The Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 (Est. $200 and up) delivers a lot of bang for your buck, especially if you're already invested in the Amazon ecosystem. The Kindle Fire HD 7 is lightweight, portable and provides a long battery life, making it a strong contender in the 7-inch tablet market. Its largest drawback compared with Apple and Android tablets is the limited selection of apps available through the Amazon store.
Good, but not great. Reviewers are wowed by the Kindle Fire HD's (Est. $200 and up) display and sound, but its dual-core CPU sometimes feels sluggish, especially compared to the Google Nexus 7's (Est. $230 and up) beefy quad-core processor. However, experts love the all-day battery life.
Is there an app for that? The solid-performing Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 is one of the best budget Android options around, and if the Google Nexus 7 weren't on the market, reviewers say Amazon's tablet would be the best 7-inch slate available. One of biggest drawbacks of the Kindle Fire HD in general is its app selection; Amazon limits the tablet to its own heavily curated app store, which is a fraction of the size of the overall Google Play Store. The Kindle Fire HD also boasts superb parental control features. Yet in its quest to hit a budget price, the Kindle Fire HD omits several nice features. Calling the port selection minimal would be an understatement, and a charger costs extra, although you can charge the tablet from an available USB port on your computer or other device via the included USB cable. Advertisements on the lock screen cost $15 to remove. Like the Nexus 7, the Kindle Fire sports only a low-resolution front-facing camera for video chats.
Mostly positive. The Kindle Fire HD's heavily modified Android interface is a snap to navigate, although the processor's occasional sluggishness tempers reviewer enthusiasm. The highly portable and lightweight HD 7-inch slate slips into a pocket with ease.
"The Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 is the Kindle Fire as it should have been," Franklin writes en route to giving the tablet an Excellent rating. However, he also considers the Nexus 7 a better overall option. The Kindle Fire HD's limited app selection and lock screen ads prove especially bothersome.
Review: Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review, Eric Franklin, Sept. 11, 2012
"For casual users looking for an inexpensive yet powerful tablet, the Kindle Fire HD should absolutely be at the top of your shopping list," Stevens says in this detailed and benchmark-filled review. "But for those looking to do more, and do more rapidly, the Nexus 7 is still the king of this diminutive hill."
Review: Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review (7-inch), Tim Stevens, Sept. 11, 2012
PCMag.com says, "The 7-inch Amazon Kindle Fire HD is a great way to consume your Amazon content on a small screen." However, the tablet's locked-down app and content selection -- as well as its average performance chops -- relegate it to second fiddle status behind the Nexus 7. That said, it still earns an overall Excellent rating.
Review: Amazon Kindle Fire HD (7", Wi-Fi), Sascha Segan, Sept. 11, 2012
Britain's Pocket-lint.com publishes decently detailed reviews that don't include much benchmark testing. After spending several days with the Kindle Fire HD, Hall calls it "a nice safe tablet," but says its shortcomings -- notably the limited app selection -- make the Nexus 7 a better pick.
Review: Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review, Chris Hall, Nov. 1, 2012
5. Laptop Magazine
"With its superb display, superior speakers and improved performance, the $199 Kindle Fire HD is easily one of the best 7-inch tablets available," Prospero writes. However, he says the Nexus 7 is still the better option for most people because of its stock Android operating system and larger app selection.
Review: Amazon Kindle Fire HD (7 Inch) Review, Michael A. Prospero, Sept. 11, 2012
6. The Verge
The Kindle Fire HD  is "a marvel of bottom-line engineering and incredibly clever subsidies," Topolsky says. "It's a really, really good tablet for doing some very specific things." But if you're looking for a complete tablet experience and not just a device for viewing Amazon-pushed movies and e-books, he calls the Nexus 7 and iPad much better options.
Review: Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review (7-inch), Joshua Topolsky, Sept. 11, 2012
Johnston also finds the Amazon Kindle Fire HD to be an exceptional 7-inch tablet, but not as exceptional as the Nexus 7. "We'd go so far as to say that if you're not getting a Kindle Fire HD specifically to interact with Amazon's purchasable content, you might be a little annoyed at the way it behaves," she says.
Review: When Your Best Just Isn't Good Enough: The Kindle Fire HD, Casey Johnston, Sept. 18, 2012
The Kindle Fire HD drives users toward Amazon's downloadable wares, says Williams, who calls the tablet "a good buy as long as you can live with the highly simplified, Amazon-focused interface."
Review: Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review, Andrew Williams, Oct. 26, 2012
More than 16,000 user reviewers at Amazon.com share their experiences using the Amazon Kindle Fire HD tablet, giving an exceptional average of 4.2 stars out of 5. Some reviewers with a history with Apple products prefer the Kindle Fire HD to their iPads. Even people giving lower ratings to the Fire HD like its design and size; the lower marks are primarily for the software.
Review: Kindle Fire HD Tablet, Contributors to Amazon.com, Not Dated