Now I know the title is pretty specific but the reason I bought the Kindle Fire was pretty specific.
When I lived at my parents I was used to using my computer in bed in my room. Now that I live in my own place with an office I prefer to keep my laptop at my desk, and reading manga at the desk was such a chore.
I was looking around for an affordable tablet that was the perfect size for reading manga but at the same time had a bit more use than JUST reading. I technically have plenty of screen devices for music/games/ect I wanted something just for reading.
Lets review the Kindle Fire HD8 specifically for reading manga!
What the Kindle Fire 8hd is Good at
The kindle fire is super light and easy to hold. It also is the perfect size to mimic an actual printed manga. I genuinely prefer printed books but with many publishers releasing digital only I needed something that would be comfortable to hold for hours.
Comixology App and Kobo Store
If you are an American, congrats! This tablet will be incredibly easy for you to set up and use. Buying manga is super easy through the kobo store tab and the comixology is easy enough to google and find.
If you are Canadian tough luck. It took me weeks to find the comixology app to download. I had to very specifically download the app from the Canadian amazon store NOT the american store. Even more confusing: I have American and Canadian Amazon accounts meaning I didn’t even know which one I was in at times.
Amazon App Store
This is going to be a plus and a minus but you have the amazon app store, ONLY the amazon app store. Unfortunately it just doesn’t have everything the google app or ios app store has but more on that later.
The Amazon app store while not as robust as most app stores still have all the typical apps to download. I have a few word games as well as staples like instagram and facebook.
Great for Amazon Prime
If you have amazon Prime this is perfect for you! You can take advantage of a majority of the tablet. I’ll admit I was planning on cancelling my Prime come renewal time but this tablet makes it easier to take advantage of everything Prime offers from videos to books. (Although Kobo unlimited is not available to Canadians… more on that later)
I will go on to all the things that disappointed me about this tablet and there is a LOT, but for the price you get what you pay for. This tablet is so cheap. I bought it for 100$ CAD meaning it’s even cheaper in the states.
Compared to literally any other tablet, especially the ipad, this tablet shouldn’t exist compared to it’s competitors. Because of that I have 0 regrets and honestly am really happy with this purchase solely because of the price.
I was looking to buy a tablet just for reading with a few more options at a good price and I got it. If you were expecting anything more than that you are much better off buying something more expensive.
What the Kindle Fire HD8 is Bad at
So if you buy the cheaper version (15$ cheaper) you will get ads on your lock screen. I didn’t think it would bother me but the ads were so out of depth with my interests (Baby carrier and Acorn Chair lift? What). It also just felt gross overall.
I eventually caved and paid the 15$ to have a regular screen saver as I couldn’t take the post capitalist ads any more.
Amazon App Store
The amazon app store has the main apps but doesn’t support any of the tinier apps… like the ones by legal manga publishers. That’s right, other than comixology, Book Walker and E Renta are unavailable on the Amazon app store. Which honestly SUCKS when the only reason I bought the app was to read digital manga.
Instead of an app you end up having to use silk, amazons browser app, to read online as you would on a laptop. Not bad, but very annoying. The browser works pretty well for publishers like Book Walker but also online manga readers like mangahere and mangafox as well.
It’s worth pointing out it is possible to download and install the google app store but if you aren’t technical it could be quite difficult.
The OS and Interface
The interface isn’t very user friendly. I was considering buying one of these tablets for my grandfather with dementia to play games but it isn’t as user friendly as an ipad.
I’m fairly tech savvy and I found it quite difficult to personalize. And in the end I still really can’t personalize it. You will always have the tabs as they are.
This is all really obvious as the tablet was made to make the most of Amazon Prime. Amazon made a cheap tablet for you to subscribe to their videos, buy their kobo books, and buy apps from their website.
I’m not happy about it for the price I don’t really mind that much.
Difficult for any Country but the US
As a Canadian I had to refrain but throwing my tablet out the window a few times. Everything is set to the US and if you have a US and Canadian Amazon account you’re going to get frustrated. The os is not user friendly and you need to switch between a computer on amazon.ca and the tablet to get everything just right.
To be honest at some point moving the tablet to Canada I nerfed my Kobo store. Currently all of my Kobo store books say not available probably some confusion of showing me American only books but not letting me buy them. The thought of contacting Amazon to fix this issue just sounds like a headache and the internet is of little help.
No regrets but the price is definitely the best part of this tablet. Everything else seems to fall short but it’s perfect and cheap for reading manga online!