iPad vs Kindle

By | October 28, 2011

Considering buying a new tablet? Are you having difficulty cutting through the hype and finding the one that is right for you? Have you been comparing the iPad vs the Kindle? Should you just pony up the $500 dollars and get the iPad? After all, it’s made by a reputable company, apple, and it’s the current leader in the tablet computer market. On the other hand, it’s tough to ignore the all new Kindle Fire at only $199, making it less than half the cost of the iPad.

Kindle Fire vs iPad

None of us want to spend more money than we have, but we also want to make sure that we are getting value for our money, and buying a good quality product. What’s the point of saving money, even a lot of money, if what you buy doesn’t do what you want? However, on the other hand why would anyone want to pay more money for a bunch of features that they’re never going to use. That is what I want to explore with you in this Kindle Fire vs iPad review. We will examine the features of both products and see how well they will meet your needs. We will look at how the Kindle Fire can be so much less expensive than the iPad and what feature, if any, you may be giving up for that savings.

Kindle Fire vs iPad: The OS

Kindle Fire vs iPadThe iPad makes use of apples tablet OS while the Kindle uses a version of the Android OS that was customized by Amazon. Both operating systems have proven to be very user friendly and stable, although the modifications made by Amazon havn’t had as much testing by American consumers, both should be fairly easy to use and navigate. Apple still seems to have the unique problem of not shipping their tablets with much of an instruction manual (don’t ask me why), creating a problem for many consumers. So be aware, if you are someone that like to refer to a user manual to have questions answered, then maybe that is something you want to take into consideration. But, with regards to the user interface I would call it a draw. Both the Kindle and the iPad will use an easy to navigate, simple operating system.

iPad vs Kindle: Web Browsing

Web browsing will certainly be one of the most common uses for the two tablets. iPad uses Safari while Kindle will use a proprietary browsers that they have named Silk. Some people have complained that the iPad’s Safari web browsers is to limiting for web surfing. However, there are other alternatives that iPad users can download from the iPad app store. Most people find Safari suitable for typical web browsing. Amazon is trying to do something quite unique with Silk. They are incorporating an algorithm into their browser that will pre-load pages based on what it thinks you will do. So, while you are reading a web page, the browser will guess (based on a statistical analysis of what other users have done) what your next “click” will be and will begin to load that page in the background. This could, if it works, provide a significant boost to web surfing. If Amazon is successful with their internet predicting algorithm, as their test have shown, then I think that the Kindle Fire will be better tablet for surfing the web.

iPad vs Kindle: Internet Connecting

One of the primary differences between when looking at Kindle vs iPad is their ability to connect to the internet. The iPad has two options for internet connectivity, first is WiFi only the second is WiFi with the option of purchasing a 3G internet package, at an additional monthly cost. Compared to the Fire that only comes with the ability to connect to WiFi. Both tablets connect to all the most popular forms of WiFi 802.11 b/g/n so once you find an available wifi connection you shouldn’t have any difficulty connecting. So be aware if you need to be able to purchase a 3G mobile internet plan for your tablet then the iPad is for you, otherwise you will have to rely on WiFi hotspots. It’s important to note that many of the new phone (within the last year) are able to act as a WiFi hotspot. So if you have your phone on you then you can create a WiFi hotspot for your tablet anywhere you go, eliminating the need to pay for two mobile internet plans.

Kindle Fire vs iPad: The Picture

This is typically one of the first big differences that consumers notice when comparing the Kindle Fire with the iPad, the Kindle is smaller. It’s about 25% smaller. The iPad boast a large 9.7″ viewable area displayed at 1024×786. Where as, the Kindle has a 7″ screen viewed at 1024×600 pixels. While some might be disappointed by the smaller viewing area it does present some advantages for the Fire. Firstly, it’s probably one of the primary ways that Amazon was able to keep the price as low as they did. LCD screens are expensive, and touch screens even more so. A smaller viewing area led to a smaller price tag. Secondly, the smaller screen size means a smaller and more mobile device. The Kindle fire can more easily be carried in a pocket or purse, making it a better choice for user that will be keeping their tablet with them through out the day. On the other side, if you are going to be primarily using your tablet for watching movies then iPad has the edge, with it’s larger screen.

iPad vs Kindle Fire: Storage Capacity

The iPad has three different options for tablet storage, 16 Gb, 32 Gb, and 64 Gb. The Kindle Fire only comes in an 8 Gb version. Amazon has offset this reduced storage space by allowing each of it’s users to take advantage of it’s massive cloud storage. Yes, all you movies, music, games, etc can be stored in the cloud then streamed to your tablet whenever you need it. iPad doesn’t have any such feature. OK, so I have the cloud is that really enough? For most things you do on a day to day basis 8 Gb will be more than enough storage for you. To give you an example 8 Gbs would hold approximately 80 apps plus an additional 10 movies, 800 songs, or 6,000 books, making 8Gbs plus your cloud storage plenty of space for most users. The things that take up a lot of storage space are primarily movies and sophisticated games. If you want to load up with games and movies and take them with you everywhere you go then the iPad is probably for you. Otherwise I wouldn’t worry about running out of space on the Kindle Fire.

iPad vs Kindle Fire: The Processor

While not something that most consumers thing about, the processor or CPU plays a direct role in the users experience. Have you ever been on an older computer and thought wow this thing is slow? That’s a result of an old processor. While I’m happy to inform you that both the iPad and the Kindle Fire use a dual core, 1 Ghz processor. Pretty much the fastest processor available for a tablet computer. This is to be expected from the iPad, however there isn’t another product within the price range of the Kindle Fire that can deliver that type of high quality performance processor.

iPad vs Kindle Fire: Summary

With the exception of just a couple of situations the Kindle Fire, at the least, keeps pace with the iPad and even may even exceed it’s performance in a couple of areas. I was quite impressed with performance of the Kindle Fire when compared to the iPad. I think that Amazon chose to leave all the right stuff out and leave in the high quality basic features that we use everyday. While there are some people that will still want the iPad, I know that the Kindle Fire is going to make a perfect fit for many of consumers that are looking to get a high quality tablet computer and high value for their money. Just think with all the money you save by buying your Kindle Fire you could by a bunch of movies and e-books and still have enough left over to buy another Kindle Fire, LOL. Now that’s value.

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