Product review: Fire 7, 7th generation

Fire 7

As I’ve been chronicling here for years, I’m a Kindle addict, thanks to the devious machinations of Hunter Baker, who gave me my first hit. A while back I transitioned to the Kindle Fire, which is now called the Fire Tablet. I recently acquired the latest (7th generation) Fire 7, and my review reads as follows.

I’d grown a little frustrated with my previous Fire, the 4th generation of the 7. I found it slow, and it had developed a habit of hanging “fire” (Get it? Fire?). So I ordered the 7th generation model (double 7s. Has to be lucky). (Why don’t I get an 8 with the 8-inch screen? Because the 7 fits neatly into my coat pockets in the winter. This matters to me.) I even sprang for the model with 16 GB storage capacity. All in all, I’m pleased with it.

I immediately noticed that this model was perceptibly lighter than my previous Fire. It’s a tad longer and narrower when you hold it in portrait position (can’t let those screen protectors or protective covers be interchangeable, can we?). The screen is bright and the definition pretty high, but no noticeable difference from my last one. It’s faster and streams movies without a problem so far (pausing to load was another frustration with my last Fire). A few minor changes have been made in the Kindle reader app (which have probably shown up in earlier Fires as well, I imagine), and I think it’s a little more intuitive.

My main concern was with the speaker. I say speaker rather than “speakers,” because this new Kindle 7 has only one. It’s mono. You get stereo when you use earphones, though. Since I mainly want stereo when I’m watching videos, and since I always use earphones when I watch videos, it’s not a big problem for me.

There are far more powerful tablets out there than the Fire. But if you primarily use it as a reader and video viewer, like me, it’s not a bad device for the money. I’m happy I upgraded.

Update: I meant to mention the battery. Battery life on the Fire 7 is noticeably longer than on my last Fire.

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