All new Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet announced

Amazon has announced an all-new Fire HD 10 Tablet. The 10.1″ tablet comes with Alexa Hands-Free and features a 1080p full HD Display (224 ppi). At only $149.99, Amazon has shaved over $80 to $100 off the price of the old Fire 10.

This tablet is a huge improvement over the old one:

  • The previous generation only had a 1280 x 800 display (149 ppi). The new tablet is 1920 x 1200 (224 ppi).
  • The old Fire had 1.5 GHz processor, the new one is a faster 1.8 GHZ.
  • Old tablet cost $229.99 to $259.99, this one is $149.99.
  • The previous generation required you to push the home button for Alexa, the new tablet will be voice-activated and hands free (after an update).
  • The new Fire weighs 2 ounces less and is marginally thinner than the first version.
  • It also promises better battery life.

In order to bring this tablet in cheaper than the previous version, Amazon did seriously downgrade the cameras in this device. The new version has VGA Front-facing camera and a 2 MP rear-facing camera with a 720p HD video recording. The previous Fire had a 720p HD Front-facing camera + 5 MP rear-facing camera with full 1080p HD video recording. Since most people do not buy these tablets for the cameras anyway, this will probably not be a deal-breaker.

(You can find the specs for the previous generation here if you want to compare.)

I passed on the previous tablet model because at only 149ppi, it didn’t offer a good enough resolution for reading and watching video for my tastes. This one may be a different story. There are no third-party cases and covers for the new tablet available yet, but given past experience, new one should be popping up soon.

The new Fire 10 HD will be released on October 11, 2017. Amazon is offering the tablet on a payment plan of 5 monthly payments of $30.00.  You can pre-order the tablet here.

What do you think of the new tablet?

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Nook closes support forum

As of September 7, the official NOOK forum at Barnes and Noble is shutting down. From the posts on the site, it seemed that posting activity had dwindled to a small number of posts. Users of the forum received an email on the closure.

While the forum may be closing, assistance is still available from Barnes and Noble. According to the post,

Though the forums will no longer be around, we’ll still be here to answer all your support questions at https://help.barnesandnoble.com/ and on social media at the following links:

• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barnesandnoble/
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/BN_care
• Instagram: https://Instagram.com/barnesandnoble

If you are looking for another forum, there is still an active community of Nook users at NOOKBoards.

You can also find discussions for Nook users at the NOOK forum on mobileread.com.

So I finally bought a Kobo e-reader…

I finally bit the bullet and bought a Kobo Aura One. (Yes, I know I am not exactly new to the party, LOL!)  I had been thinking about this purchase for quite a while. I really, really love my Kindle Paperwhite but the Aura One had several features that sounded really attractive, including a larger screen, and more choice in font sizes, weights and styles. As I have been reading a lot of library books, the feature that sounded the most interesting was the integration with Overdrive for library books. I also wanted a device that would work with books purchased from the Google Play bookstore that I can’t read on my Kindle.

First, a few unboxing pictures:

The Kobo Aura One has a really nice box within a sleeve:

Sleeve

Box Front

Box Rear

The Kobo is nicely packaged inside the box:

 

The cable and inserts are underneath a tab in the box:

I like third-party covers that I can affordably swap out when I am in the mood. Rather than the Kobo branded cover, I bought the HUASIRU Ultra Slim Case from (ironically) Amazon.

The cover fits well and has a sleep-wake feature.Here’s a picture of the cover alongside the e-reader.I found the setup of the WiFi and the Overdrive to be a little tedious, but that is probably because Amazon makes set up really easier on their devices.

While I am still putting the device through its paces, here are a few early thoughts:

First, the WiFI on this device is just wonky. Maybe its my setup, but even after several updates, the WiFi is still a problem. It can’t seem to find the connection and doesn’t remember the network passwords unless reboot my router. That makes downloading content inconvenient to say the least. This is probably my biggest frustration with this e-reader.

I had also hoped for more out of the Overdrive integration. Unfortunately, the Overdrive feature only allows you to have one library account connected. Since I have accounts with three different libraries, this doesn’t offer the seamless experience that I had hoped for. The first update to the device changed the search the library catalog feature and has made it harder to use. If I have also sent a book to my Paperwhite or Kindle app, then I can no longer return the book from the Kobo.

In my opinion, I also found that the promise of better font weights did not live up to the hype I’d heard in the way I had hoped. While you can do some customization of fonts and sizes, the overall darkness of of Kobo Aura One fonts left a lot to be desired for me.

Both the Kindle Paperwhite and the Kobo Aura One have 300 ppi screens. The Paperwhite screen seems clearer to me, possibly because of the font weights.

Here is a picture comparing the screens on the KIndle Paperwhite (left) to the Kobo Aura one (right). The book is Thin Air from the Shetland mysteries series by Ann Cleeves. Both device are set to maximum brightness. The Kindle font is Helvetica and the Kobo font is set to Avenir Next. There is a decided difference in the lighting between the two devices.The font on the Kobo appears lighter than that of the Paperwhite, even though the Kobo font is set at almost the maximum weight.I am enjoying the larger screen size a lot. The larger size works really well on a stand so that I can use it without having to hold it. Since I am vision impaired and use a fairly large font, I also like having more text on the screen before a page turn.

I am still getting used to the interface on the device and have yet to try out some of the other features like the orange light and the waterproofing.

While I have been a bit disappointed in some of the extra features of the device, the actual reading experience has not been bad. I will get more of a feel for the device after I have read a couple of books on it.

So, what do you think?

Get a refurbished Kindle Voyage for $135

Today, Amazon is offering a refurbished Wi-fi Kindle Voyage for only $135 and can even be purchased on a payment plan of five payments of $27 each.  The device normally costs $199 new.

The Kindle Voyage has a 300 ppi display and features PagePress sensors for one touch page turns  and an adaptive front light that self-adjusts to the available light.

The refurbished Voyage is also available in a Wi-Fi plus 3G configuration for $195.

Amazon’s refurbished Kindles come with the same one-year warranty as its new devices.

 

Valentines Day Kindle Device Deals

paperwhite_bwNothing says I love you like a new e-reader or tablet – well, for some of us anyway. 🙂 If you are one of those people or know someone who is, Amazon had put its line of e-ink readers and most of the Fire tablets on sale. Prices average $20 or more off regular list prices.

Right now you can find the following at special pricing:

Basic Kindle ($20 off)
Paperwhite ($20 off)
Voyage ($20 off)

Fire Tablet ($10 off)
Fire Tablet Variety Pack ($20 off)
Fire Kid’s Edition ($20 off)

Kindle Essentials Bundle ($35 off)
Kindle for Kids Bundle ($20 off)
Kindle Paperwhite Bundle ($40 off)

Also note that most of these feature the option to purchase on a monthly payment plan.

So what do you think? Is a e-reader or a tablet a good Valentine’s gift?

Barnes and Noble sends customers email about defective charger (finally)

bn_adapterI have written several posts about the issues plaguing Barnes & Noble’s new $50 NOOK tablet. In December, malware was discovered by researchers on the tablet. The company countered that with an announcement stating that they had already corrected the malware issue. A few weeks later,  Barnes & Noble voluntarily recalled the tablets, stating that there was a defect in the power adapter included with the device.

Today, Barnes & Noble finally sent an email letting customers know about the defective power adapter that came with the $50 Barnes & Noble tablet.  (I received my email this morning.) It seems like Barnes and Noble was waiting for the replacement adapters to be available before contacting customers

According to the email, Barnes & Noble is voluntarily recalling the charger because the casing can break when plugged in to an electrical outlet and cause an electric shock.

The recalled adapter bears the model number TPA-95A050100UU and was sold with the $50 Nook 7′ tablet with model number BNTV450.

Barnes and Noble is offering a replacement adapter and a $5 gift card upon the return of the adapter. According to the email,

If you have the power adapter that came with the NOOK Tablet 7″, you should immediately stop using the power adapter and go to https://help.barnesandnoble.com/app/tablet7_adapter_replacement to register to participate in the recall. Barnes & Noble will provide you with a free replacement adapter along with a $5 Barnes & Noble gift card upon return of the recalled adapter. In the meantime, you can charge your NOOK Tablet 7″ by using your computer and a USB cable.

If you need additional assistance, please contact Barnes & Noble at (877) 886-5025 from 8am to 11pm ET, Monday through Friday, or 9am to 11pm ET on Saturday and Sunday, or visit our website atwww.barnesandnoble.com and click on “Product Recalls” listed at the bottom of the B&N.com home page for more information.

After I registered for the recall, I was told that I would receive a UPS return shipping label in the mail. Within minutes, I received an email with a link to print the label.

According to the instructions, after I return the defective adapter to the Returns Center, a replacement power adapter will be shipped out via UPS 2-Day Delivery and a $5 gift card will be included. Note that you must enter your device’s serial number to register for the recall.

As of this writing, the Nook 7″ tablet is still listed as unavailable on the Barnes and Noble website.

Photo © The Ebook Evangelist,  All rights reserved.

Barnes & Noble recalls the new $50 NOOK tablet

nook_recallFriday,  it was reported the Barnes & Noble had pulled the tablet from its stores, both physical and online. Supposedly, the recall is due to three faulty chargers. according to an article on Android Police, the company is seeking an alternate source for the charging adapter. In the meantime, the device can be charged via USB.

When Barnes & Noble first released its new $50 NOOK tablet last November, it seemed like it could be a viable alternative to the $50 Fire tablet by Amazon. The initial promise of the cheap tablet that included Google services seemed like a product that could put Barnes & Noble back as a contender in the ereader game.

However, the discovery of the ADUPS malware was included in the tablet software was a major misstep for the company’s new tablet direction. Conflicting reports about whether the firmware had been updated and claims of other exploits didn’t help the situation.

Friday,  it was reported the Barnes & Noble had pulled the tablet from its stores, both physical and online. Supposedly, the recall is due to three faulty chargers. according to an article on Android Police, the company is seeking an alternate source for the charging adapter. In the meantime, the device can be charged via USB.

Oddly, a link for the tablet still shows on the main NOOK page, but is unavailable on the product page.

I have the feeling there is more to come here….