This holiday season, there are many tablets on the market, but only two that are really being talked about: the iPad 2 and the Kindle Fire. Which one is best? Well, that mostly depends on what the buyer is looking for and what they are willing to pay.
iPad 2 and Kindle Fire: Difference in Size
The two platforms are about as dissimilar as two tablets can be. The iPad 2 is significantly larger, with a 9.7-inch screen, versus a 7-inch screen on the Kindle Fire, and is also heavier. The Kindle runs on a custom version of Google’s Android OS, and the iPad runs on Apple’s own iOS. The Kindle only supports Wi-Fi, whereas some iPads also feature 3G support alongside Wi-Fi.
They are also quite different in terms of intended use. The iPad 2 was designed and marketed as a jack-of-all-trades device, able to do everything from reading ebooks, to word processing, to star gazing. It features more than 100,000 apps in Apple’s App Store, with dozens being added every day. The Kindle Fire was primarily designed as an ebook reader, but offers a few thousand other Android apps handpicked by Amazon to work well with it.
Kindle Fire Mostly Suited for Reading eBooks
In terms of just reading ebooks, the Fire is probably the superior option as Kindle Fire reviews from our visitors are very positive about the ereading features of the device. Its screen has a higher pixel density, making the individual pixels less noticeable when reading. This can save eyestrain headaches during extended sessions. For those who listen to music while reading, its stereo sound is also significantly better than the iPad’s single speaker. However, one advantage the iPad offers is in choice of readers: there are over a dozen ebook apps available for iOS, including Amazon’s own Kindle software, as well as a range of others that include direct access to free ebook libraries such as Gutenberg.org. The Kindle only recently approved its first non-Amazon reader, and it’s uncertain how many more will be added.
And then there’s the price. The Fire retails for $199, and the cheapest iPad still costs more than twice that. Add another hundred or more for 3G access or more internal storage. Basically, it’s a question of whether the buyer wants an affordable ebook reader that can also handle some basic games and video steaming, or wants to pay a premium price for a device that can virtually be used as a replacement computer.
Both are excellent devices. The question is mostly what the buyer will be using it for.