Move over smartphones, the tablets are going at it! The competition in the tablet market is getting hotter and while many still prefer the iPad, there seams to be a new player in the market that really brings the heat! Amazon’s long-awaited tablet is finally here and they’re calling it the “Kindle Fire.” Yup, hot stuff right from the start is what they’re claiming…but can they take the heat in the kitchen when matched up with Apple’s latest tablet, the iPad 2? Read on to see what tablet should be on your tech wish list this holiday season!
The iPad weighs in at 1.33 lbs., while the Kindle Fire is only .09125 lbs., so the Fire wins here. But it’s smaller, with size specs that look like: 7.5 x 4.7 x 0.45. The iPad measures in at 9.5 x 7.31 x 0.34. Amazon’s claim to fame here is that it’s “easy to hold in one hand, so it’s small enough to fit anywhere….but so is an iPad, really.
Apple likes black and white, so guess what? Those are the two colors available for the iPad 2! Amazon kept it simple and left the Kindle Fire in only a black option. But it did give it a sleek appearance that somewhat resembles the iPad 2.
Amazon didn’t want to make the Kindle Fire too big, so it opted for a pretty standard 7-inch 1,024 x 600 touch screen. On the other hand, Apple’s iPad 2 boasts a 9.7-inch screen that’s almost about the same in terms of resolution, coming in at 1,024 x 768. But Amazon is claiming that its Fire display is state-of-the-art and is “chemically strengthened to be 20 times stiffer and 20 times harder than plastic,” making it very durable. Another feature worth mentioning is that the Kindle Fire and an IPS display while the iPad is LED Backlit AND IPS. This IPS screen allows you to lay the Fire down and still be able to look at it from the edge and see everything clearly since IPS screens have a 178-degree viewing angle.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire is Android-based, running a customized version of the OS, but it’s unknown just how customized it is. It has a proprietary web page processing system that’s part of the OS though. So everybody knows that Apple’s stuff runs off of the iOS, so knowing that fact puts the iPad 2 over the Kindle since there are no surprises when it comes to the OS. Also, iOS is a lot easier to navigate and is much more user friendly. But Amazon does have some cool web processing stuff going on with its new Kindle Fire thanks to its “Amazon Silk.” It’s claim is that it’s a “revolutionary, cloud-accelerated browser” that uses a a “split-browser” architecture, which leverages the computing speed and power of Amazon’s Web services cloud. It also learn which sites you visit most and saves them, sort of like how Amazon stores what you look for and then suggests things to based on what you buy most. Oh, and it supports Adobe Flash Player, too!
Like most of Apple’s products at the moment (or at least their latest ones), the iPad 2 features an A5 process. Amazon decided to put a dual-core TI OMAP 4 processor in the Kindle Fire. Really, both are based on the same dual-core ARM processor, so it’s pretty even here.
Well, Apple is known to have various options when it comes to storage capability for its devices and its iPad 2 is no different. It comes in various versions, including 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB options. The Fire has only 8 GB of internal storage (with no micro SD slot to ad more, which is a bummer). However, you might not be able to save that much stuff on the tablet itself, but Amazon is offering unlimited storage on its cloud service, but you’ll need Wi-Fi to access it though. With that said, the Kindle Fire has 16,683 apps available, while the Apple iPad 2 has a whopping 500,000 with 90,000 made for the iPad alone!
The Kindle Fire is Wi-Fi based with no 3G option. Apple offers BOTH a Wi-FI and 3G option on all of its iPad 2 GB models, but the 3G ones increase the price. Both have Wi-Fi specs of 802.11 b/g/n. Oh, and if you’re wondering about Bluetooh ability, the Fire has none while the iPad is Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR.
Camera and Video
Sadly, Amazon skipped putting in a camera so that obviously means no video, either. The iPad 2 has a front and rear camera, allowing you to take pictures and more. The back camera has HD video recording (720p) up to 30 frames per second with audio, as well as a still camera with 5x digital zoom. The front camera features: Video recording, VGA up to 30 frames per second with audio; VGA-quality still camera.
Amazon made its Kindle Fire have an 8-hour battery life, but the iPad boasts up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video or listening to music.
So far, Verizon and AT&T are the only carriers for the iPad 2, with Sprint later jumping on now that they offer the iPhone so who knows. But, with carriers, there is extra data plans, which means more money to your monthly bill! There’s no carrier for the Kindle Fire, with Amazon being the main and only place that can light your Fire…literally. But Amazon offers this “Prime” membership ting where Kindle owners can enjoy: unlimited instant videos, Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and more for a yearly price of $79 a year and a one-month free trail.
Amazon has priced its Kindle Fire reasonably low at only $199 for a tablet of its caliber, which features a heavily modified version of Android, can download books from Amazon’s huge store and is designed to be an e-reader and more! Although Apple has been dropping its prices on many of its older gadgets, the iPad 2 didn’t get that price drop and goes for $499 all the way up to $829 depending on the size of GB you want and if you want it to be 3G or Wi-Fi.
The iPad is by far a more impressive tablet, but that doesn’t mean anything to a lot of users. For those who want an e-reader disguised as a tablet, the Kindle Fire will rock your world! But for those that want more from their tablet, might still want to ask Santa for the iPad 2. The Kindle Fire ships November 15, but it’s now available for pre-order now.
Kristie Bertucci is an L.A.-based writer, who can't live without her MacBook Pro. When she's not writing, she's either reading or shopping (online, of course) and loves lazy days so she can catch up on her DVR-recorded shows and movies. She's definitely a Mac girl, she loves music and is currently on a mission to to have an insane and enviable iTunes library.