The world’s largest online retailer, Amazon.com Inc., unveiled its all-new tablet on September 28, 2011. The tablet is called the Amazon Kindle Fire and will be available in the US market on November 15, 2011. A lot of buzz has been generated SheSpeaks since Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, made the announcement.
Apple’s iPad has single-handedly dominated the tablet PC landscape since its launch in early 2010. With so many tablets being launched since 2010, the question always arises as to how these new tablets stack up against the market leader, the Apple iPad 2.
We have seen many top tech companies launch their own version of tablet PCs like the Samsung Galaxy, Motorola Xoom and RIM’s Blackberry Playbook, to name a few. However, none of these competitors have been able to significantly impact Apple’s domination in the tablet PC arena so far.
At first glance, looks like the Amazon’s all-new tablet will pose a significant challenge to the iPad 2, especially that it’s priced at $199 compared to Apple’s iPad 2 price of $499. However, a closer look at the specifications and features is required to help determine which tablet is right for you. Having said so, let’s take a close look at the pros and cons of the Amazon Kindle Fire.
Operating System: the Amazon Kindle Fire runs on a customized version of Android 2.3 OS, whereas, the Apple iPad 2 runs Apple’s iOS 4.3.1. Without getting too technical, these two operating systems are comparable, with a few differences. However, with the combination of the new cloud-accelerated split browser, Amazon Silk, the web experience on the Kindle is expected to have an advantage in terms of speed and performance.
Amazon Silk Browser: as briefly mentioned above, Silk is a cloud-accelerated internet browser that is exclusive to Amazon’s Kindle Fire. In simple terms, this innovative web browser does all the heavy lifting through Amazon’s remote servers, thereby using less resources of the Kindle Fire device. This not only helps in the tablets speed and performance, but also conserves battery life.
Processor: the Kindle Fire uses the TI OMAP 4 dual-core processor, whereas, the iPad 2 uses Apple’s A5 dual-core processor. Both the processors have a speed of 1 GHz, therefore, they are quite comparable in terms of speed.
Memory & Storage: the first generation Kindle Fire has limited storage space at 8 GB and does not have an option to increase this storage (i.e. it doesn’t have a microSD slot). However, the iPad 2 has various memory storage options, namely, 16, 32 and 64 GB. Having said so, Amazon provides free online storage space through Amazon cloud for digital content like apps, music, movies, books and games.
Display & Screen Resolution: the Kindle Fire as well as the iPad 2 have high-resolution multi-touch screens. However, the Kindle tablet has a smaller 7 inch screen as compared to the iPad’s 9.7 inch screen. Therefore, depending on what you intend using your tablet for, you would choose one over the other.
Camera & Microphone: one of the drawbacks of the Kindle Fire tablet is that it lacks webcams. The iPad 2 comes with front and back cameras which are great for online video chatting or conferencing as well as for recording videos.
Battery Life & USB Port: the iPad 2 has an advantage over the Kindle Fire when it comes to battery life. The iPad 2 battery can last up to 10 hours as compared to approximately 8 hours on the Kindle Fire. In terms of USB support, the iPad 2 USB port is via the dock connector, whereas, the Kindle tablet has a built-in USB 2.0 (micro-B Connector) which is more convenient.