The Kindle Fire HD 7" is a pretty nice starter tablet. It's got a beautiful screen and a fast responsive processor. Battery life is pretty nice, lasting a day off use, making it great for trips. Mashable rates the Kindle Fire (albeit a larger size) a good one to get this holiday season. This is my first table and I'm excited to leverage the larger than a phone form factor.
I'm truly interested in using it like a tablet, leveraging the larger screen for taking notes, looking at pictures in beautiful HD, and reading recipes while cooking. It's great for those things that work on your phone, but work better on a larger screen. This post was even drafted on my Kindle.
There are plenty of apps available through Amazon's App Store. Many software makers even keep the Kindle version up to date with their Android versions! Skype works nicely with the front facing camera to keep me connected, though I don't travel as much as I used to. I miss Instagram and the Google apps, though older versions can be sideloaded.
But what the Kindle excels at is connecting you to Amazon library of movies, books, music and their store. With a Amazon Prime Account it's so easy to quickly find and start watching a movie. And they can even be downloaded to watch when you don't have Wi-Fi, like on an airplane (don't be that guy with the $1,171 Wi-Fi bill).
Coupled with a AT&T Unite for GoPhone by NetGear Wi-Fi mobile hotspot, using AT&T's fast 4G LTE (where available) network, you can connect your Wi-Gi only Kindle (or up to 10 other devices) to the internet.
This is great when traveling on a road-trip or, in my case, when the public Wi-Fi at the pool
just doesn't cut it. You can have your own trusted network anywhere you are and not have to worry about anybody snooping your connection or if there will be Wi-Fi where you're going. You don't have to type long emails on your little phone keyboard, you can fire up your laptop and use the full size keyboard from anywhere!
And because its through GoPhone, you don't have to sign up for a new subscription. You buy the device from AT&T or other retailers and then add a pre-paid plan. I've been using the $25 for 1.5GB of data in a month and that's been getting me through the multi-day swim meets that end the short course swimming season.
The new Kindle also comes with a 2 year anything goes warranty, when coupled with a Nerf-like case make this the kind of device you can share with your kids. It's got multiple user accounts so you can share it with your family and everybody keeps their own place in their books. With the Free Time Unlimited, kids are provided kid appropriate books, games and videos and the parent has control of how long they can play games and how much reading must they do before hand.
Note: I was not compensated for this post, but I did receive some cool swag, including the Kindle and the Mobile Hotspot and a really awesome lunch. All the content is my own honest opinion.