Amazon Kindle Fire HD6 Review

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I am no stranger to tech. Even though it isn’t featured much on my blog, tech tools have been invaluable to me in almost every facet of what you see on here. So when I was offered a chance to review an Amazon Fire HD6 tablet from Third Voice Marketing, I said “You betcha!”. I’m always on the lookout for things to make my life a little easier, and a multi-tasker like a tablet is a sure fire way to get many things done, even on the go.

I may have been spoiled by hubby’s Nexus devices. While only sporting 7″ screens, they make the most of the real estate and have fabulous visuals and specs to boot. Sadly, the Fire HD6 fails to meet my lofty expectations. From the start, it feels thicker, clunkier and heavier (though it is lighter!) than the larger Nexus 7. The screen almost looks to be set further into the device. It’s resolution is 1280 x 800 (252ppi), which is a far cry from the 1920 x 1200 (323ppi) I’m used to. For a stand alone reader that would be fine. When a major selling point is full access to Amazon Prime features like the HD VOD service, that isn’t so fine. More on that later. Both sport Corning Gorilla Glass, both have front and rear cameras, both have quad-core processors,wi-fi, bluetooth and access to a wide array of apps. So, since one is more expensive than the other, you’d be inclined to forgive the screen issues and focus on what Amazon got right. Right?
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What amazon got right was the price. Sold for as low as $84 recently, you’d be hard-pressed to find a quad-core device of equal build quality for less. and with 1GB of RAM, it should handle light mobile games, email and some light web browsing with aplomb. But when you get to the software, that’s where things go off the rails for me. Amazon skinned over the lovely Android Kit Kat OS with their own proprietary features, much to the detriment of the user experience. Perhaps it’s because I’m used to a pure Android experience, but the devices seems seriously hamstrung by the Fire OS. You lose access to the Google Play store, you lose access to a synced Chrome (and all it’s bookmarks with no way to import them), you lose access to the device synchronicity you’re accustomed to, and you’re forced into an ecosystem that is geared towards Amazon consumption at the cost of being truly user friendly.
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I found myself constantly frustrated by trying to do what I’ve been doing with my Android devices for years now, only have to try to learn Amazon’s way of doing it instead. Yuck. What’s worse is when you get into heavy web browsing, downloading, or typing, you get so much lag you want to fling the thing into the nearest wall. All the ports are at the top of the device, the single rear speaker is absolutely awful, and the camera, at 2MP, is positively anemic. Though it does sport an HDR mode and a wide array of editing tools, the pictures will never be anything to write home about, especially in low ligIMAG2381ht conditions. The screen size is frustrating for me tapping and touching with normal sized fingers, and Hubby couldn’t do squat with his much bigger Hubby paws. Amazon does sport it’s own app store, but more than a few of the versions of the apps available, while seemingly identical to their Google App and Apple App Store cousins, are usually a few versions behind. Because, let’s face it, there are two big dogsIMAG2382 on the app block, and it doesn’t make sense to spend a bundle on development for the two little dogs with very little market penetration, Amazon and Windows. Amazon has also locked the bootloader, which means no third party development is available, which is another huge upside for normal Android devices, and a liability for Kindles.
I like having access to my Amazon Prime benefits. I like being able to stream my free video and audio benefits seamIMAG2380lessly. I like the Kindle features that go above and beyond the Kindle apps available for all my other devices. I like that it is small enough to drop in my purse and not know it’s there. It seems to be very sturdily built with unobtrusive buttons that don’t get hit accidentally. And I like the price. Aside from that, there is also plenty to make me say that I doubt I’d buy a Kindle on my own any time soon. The proprietary, frustrating nature of the OS. The ads on the lock screen. The focus on the “Amazon experience” and not the customer experience. The lack of synchronicity. The screen. And some personal experience. The memory on my first device was corrupted, and the charging port was borked. Amazon sent a replacement next-day air. But after several rounds with their “customer service” chat to figure out how to connect the device to my TV for a true HD video experience (6 different chats got me 6 different failed methods), I eventually gave up and resigned myself to a 6″ sub-HD screen for the foreseeable future. I also don’t know how I only have 3.5 GB of space on a 8GB device when it arrives. Too small to download a movie, and very little space for apps, media, or really, anything.
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I’ve used Samsung Galaxy Devices, LG devices, Asus devices, and Nexus devices. Kindle is dead last in my user experience.I wanted to like my Kindle. I wanted one for some time. Amazon shot for the moon with their Kindle devices and instead, for me, shot themselves in the foot. Perhaps I expected too much. As I stated, for a reader, it’s awesome. If you don’t mind the screen or speaker, the access to Amazon’s Instant Video and Music is phenomenal. And Amazon gives a you a 30-day, 100% satisfaction guarantee, but return shipping is at your cost. If it’s for youngsters, you have a relatively well built, relatively inexpensive device that they can stream the occasional video, play a few games, and read a few books. For a grown up, you’re better off buying a grown up device.
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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Third Voice Marketing.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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Tryazon: GEFU and Wheat Belly, Healthy-n-Lean 2015 Party Review #GEFU

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We are still in January and while many of us started at the beginning of the month with positive changes and planning for the “new you in 2015”, many of us are probably running dry when it comes to ideas, making time to eat well, and falling back into 2014 habits.

I’m all for making what I do today (i.e. eat veggies) so much better and even different. Why not? I grill, bake, saute, even eat veggies raw to just mix-it-up a bit. In comes GEFU, with a heck of a line of products that make eating healthy and well easier but in some ways better. I say better because it encourages us to eat as we should be eating, not feel like a perma-diet! I love pasta and I can reach a moment where I think making pasta primavera means at least it has veggies……so it’s sort of healthy. I even try 75% veggies with 25% pasta and my results are, I’m still craving pasta! GEFU not only will make my veggies a texture and let’s just say it, a shape that is more desirable. Their line of kitchen tools will make any dish from any cuisine a little new again. It goes beyond just pasta for Italian meals but think Asian dishes with vegetables that match rice noodles or just the vegetables themselves become the noodle!

I received these 4 GEFU kitchen tools to experience:

GEFU Spirelli Spiral Cutter in action on YouTube; Spirelli product details via GEFU

GEFU Julienne peeler, Striscia

GEFU Lemon Juicer

• GEFU Julienne Peeler ASIA (new to the US)

Plus, a cookbook:

Wheat Belly 30-minute (or Less!) Cookbook

 

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The Spirelli Sprial cutter (Item #13460) is the go-to and easy cleaning tool to achieve that “spiral cut” you desire.  Love that you can easily use it and it’s dishwasher friendly, due to the way the product is made.  You have stainless steel combined with high quality plastic that will provide many days filled with spiral julienne strips.  You can use any vegetable, which is firm in texture.  This includes carrots, jicama, potatoes, zucchini, radishes, cucumbers and the list goes on.  Create salads using raw ingredients or you can par-cook, to fully cook vegetable so the possibilities are really endless.  I was able to add a new twist to an Italian salad by having a more desirable texture and shape.  The olives I left whole, so it would mimic little “meatless meatballs”.  I sometimes had to thin out a vegetable that was too big for the hole, however I now know to purchase medium sized ones when using this product.  I give this product a 4.5 out of 5 rating do to how much you can do with it.

Retail Price Point: $29.99 on-line and available on Amazon, to Bed, Bath & Beyond

 

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Presco Lemon Juicer (Item #124585)is of course more of a citrus juicer and not limited to lemons.  I have a juicer but the type you slice and then press, so let’s call it a citrus presser.  Mine tended to dirty more by needed a knife and a cutting board, to then the press itself.  Get the towel ready because it was also a sprayer.  Thankfully, with GEFU’s Presco juicer, I just dirty one item to complete the task.  The stainless steel pierces any rind and I get every last drop where it belongs.  The skin is left intact, so I can even use a zester to get more use out of my citrus.  I give this product a 5 out of 5 because it’s one of those that changes a common task into a new way and let’s face it, less messy!  Also, dishwasher safe.

Retail Price Point: $9.99 on-line and I found the product on Amazon, Sur La Table to Bed, Bath & Beyond

 

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The Striscia julienne peeler (Item #13660) has changed how I make Asian dishes to even what I spent a good amount of time doing, “stick fries”.  You simply take a vegetable and just like a regular peeler, you peel and get perfect julienne cuts every time.  Cuts prep-work time and I now go from doing the prep-work the night before, to doing it that same day.  The handle is ergonomic and easy to hold and control, something you want when some potatoes can be extra starchy and wet to carrots causing things to slide.  The cutting/peeling portion is made of quality steel and produces cuts every time.  I was able to use cucumber to make an awesome yogurt base salads, that went great with the flat bread and beef kebabs.  It’s a meal we already make but this just created a better and more uniform cut than I can produce with a knife……also no hand cramping!

Retail Price Point: $19.95 on-line and via Amazon, plus this one seems very popular and available at many authorized retailers

 

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This product is new to the U.S. and called the Julienne Peeler ASIA (Item #50410).  Shaped like a mandolin cutter, this product produces julienne cuts on one side and the reverse side, has a grater.  Like with many GEFU products, they used Japanese steel for the blades and the tool has a nice handle for control.  The grater portion has two types of surfaces, one for puree grating (i.e. horseradish, ginger, and the like), and the other has a spice grater for harder ingredients like allspice and nutmeg.  As you can see, the Asia portion in the name does not limit it’s uses.  I gave this one away via raffle because if I did not have all the components (separately unfortunately), I could see saving space and time with one tool.  I give this product a 4 out of 5 for making julienne cuts easy (I was told by my guest that won and tried it) and being really 3 tools in one.

Retail Price Point: $24.95 on-line and I did not see wide distribution yet, as this is a new product

 

 

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Not everything via diet books is always a fad and some diet books to hit areas about our overall eating.  With products being filled with corn, wheat, and really just fillers, no wonder we sometimes don’t feel at our optimum.  The Wheat Belly 30-minutes or less cook book allows the reader with ease to produce quick meals (no excuses!) that are healthy, delicious and gluten-free.  The way we should not eat sugar with every meal, well we probably should think about eating wheat with every meal too!  The book was easy to follow and even if you don’t want to make this your only way of eating, it’s an addition for those times you want to eat different.  Some of the guests felt the products needed and especially when cleaning out the pantry, was costly and restrictive but we all agreed that incorporating some of this diet is a must.  It’s cleaner and not to be taken at 100% (at least for us) but it showed us what more we can do with products we already buy (i.e. rice flour, bean flours, nut flours, ect.).  I don’t think it’s a book you can dismiss fully and it’s good to start 2015 with real changes!

Retail Price Point: $13.50 on Kindle and $16.37 Hard-cover

 

I was very happy with all the products provided and holding an event that focuses on vegetables is really cost efficient and easy to hold.  Most of us like eating the final products in their raw state or blanched and cooled quickly to preserve that crunchy texture.  We are all unfamiliar with GEFU products and not only were this great, but they have a huge array to choose from.  Now, I have my eye on that pasta roller! 🙂

 

 

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Tryazon, GEFU and Rodale Publications.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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