Monday, December 30, 2013

Amazon Kindle HDX - Very Impressive

I have been a committed Apple customer. I use an iPhone, iPad and an iMac and enjoy them. A few months ago I ordered the 7 inch Kindle Fire to see what it is like. I took one look at the screen and immediately saw that it is significantly better than the screen on my brand new iPad Air. The colors are significantly richer and there seems to be less glare. I am an Amazon Prime customer. Amazon Prime allows customers to download TV shows and movies available through Prime. Netflix does not allow downloading of programming under any circumstances. The ability to download entertainment is great when I travel or go someplace that lacks WiFi. (I didn't get 3G on my Kindle Fire). I also like Amazon's original programming, especially Alpha House, which makes me laugh.

The day I received the Fire I could not figure out how to set the time so I used the MayDay feature. A rep appeared on my Fire within seconds and helped me with my question. Seeing a support person is really amazing, especially when the help comes right away.

About a week or so after receiving the Kindle Fire HDX, it would intermittently reboot without warning. So I called telephone support. A live person came on the phone in a couple of minutes. I explained the situation. The rep put me on hold and came back on the line and said that Amazon would send me a replacement unit right away. He said when the new unit arrives to send the old one back. The new one came in about two days already registered to my account. I put the old one in the box the new one came in and left it for UPS to pick up. Very easy.

Coming from iOS devices I noticed that my headphones would not control the volume on the Kindle Fire. I reckon the wiring is different. Some headphones will stop and start the sound and some won't. None of my headphones or earphones will control the volume.

So I went on Amazon to try to find headphones that will stop and start the sound and raise and lower the volume on the Kindle Fire HDX. I couldn't find any that I was sure would do all that so I wrote an email to Amazon to ask if any such headphones are available. Amazon wrote back in under a day explaining that it does not offer any such headphones on its website and giving me a $10 credit for my inconvenience. Bear in mind that I did not complain to Amazon nor did I request anything other than information.

This is truly exceptional customer service. I now also own an 8.9 inch Fire as well. I use my iPad Air far less than before. I watch TV shows and movies almost exclusively on the Kindle Fires. The iPad is better for reading RSS feeds and for content creation. But I prefer to create content on a desktop or a laptop. If I had to do it over again I am not sure I would buy an iPad.

The iPad is sleeker than the Kindle Fire but also seems more fragile. The Amazon Origami case is bulky but it seems to protect the tablet well and really will hold the Fire up either horizontally or vertically.

The iPad cover from Apple looks nice and protects the screen but won't really hold the iPad up in either direction easily or well in my experience.

I use the smaller Fire more than I use the larger Fire. The 7-inch Fire will fit easily in a coat pocket. And compared with the iPad I prefer the Fire's 16:9 aspect ratio, which is better for watching TV shows and movies.

The Apple community shuns the Amazon Fire. I think they are missing out on a great device, superb customer service and wonderful content all at a price well below what Apple charges.

I am a very happy Amazon customer.