REVIEW: AMAZON FIRE 7 (2017)

Holiday Deals – Save $10 on Fire 7 – was $49.99 – now $39.99. Limited-time offer

Review from www.wired.com

 

REVIEW: AMAZON FIRE 7 (2017)

Amazon’s most affordable device begs the question: when is a cheap tablet too cheap?

  • RATE 5/10
  • PRICE $49
  • WIRED At $50, it’s more affordable than any other major tablet. The design is functional. You can access all of Amazon’s digital services and media with ease. Alexa is standard equipment.
  • TIRED The screen is too small and its tinny mono sound is retro in the wrong way. The 8GB starting storage is paltry, so you’ll want to upgrade. The processing power, camera, and battery life disappoint.

THE AMAZON FIRE 7 is a tablet you can buy for $50. Think on that for a minute—for one Ulysses S. Grant, you can get a whiff of what it’s like to own a tablet. Unfortunately, once you dig in, you’ll find the Fire 7 is more of a toy than the real deal.

Like its siblings, the 8-inch Fire HD 8 and 10-inch Fire HD 10, the Fire 7 is an almost suspiciously affordable device meant to give you a window into all of Amazon’s digital services. From books to movies to games, this serves it all up on a bigger screen than your smartphone.

Amazon has so much content to sell and share that it redesigned Google’s Android operating system to do it, adding a page on the Fire 7’s home screen for every type of media it offers. If you join Amazon’s $100-per-year Prime service, your Fire will come stuffed with plenty of perks to enjoy, including gritty original TV shows like The Man in the High Castle.

But, stuffed is exactly how the Fire 7 will feel, almost immediately. There is simply too much Amazon goodness to fit on a device this limited. At 7 inches and 1024 x 600 pixels, the screen is as small and low-res as the first Kindle Fire in 2011—barely bigger than a Plus-sized iPhone, which is too tiny to really immerse you in media.

The tablet’s petit frame likely pushed Amazon to shed stereo speakers in favor of a mono rear-facing speaker, which sounds tinny as all get-out. It instantly reminded me of the General Electric FM clock radio I had when I was a kid, and not in a good way. The speaker is also never loud enough, and far too easily blocked no matter how you hold the Fire 7.

If the screen and sound don’t rankle you, the 8GB of internal storage might give you pause. After installing about a dozen apps and games from Amazon’s Appstore (this tablet cannot easily access the more robust Google Play Store), I only have 1GB of storage left. At this rate, I’ll need to buy a MicroSD card to have enough storage to download an offline movie or two for my next trip.

The processing power hits another flat note. The 8- and 10-inch Fire tablets are understandably weak due to their budget prices, but the Fire 7 is pitiful. In one benchmark test I ran, the Fire showed itself to be about as powerful as a 2012 Nexus 7—one of the earliest Android tablets. Due to its old-school performance, lag became a constant companion when opening apps and scrolling through menus on the Fire 7.

Its battery life is at least a couple hours shorter than you’d imagine (I found it lasted between 6 and 8 hours on average), and the front and rear camera quality was somehow worse than even I expected.

I’m laying it on thick, and that’s because I have firm advice: there are two good Amazon Fire tablets we recommend, and this is not one of them. By the time you opt to boost its built-in memory to 16GB (or buy a more spacious MicroSD Card), this tablet will cost you $70. Add in the high-quality Amazon standing case, and you’re almost to $100…not so cheap all of a sudden.

Like a pair of tight slacks after a heavy holiday meal, the Amazon Fire 7 left me wishing for a little extra wiggle room. Luckily, Amazon has a larger, comfier pair of sweatpants on offer: the Fire HD 8. Amazon’s medium-sized tablet has more power, a longer-lasting battery, twice the storage, stereo speakers, and a bigger, sharper display. If you can spare the $30 difference, the 8-inch Fire is simply the better deal.

Holiday Deals – Save $10 on Fire 7 – was $49.99 – now $39.99. Limited-time offer

 

CES 2016: Kodak Brings It Back

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Kodak is bringing back the Super 8 video camera, patient but this new one will have features that cater to modern day technological conveniences. It will contain a rechargeable battery, ask microSD support and a 3.5-inch rotating viewfinder. However, it will also allow you to use traditional film like in the old days. You will be able to use Super 8 Kodak cartridges that have up to 50 feet of film. But this is only the beginning for Kodak. The company has additional plans to come out with new film development services, cameras, and post production tools. Kodak has received support on their newest camera products by big time Hollywood directors like Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino and J.J. Abrams.

The Super 8 camera was a classic consumer camera from the 80s that every family used to have. It was a time before people had high-quality video cameras on smartphones or digital cameras that allowed them to upload a picture to a computer instantly. But now the newly updated camera is bound to attract both classic photographers and new photographers alike. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Super 8 camera will sell in the $400 to $750 range. It will cost between $50 and $75 per film cartridge. Kodak will have to process the film after you are done capturing pictures. Digital copies of the pictures will be given to users.

People are a fan of nostalgic ideas and reinventions of those ideas. If you pay attention to movies lately you see plenty of great ones from the 70s and 80s being remade or having sequels made to them because people love old ideas. It is through old ideas where we can integrate newer ideas with them in order to create something that no one has ever seen before. Technology is no exception because every tech giant or inventor got their knowledge from other people’s ideas and used their own new concepts to create something bigger and better. With the Kodak 8, perhaps it will be revitalized into a revolutionary camera like its predecessor was in the 80s.

The big question is will people be willing to spend at least $400 to get a Kodak 8 camera? There’s no doubt it will have a market with professional and novice photographers, but the average person may not care so much because cameras are all over the place. People have them built into their smartphones, laptops and even their cars now. So it will be interesting to see how consumers respond to the Kodak 8 when it officially gets released in stores.

 

These headphones come with a gimmick that makes a difference!

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Headphones seem like a product that is similar no matter which brand you purchase. But there are different types of headphones being made that look and feel different to the person who wears it. This is the gimmick that many headphone manufacturers are trying to play off of in order to differentiate themselves from their competition. You can also see this being done with various smartphones in the market, viagra like with the curved LG G Flex 2 phones. Sometimes the manufacturers will even use exotic materials on the outside, like with Kevlar-plated Motorola Droid. But how much better can headphones be made?

A British headphone company named Reid Heath Acoustics has long attracted the attention of big computer companies like Apple and numerous others in the business. Recently, viagra dosage the RHA T20i in-ear headphones were revealed. Sure it looks fancy with its injection-molded stainless steel build, but that is only the beginning. They are equipped with revolutionary new interchangeable tuning filters and a Dual Coil driver system. These new features make the sound quality out of this world. People who have tested out the headphones say hearing music through them is a pleasant experience and is much more than just a gimmick. Hopefully, other consumers will think so too because these headphones are priced at $249.95. Most laypeople would probably spend that much on a cheap laptop, but certainly not on expensive headphones. Only people who can afford the very best quality will want to purchase these headphones. You may also find it a worthy investment if you happen to listen to music a lot on your iPhone. Let’s say you work a job that lets you listen to music while you are working. These headphones would be perfect in this situation. You could also listen to them while jogging, walking or lifting weights at the gym. The possibilities are endless.

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There are actually two versions of these headphones; the T20i and the T20. The T20i is equipped with a microphone, which you can connect with your iPhone device so you can remain hands free. If you don’t want a microphone attachment to the headphones then you can purchase the T20 for $10 less and just get the headphones. But if you are willing to spend $239.95, then why not spend $249.95 and get the very best? Each RHA headphone bundle sold comes with 10 memory foam ear tip covers. That way the earphones will fit comfortably in your ears and stay securely in there without falling out.

 

Microsoft Band 2 has a Curved Display

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When the Microsoft Band was released, check consumers were not too thrilled with the fashion style of the device. Sure it had good technological features and innovations, seek but in the end people still want to have a watch that looks good. Rumors are Microsoft has listened to the criticisms directed at the Microsoft Band, medicine which is why they are changing the shape for the upcoming Microsoft Band 2. This wearable is expected to have a curve display on the front along with a metallic new finish on the front display panel. It will also have physical buttons that you can press instead of just touch screen. As for its computing capability, users can now measure elevation in addition to speed. This means if you are walking up or down stairs, or walking through a steep terrain, then it can measure the elevation you are moving to.

During the launch, the Microsoft Band 2 will be available to the global market. This includes most European countries like Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Back in October of 2014, the Microsoft Band was priced at $199 when it was released. Not only that, it was advertised as a health and fitness wearable that is similar to Fitbit. It had ten sensors for tracking heart rate, steps, sleep and various biometrics. It even had a UV sensor to measure the amount of sun exposure you were getting. Hopefully, the second generation Microsoft Band will keep the technological features that people liked in the first generation version. However, what people want to see improved in the second generation is the battery life. The first generation had a terrible battery life and it was hardly waterproof. So if the newer version of the wearable has a longer lasting battery with waterproof material then consumers may be willing to spend another $199 for the next generation version.

However, critics doubt very likely that the hardware issues will be addressed. They are afraid that the cosmetics of the wearable will be the only improvement. Would you be willing to spend another $199 just to have a curved display on the front if you already purchased the first generation wearable last year? Most people would probably so no, but if you are a tech enthusiast with money to spend then perhaps you would reconsider. Unfortunately, most people are not in a position to be that generous with their wallet. We shall see what happens when it is finally released in the United States.