Kindle Fire HDX in Canada – first impressions

Posted: November 26, 2013 in e-Reader Reviews
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Today was release day in Canada for Amazon’s latest tablet, the Kindle HDX and mine was delivered as anticipated.  As always with Amazon, the setup was very easy.  Find and enter my WiFi details and the device recognised me.

It is a lovely device to look at – it is a little more compact than the original Kindle Fire HD which I have. The HD screen is gorgeous.  It has a warmer tone than my the original and text is very crisp and clear.  One thing I noticed which really made me happy is that the earphone jack now is fully compatible with my Apple EarPods so that I can start and stop my audiobooks/immersion reading with those.  The placement of the volume and on/off buttons are different and that did take a bit of finding.  I’m sure I’ll adjust quickly though.

I added the origami cover (in purple for those who are interested.)  While it’s cool looking, I discovered that unless you fold it up even when you’re holding it in your hand, the buttons are all but inaccessible.

I will say that the Fire 3.1 OS did take a little getting used to coming from the original Fire.  It took me a bit of time figuring out where everything was.  The device is very very responsive to the extent that the Silk browser may actually be usable.  I almost never used my original Fire HD to surf the web because it was painfully slow.

It came with the latest updates of Cloud Collections and GoodReads which are both excellent.  Navigating my way around my enormous Kindle library is no longer a chore on the Fire.  I’m still not 100% convinced that they are fully synchronised – I’m pretty sure they don’t match on my Kindle Paperwhite and new Fire HDX.  All in all though it’s a huge improvement in content management.

For those of you with an account on Amazon.ca, MayDay isn’t available.  My account is linked to Amazon.com so I was able to test this out.  It worked pretty much as advertised.

One feature I could not get to work at all was the screen mirroring with the Playstation 3.  I have both but for the life of me I couldn’t get them to pair.  After using MayDay, it appears because my PlayStation is registered in Canada, there is no Amazon Instant Video application available.  So it seems that is yet another feature unavailable to Canadians.

It’s still a very nice device although for Canadians I suspect the more open Nexus 7 may be a better bet.  We certainly don’t get the full value of the Kindle in the way our US cousins do.

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