Amazon’s long-awaited tablet is finally here, in the form of the Kindle Fire. The $199 tablet runs a heavily modified version of Android, hooks neatly into Amazon’s gigantic book store, and is designed for multimedia consumption and, more than anything, reading.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because the Barnes & Noble Nook, released months ago, is designed for essentially the same thing. The Nook Color is the clearest competitor to the Kindle Fire, but given the hype surrounding the new tablet, it seems more likely that the holiday season’s biggest question will be “should I get a Kindle Fire or an iPad ?”
The answer to that question boils down to what you want to do with a tablet. The Kindle Fire and Apple iPad compete primarily along content lines: The iPad has iTunes, with its millions of songs, TV shows, movies and books; and the Kindle Fire has Amazon, with, well, basically the same thing. The Kindle Fire can’t compete with the iPad’s A5 processor, its 500,000 apps, or its 64GB of internal storage, but at $199 it doesn’t have to. The iPad is certainly a more impressive machine, but that may not matter to every user.
The differences between the Kindle Fire and the Nook Color boil down similarly to a company vs. company debate. The specs of the two devices are nearly the same: 7-inch tablets running heavily customized versions of Android, 8GB of internal storage (though the Nook Color has a micro SD slot), 8-hour battery life, Wi-Fi, and even similar dimensions and weight. Barnes & Noble boasts a giant bookstore with tons of periodicals, newspapers, and even children’s books; Amazon does the same. If you’re already in the Barnes & Noble ecosystem, it’s difficult to leave it for Amazon, but Amazon’s offering of music, movies, and TV shows in addition to its book library is awfully compelling.
The Kindle Fire doesn’t compete well with the A5 processor of the iPad 2, or the vast on-board memory, but of course it is $300 cheaper! It does however compete with the vast array of media it taps into at Amazon, just like iTunes. There are no cameras on board the Fire as well, which is nothing to overlook for some shoppers, others don’t mind.
All 3 devices have short battery lives, but that’s what you get with a back lit color LCD touch screen. The user is tethered to the charger in exchange for a mind blowing portable entertainment system or ebook reader.
You can read my previous article about kindle fire review
- nook color vs kindle fire
- kindle fire vs nook color 2012