Kindle Fire HD vs. iPad
The original Kindle Fire became the second most successful tablet ever despite it not being the second best tablet available. A year later, the Kindle Fire HD hopes to have the same following but with the flaws of the original now addressed. The iPad has also improved by leaps and bounds over the course of the year. How do these two top tablets compare now? As an update to our original post, we present Kindle Fire HD vs. iPad.
Before we proceed, let’s make it clear that this review covers the Kindle Fire HD 7″ and the iPad 4th gen. There are other Kindle Fire and iPad products currently available and they are summarized below:
|Kindle Fire Original||iPad 2|
|Kindle Fire HD 7"||iPad 3|
|Kindle Fire HD 8.9"||iPad 4|
|Kindle Fire HD 8.9" LTE||iPad Mini|
Some would say that the Kindle Fire HD 7″ and the iPad Mini is a better comparison. We will make that comparison later on so stay tuned.
Apple doesn’t change the design of the iPad that much. They don’t want to mess with success as the
iPad is continually being praised as one of the best looking tablet. This is not the case with the Kindle Fire. The original’s look was simple, too simple in fact, to differentiate it from other tablets similar to its size.
The Kindle Fire HD, thankfully, is a far better looking tablet than its predecessor. Gone are the angular edges and replaced by pretty curves effectively making the tablet look less slab-like. It’s not significantly thinner than the original (1.1 mm difference) but the taper on its back makes it appear thinner. But against the iPad, the Kindle Fire HD is still not thinner (10.3 mm vs. 9.4 mm).
The display of the Kindle Fire HD is also improved. The difference in pixel count is still large but the size of the Fire makes up for that. Viewing angles are good, contrast ration is quite high and colors are well rendered. Blacks are really deep and whites are really bright which makes reading and watching movies a far better experience.
Amazon answered some of the users’ woes in regards to buttons and ports. The original Fire made it hard for you to adjust volume because of the lack of physical buttons. This won’t happen with the Kindle Fire HD. Speaking of volume, the tablet’s sound is now louder thanks to Dolby speakers which hides inside that prominent strip on the back. The HDMI port is also a nice addition as you can now connect the Kindle Fire HD to a larger display.
Which one is better looking? If in the past the iPad is the unanimous choice, it’s not the case now. The matte finish on the Kindle Fire HD’s back not only makes it easy to hold — it also offers a refreshing alternative to shiny slates like the iPad.
The iPad runs iOS 6 and the Kindle Fire HD has a heavily modified Android Ice Cream sandwich on its system. “Heavily modified” here means the Fire is not an Android device although some ICS app collection can still run on it. The iPad’s iOS6 has a number of new features particularly the controversial Maps and an improved Siri.
Your biggest concern between these two would be the contents tha
t you can play on them. If you want lots of good apps, the iPad still wins. Apple’s iTunes still has the best collection of games even when compared with Google’s Play Store. The Kindle Fire HD and the bigger 8.9″ one doesn’t have enough games to compete.
But when it comes to multimedia content, the Kindle Fire HD delivers like no other tablet can. This is especially true if you sign-up for Amazon Prime. You can access tons of music, videos, books and other content for free or for significantly discounter prices. And mind you, the free items you can acquire are all premium items.
Personally, I really like the Kindle Fire’s Whispersync app. This was also present on the original but the one on the Kindle Fire HD is much better. What does this do? It simply synchronizes all your Amazon content across multiple products. For example, you can continue a movie you watched on your Fire on your television or smartphone.
Performance and Battery Life
New CPU means much better performance. Pound for pound, the Kindle Fire HD’s internals can’t match the iPad’s A6X. The iPad’s CPU, with a quad-core graphics chip, is simply too powerful. This doesn’t mean that Kindle Fire HD is much slower than the iPad though. Actually, it runs just fine. The iPad has those powerful components because it needs them — it handles much heavier content the Kindle Fire HD.
The iPad’s and the Kindle Fire HD is about the same: both can last around 10 hours with regular use. Really, these two are tops in the “tablets with the best battery life” list.
Of course, the most significant difference between the Kindle Fire HD and the iPad is the price. Check out their price tags below:
|Kindle Fire 7", LCD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB - Includes Special Offers|
All new Kindle Fire - faster processor, twice the memory, longer battery life. The thin, light, and durable design is perfect for entertainment on
Too Low to Displayused from: 152.00
Go to Store
|Kindle Fire HD 7", Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 16 GB - Includes Special Offers|
World's most advanced 7" tablet with stunning HD display, exclusive Dolby audio, and the fastest Wi-Fi found on a tablet. When it comes to HD
Too Low to Displayused from: 192.97
Go to Store
|Kindle Fire HD 8.9", Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 16 GB - Includes Special Offers|
The 8.9” screen on Kindle Fire HD features an incredible 1920x1200 HD display, and the highest resolution of any of our tablets. But a truly
Too Low to Displayused from: 295.99
Go to Store
iPad 4th Gen
|Apple iPad 4 With Retina Display With Wi-Fi 16GB In Black|
APPLE IPAD 4 WITH RETINA DISPLAY WITH WI-FI 16GB IN BLACK - MD510LLA. 9.7" (DIAGONAL) LED-BACKLIT DISPLAY WITH IPS TECHNOLOGY. MULTI-TOUCH SCREEN.
Too Low to Displayused from: 489.99
Go to Store
As you can see, the Kindle Fire HD starts at $199 while the 8.9″ version is at $299. The iPad’s starting price is worth these two combined! The iPad Mini is also pricier even though it’s much smaller and has weaker hardware. Also notice the original Kindle Fire which is now at $159.
|Kindle Fire HD 7"||Apple iPad 4th Gen|
|Operating System||Modified Android 4.0||iOS 6|
|Dimensions, Weight||7.60 x 5.39 x 0.41 in, 13.93 oz.||9.50 x 7.31 x 0.37 in, 1.46 lbs.|
|Display||7" 800 x 1280 px IPS TFT||9.7" 1536 x 2048 px LED-backlit IPS TFT|
|Processor, RAM||1.2 GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4460, 1 GB||1.4 GHz dual-core Apple A6X, 1 GB|
|Storage||16/32 GB||16/32/64 GB|
|Camera||1.3 MP front||5 MP rear, 1.2 MP front, 1080p video|
|Connectivity||Dual-band Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi or LTE (model dependent)|
Did the much improve Kindle Fire HD finally outrank the iPad? The quick answer is no. The latest iPad still has the better screen, better internal components and better app ecosystem than any other tablet in the market. The Kindle Fire HD though has a lot of improvements that narrow the gap between these two. The price difference is a major factor although this time, the Kindle Fire is not alone. Actually, the iPad is not the Kindle Fire’s direct rival but Google’s Nexus 7 — another 7″ slate that you can buy for only $250.
We want to know what you think. Is the Kindle Fire HD better than the iPad? Let us know through the comments below!