The e-ink technology on e-readers is amazing. Perhaps if I had started reading books on a regular tablet, the experience would be OK, but I started reading on a Nook, then a Kindle Paperwhite, after I lost my Nook.

Before buying, just visit a store and check out each, a tablet, and a reader. You will see the difference pretty easily.

Broken Man 1999
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ilovepiano
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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by ilovepiano » Sun Oct 11, 2015 2:58 pm

Yes.
rarebit wrote:
ilovepiano wrote: This is a good ereader
...

Highly recommend

Luke Duke wrote:What video formats can it play?

Thanks so much for sharing your review and experience. Would / Could you recommend it to be used solely as an ereader? I don't care for other gimmicks and functions (although they might turn out nice to have, I'm mainly looking for a cheap-ish ereader).

Thanks.

random_walker_77
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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by random_walker_77 » Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:30 pm

Looks like it's on sale at staples. Get a bundle w/ a cover and a 32GB sd card for $50+tax:

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/hot-deals/1463475/

Luke Duke
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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by Luke Duke » Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:20 pm

random_walker_77 wrote:Looks like it's on sale at staples. Get a bundle w/ a cover and a 32GB sd card for $50+tax:

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/hot-deals/1463475/
Thanks for posting this. I got it for $54.43 after tax using Visa Pay. I had to use filler item 831885 for it to work. Try a different computer/browser if it doesn't work the first time.

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heartwood
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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by heartwood » Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:58 pm

Luke Duke wrote:
random_walker_77 wrote:Looks like it's on sale at staples. Get a bundle w/ a cover and a 32GB sd card for $50+tax:

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/hot-deals/1463475/
Thanks for posting this. I got it for $54.43 after tax using Visa Pay. I had to use filler item 831885 for it to work. Try a different computer/browser if it doesn't work the first time.
Shows as "out of stock" when I tried to order.

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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by random_walker_77 » Mon Oct 12, 2015 6:37 pm

From what I can tell it's in stock at the moment. Free shipping.

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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by Retired1809 » Mon Oct 12, 2015 7:13 pm

Re: Staples deal

It looks like it's $69.95 at Staples. Where do you see $50?

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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by Retired1809 » Mon Oct 12, 2015 7:26 pm

Re: Staples deal

It looks like it's $69.95 at Staples. Where do you see $50 for the Staples combo deal?

random_walker_77
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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by random_walker_77 » Mon Oct 12, 2015 7:54 pm

Try adding a filler item to get the price over $70.00, then checkout with "visa checkout" to get another $20 off.

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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by Retired1809 » Mon Oct 12, 2015 8:26 pm

Thanks, RandomWalker. I was just coming back to post of my success. I had to sign up for Visa Checkout which seems like a handy feature anyway. I've been thinking about the Fire Tablet and this was just enough to tilt for the deal.

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heartwood
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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by heartwood » Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:06 pm

HikerNC wrote:Thanks, RandomWalker. I was just coming back to post of my success. I had to sign up for Visa Checkout which seems like a handy feature anyway. I've been thinking about the Fire Tablet and this was just enough to tilt for the deal.
and try to check out.
I'm still getting the "out of stock" message. I add it to my cart then try to check out. That's when I get the message. I've tried Chrome, IE and firefox, also incognito browsing. Perhaps its looking at isp address since several claim to have gotten the deal after my first denial many hours ago.

Congrats to those who got it. Seems like a great deal, esp with the VISA checkout (never heard of that before) or a $10 discount on $50 or over if you join the staples email ads.

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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by testing321 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:56 am


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heartwood
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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by heartwood » Sun Nov 01, 2015 5:05 pm

The Fire bundle is available again at Staples

http://www.staples.com/Amazon-Fire-Tabl ... ct_1899123

albeit at $79.99. The Visa checkout offer is expired. Still $15 less than a comparable bundle from Amazon.

I ordered one yesterday.

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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by testing321 » Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:38 am

Best Buy has this in their black Friday ad for $35. Might be able to order it online for that price (use free in-store pickup). And perhaps Amazon will match the price.

kjvmartin
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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by kjvmartin » Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:44 pm

Walmart is offering the iPad Mini 2 w/Retina display for $199. Excellent product for that price, ours is running well since we bought it.

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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by rj49 » Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:13 pm

You might also look at old Nook HD tablets, which I think I got for $50 or so on ebay. It has a sharp screen, I find it easy to hold and use (particularly for reading, with the wide bezel), and you get access to the Google Play store and all its apps, as well as not being tempted into the Amazon ecosystem with its associated temptations to buy stuff (Prime membership, ebooks, and impulse spending on things I don't need). And of course you can still use the Amazon app if you want to read their books. It also has a microSD card slot, so I'm able to load dozens of movies on it for when I'm away from a wifi source.

I also have an Amazon 8.9" Fire tablet, as well as an ipad, but I find the Nook HD is the one I keep by my bed for reading and taking with me when I want something to read or watch Netflix on when I'm in public (the cheap price makes me less concerned about theft or accidental damage).

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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by curmudgeon » Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:40 pm

It sounds like a number of stores will have this small Fire tablet for $35 on/around black friday. As long as I can side load apps from google play without too much trouble, I figure it should be reasonably usable for my purposes, so if I can get one without hassle (preferably not on friday itself), I probably will. I imagine Amazon will have them for ordering at that price as well.

A couple of years ago I picked up a cheap android tablet and then found that is was locked into some funky little app ecosystem that didn't have much of use. In this price range I don't really worry about warranty, but I decided it just wasn't worth my time to root and re-image the thing, so I gave it away (to be used as a kids toy and video player).

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Re: $50 Amazon Fire Tablet (Initial Impressions)

Post by dumbmoney » Sun Nov 15, 2015 9:22 am

I got one of these as a toy. It comes close to being a great device. The screen resolution is a bit low for reading, that's the only problem. I wish they had omitted the two (!) cameras and spent the money on a better screen. For watching videos or playing games, though, the screen is fine.
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