Kindle Fire vs iPad 2 (comparison)


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! Don’t believe us? Take a look at the iPad mini vs the Kindle Fire HD. Amazon’s long-awaited tablet is finally here and they’re calling it the “Kindle Fire.” Throw the nook into the mix with our review of the Kindle Fire vs Nook Tablet. 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! If you already have a Kindle at home, take a look at our article about how to turn off the ads on the $79 Kindle.

Size

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. If you’ve always bought your books from Barnes and Noble, read our Amazon Kindle Fire HD vs Barnes and  Noble Nook HD review instead.

Appearance

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.

Display

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.

Operating System

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!

Processor

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.

Storage

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!

Wireless Connectivity

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.

Battery Life

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.

Carriers

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.

Price

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.

Winner

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.

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Kristie Bertucci

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.

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25 Comments

  1. Since I’m a dummy here – maybe one of u intelligent young-ins can answer a few questions for me. I am a bit confused. The Kindle touch – no way to type? I thought the IPad was like a portable, light-weight, touch or key pad abiliby – sort of stream-line laptop? Am I totally off in left field here? I also thought you could send info directly from the IPad to a printer – wrong?
    If all I have assumed above is incorrect what is the point of having either of them? If you have a Blackberry, and a lap-top with a home standard wireless HP printer why get another electronic? Or would it be smart to dump the phone & have just a standard cell plan ($ savings) – get an IPad or Kindle Fire (cheaper to utilize for the lost Blkbry features & cheaper?), continue to carry & use your lap-top when needed & when all the features are not needed just bring along the IPad/Kindle Fire?  One other detail I will add to this senario – the person who this decision would affect is a college student – along with work’g – age late 20’s. 

    Yep, I’m an old person & this is not my generation – although it seems electronics are develop’g & chang’g so fast you don’t have to be old to get lost. I would find it hard to live w/out computer & love my Kindle keybd 3G. But it sure was a lot simpler back in the typewriter days when you knew how to adjust your machine and/or fix it mechanically. OK I’m done – I know many of u’all don’t know what a typewriter is – Lol.  

  2. I am trying to decide between the two. I have a gen 2 kindle now and love it, but I want a tablet with internet access, color, apps, ability to play videos and games. Is the iPad worth the extra money for a little bit bigger screen and a camera?

  3. I find comparisons between the Fire and iPad2 interesting, yet somewhat irrelevant. I think the reality of the situation is – while you were playing with you iPad2 and being comforted  mothering control of the company we call Apple, I went out and bought three Fires for the same cost and enjoy 90% of the features that the iPad2 delivers. A third the price, 90% percent of the use, and 0% of the fad.

  4. Wow, is anyone over the age of 18 who replied to this review?  With all the typos, grammar misuse and ogling over the author….I don’t know, just a guess.  Good article, it answered my basic question regarding iPad and Fire.  Mainly I just wanted to know if Fire is Bluetooth enabled.  That’s how I ended up here.  My only criticism is the icons on this page between the sections are insanely large.  But that’s just an observation, I don’t mind them really. 

  5. This is an informative article for the layman and the average shopper. My money still goes on the Fire because I work for a living and can’t pee away all that money for an Ipad. I mean that’s a car payment!

    And yes Kristie is a hottie!! LOL

  6. Main point: the author is H O T!
    Secondary points: there is no way to really tell this devices apart before you experience both of them in your daily routine. Case in point: I thought that I don’t use all of the features an iPad offers since I mainly use a tablet for internet browsing, Skype, email and calendar. So I went for the HP touch Pad since it offered 90% of the things I need for half the price – right? 
    Well… not really… the missing 10% were so bothersome that made me regret the $250 I’ve spend. A number of small things made a much bigger difference than I thought it would. I was unable to find the tablet without the “find my iPhone” app, there was no Netflix which I’ve underestimated, Flash didn’t work as good, crashing rather often and i felt bad about paying again for some useful apps that i already had for the iPad.
    Conclusion: take full advantage off the 30 day return policy and buy one device at a time then keep the one that felt better. start with the more expensive device: that way you know better when using the less capable/refined device.

  7. They’re tow different things. And, the price difference over the life of the device isn’t all that much. So, buy what you want and need.

  8. Kindle Fire is the best bang for your buck!  Here is why: (1) It has a processor as fast as the iPad2. (2) The storage capacity is smaller, but with “free” cloud storage on all Amazon content, you really won’t need much local storage.  The future of storage is in the cloud. Apple will charge for cloud storage (3) Most people that have tablets these days, also have some sort of smartphone w/camera.  So a lack of a camera on the Kindle Fire is not significant. (4) lack of 3G connectivity is not significant either, most people nowadays have access to a WiFi hot spot about sixty percent of the time or more, besides 3G connectivity is not free nor is exactly fast. (5) If Amazon’s Silk browser can deliver on what it claims, it will be a very fast browser if not the fastest mobile browser. (6) For an extra $79 you get a subscription to Amazon Prime, which gives you access Amazon’s massive content library from movies, books, etc. and free 2 day shipping on other Amazon products for a whole year.  This here alone should make Netflix nervous. (7) Price! at $199 it is the most affordable tablet, and a serious contender.  The Kindle Fire is not an iPad2, but it has the potential to change the playing field, and I think it will but not so much in taking the iPad’s reign. Amazon is not in the business of building tablets or other gadget, but in attracting customers to Amazon’s online delivery of  products and content. 

    1. An advantage to the kindle fire is that it has a flash web browser unlike the Ipad. However,there is now an app for the Ipad that enables flash whenever you go online.Honestly, I think that was the only major disadvantage of the Ipad and now that there is that new app  I have a better interest in  the Ipad 2 over the kindle fire. Also I would think that the kindle fire would have 3G for users out in the middle of nowhere with no WiFi spots -another disadvantage.by the way the processor chip in the Ipad 2 is MUCH faster than the kindle fire (I agree with processor guy on that one) so it is a good idea to put the kindle fire up for a cheap price Its less then the Ipad 2 because it doesn’t have near as many good features as the Ipad 2 plus the kindle fire pretty much ripped off the idea of the Ipad 2.Sure life Isn’t fair, but seriously be creative,if you rip off of other peoples ideas you’re never going to be as creative as you could have been if you made up your own ideas.Therefor, personally I would prefer the Ipad 2.

      1. Hello, let me touch on a few of your observations regarding the comparisons you made with the iPad2 and Kindle Fire.  As far the processor speed goes they are both 1GHz Dual Core ARM processors, so when you say that the iPad2 is much faster, I’m not sure if you mean that particular apps run faster on the iPad2.  Also, when you say that “I would think that the kindle fire would have 3G for users out in the middle of nowhere with no WiFi spots -another disadvantage”.  Well, here is the thing, if you are in the middle of nowhere, you will very likely not have WiFi or 3G available.  Not very many small towns have 3G technology, you are probably more likely to find a DSL line in “nowhere” places than a 3G cell tower.  Try taking your 3G device to “nowhere” place let me know how much luck you have with a signal. I guess what I’m trying to say is that “nowhere” can be very subjective to location and service availability.  Now what really baffles me is your comment about “kindle fire pretty much ripped off the idea of the iPad2”.  My question is, what idea exactly did the kindle fire rip off from the iPad???  Please, explain if for example you are referring to a certain patent infringement, but I am not aware of any patent infringements regarding the Kindle Fire. Let me reiterate that my claim is that the Kindle Fire is the best deal for your money, and I stand behind that claim; I never claimed that it was superior to the iPad2.  I like Apple products and I own an iPhone; they are quality products; and given the choice of whether to buy and iPad2 or a Kindle Fire, I personally would choose a Kindle Fire, because it just simply is the best deal, not necessarily the product.

        1.  Hi Flacopanson,

          I’ve been thinking about whether or not to choose a Kindle Fire over an Ipad 2. It’s more the issue of money. But after reading your words, I think I will definitely buy a Kindle Fire. Thank you

    2. You have to take certain things into account when choosing these tablets.  You make some decent points, however, some speculation.  Apple has the same “free” cloud capacity as Amazon, and their price per gig per year will go up as more users hog up resources. Apple already has their price tiers set up for additional storage.  The processors are not the same, yes, both based on ARM, but the A5 has floating point, and an extra co-processor which will be faster (another reason for the price).  The camera on the iPad 2 is for Skype and FaceTime, so you don’t have to grab your phone.  I’ll agree with the 3G connectivity, but it is nice as a replacement to use instead of that 4.3″ screen on a GPS.  Amazon’s Silk browser, is only fast because it has not loaded add-ons.  Android (which is nothing more than a mediocre port of Linux) is sketchy, still Open Source, and subject to much ridicule among us programmers.  We are constantly writing new apps just to keep it competitive.  I’ve been using Linux for 15 years and it is still not ready to replace iOS or Windows. Amazon Prime…hmmm… well, if you already have subscriptions to HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, etc. then the apps are free and you can watch movies at will.  If you are a book reader, don’t get an iPad 2. The Kindle fire is like comparing an E-Machine to a Dell, there is no comparison.  You want low budget components that are mass produced by the lowest bidder, and you can’t afford the iPad 2 – get the Kindle…Eventually you will want more, people always do.  If you don’t agree with the construction, look it up, you will find the same thing I did.  They are cheap parts (display excluded) and Android is Open Source and free.  Apple has proven reliability, stability, and quality.  The Kindle Fire will have more competitors that manufacture the same stuff, but will continue to do it cheaper, and eventually more problems.  Apple will not.

  9. I have read almost every article published covering the same subject. 
    It is somewhat odd that the cloud storage feature is not as prominent and IMO that trumped the lack of an SD card and less onboard memory. The other spec differences of size and weight is noteworthy but again I tend to focus on functionality.The tech industry is quite unique, with some writers and consumers who focus on the strangest things.  It is not that long ago when the color of the I-Phone was huge news.BTW the battery life in the I-Pad is in no small part because of its 10″ size where they have fit in a larger battery.  Is the I-Pad 2 times better than the Fire ( $500 + versus $200, not in my opinion

  10. Dumb!!!

    The A5 chip in iPad2 is based on a dual-core ARM processor.
    OMAP4 chip in Kindle Fire is also based on the same/similar dual-core ARM processor.
    So, really there is not much to separate them purely from a processing power stand point.

    You could have skipped the processor comparison if you did not know much about it.
    No need to exhibit ignorance if you don’t know or understand!

    1. Hey Processor Guy,
        This was overlooked by our author and will be updated.  Thanks for the tip, even though you did pretty much berate us ;). 

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