Kindle Fire HD 7″ – Initial Reaction

While I was writing about the Kindle DX the other day, I was waiting for my new Kindle Fire HD to arrive. And I’ve now had the chance to have a quick play with it, and have some initial feedback / findings.


Bad things first: I bought the 16GB model – I know that you don’t get all the storage you think you’re going to get with these things, but still I was a little surprised / disappointed to see it reported in Windows as a 12.3GB device (77% of the capacity described). Seriously – if you’re looking at getting one of these – spend the extra £20 and get the extra memory. Mind you, that’s still a lot more memory than the DX has.

That’s the only bad thing – so far.


My library has synchronised across the DX and the HD; a nice touch is that the collections I set up on one device have also migrated across. However, that has only applied to books bought from Kindle, rather than those loaded as PDFs. Not overly surprising, given the different storage formats.


Obviously, the screen is smaller than that of my DX but the pixel density is higher, as the resolutions are so similar.

Kindle DX Kindle Fire HD 7″
Screen Size 9.7″ 7″
Resolution 1200 x 824 1200 x 800

Poor quality of the images below is entirely down to my environment and using the camera on the phone.

Reading PDFs

This is why I get these devices – for reading. And the bulk of my library is PDFs from various people – Red Gate has a good selection of freebies, as does Microsoft; the other suppliers to my library (O’Reilly, Apress, Manning). O’Reilly does have a neat trick, though – it puts stuff into my Dropbox folder – when are the others going to do that? Hmm?

Anyway. Back to the quality / readability tests. The book I’m reading for these screenshots is Glenn Berry’s book on SQL Server Hardware, from Red Gate.

Looking at page 9 of the PDF, the text on both devices is readable; obviously, the DX being Monochrome has a harder time displaying code colours, and this makes it a bit harder to read

page 9 on Kindle DX

page 9 on Kindle DX

page 9 on Kindle Fire HD 7"

page 9 on Kindle Fire HD 7″

And now, looking at the picture on p22, we can again see that the DX is hampered by the lack of colour; however, the Fire also seems to reproduce the image more legibly.

page 22 on Kindle DX

page 22 on Kindle DX

Page 22 on Kindle Fire HD 7"

Page 22 on Kindle Fire HD 7″

Side by side, to get comparison of the different sizes of these devices:

Kindles DX & Fire HD 7" side by side

Kindles HD 7″ & DX side by side


Clearer images, brighter pages. The brightness could make it more tiring to read, and will chew through the battery more quickly; however, there isn’t much to choose in term of legibility between these two devices.

Big benefit of the new one: space. Lots of it to store lots of books.

And with that, I’m going to get back to my weekend.

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