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Amazon Kindle Fire HD vs. Apple iPad 3: Which is better?

Updated on September 14, 2012
Amazon Kindle Fire HD vs. Apple iPad 3rd Generation: Which is better?
Amazon Kindle Fire HD vs. Apple iPad 3rd Generation: Which is better?

Kindle Fire HD vs. iPad 3: Which is better? Tech blogs have gone into overdrive with iPad vs. Kindle Fire HD posts pointing out features and differences between two of the best tablets money can buy. Experts have given technically intricate comparisons and sedative commentaries on specifications and jargon that add little value to the everyday non-techie user's question, which one should I buy. This post is a practical comparison between Apple's iPad 3 and Amazon's new Kindle Fire HD to find out which is better from a lay man's perspective.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9" vs. iPad 3rd generation: Display, screen and resolution

Apple has given iPad 3 its ground breaking retina display which was one of the highlights of the device's launch earlier this year in March 2012. For the uninitiated, Retina Display is Apple's way of telling users that the human eye will be unable to notice pixelation.

iPad 3's 9.7 inch screen is a 2048x1536 display with more pixels than a regular HD TV. There is little arguing Apple's claim that the Retina Display, now also a feature in iPhone 5, is 'The best display ever on a mobile device'

Kindle Fire HD's 8.9 inch screen has a 1920x1200 HD display. Like Apple, Amazon has also claimed that its high quality display makes the human eye unable to distinguish pixels. Amazon's new technology also reduces glare and promises to deliver sharper images with rich color.

Head to head with Apple's Retina Display on iPad 3, Kindle Fire HD's screen has a slightly lower pixel density per inch with 254 ppi as compared to 264 for the former.

Clarity, sharpness and resolution definitely play a role in deciding which is better between iPad 3 and Kindle Fire HD. However buyers may be split between the two tablets because the display may not be the primary driver behind the decision to purchase.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9" vs. iPad 3rd generation: Touchscreen and user interactivity

Apple's touchscreen and interactivity is unparalleled. From its pioneering pinch-and-zoom to different types of taps, Apple's devices have got a cult following because of the fluidness of its multi-touch operations.

Kindle Fire HD's 10 point multi-touch screen is a massive improvement from its predecessor which had a 2 point multi-touch interface along with a 1024x600 non-HD display.

Regardless of how vastly the touchscreen experience has improved for Kindle Fire HD, it may potentially be impossible to convert an Apple fan who will still buy the iPad over other any other tablet – just because it has the iconic Apple touchscreen.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9" vs. iPad 3rd generation: Camera, photo and video

Apple iPad 3 a 5 MP iSight camera with its usual array of features including tap-to-focus and autofocus. The tablet's camera is capable of recording HD videos. iPad 3 also has a front VGA FaceTime camera which is great for video chatting and self portraits.

Kindle Fire HD only has a front high definition camera. It does not have a rear camera. Users will be unable to simply point their devices and click away like smartphones.

The inability to capture images and videos on a good quality rear camera could very well put off shutterbugs from buying Kindle Fire HD. In the day and age of virtual identities, every user potentially wants to be armed with a device which has a rear camera to capture the very moments which can be used as excellent Facebook profile pictures or go viral on the internet.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9" vs. iPad 3rd generation: Audio

iPad 3 has built-in speakers and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Kindle Fire HD 8.9 inch has dual stereo speakers powered by Dolby audio. The tablet has speakers on each side which give stereo sound.

Amazon's new tablet seems to have an upper hand in the audio department. Speakers on both sides are a dream come true for someone who likes to hop into bed, snuggle up in a blanket and watch movies on the tab.

Despite being technically advanced in the audio department Kindle Fire HD could potentially lose out on real hardcore music fans who have endlessly used iTunes on iPods and iPhones.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9" vs. iPad 3rd generation: Connectivity

iPad 3 and Kindle Fire HD 8.9 inch have Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity available, depending on the model that is bought. Amazon's new tablet boasts of dual-band and dual-antenna Wi-Fi. The company claims that Kindle Fire HD's Wi-Fi download speeds are 41% faster than iPad 3 and 54% faster than 'Google tablet'.

Kindle Fire HD scores in connectivity not only because of claimed faster Wi-Fi downloads, but also because the tablet has a Micro-HDMI out port. Users can instantly connect their tabs to TVs. Photos, videos or movies can be seen on the big screen without having to separately buy accessories or adapters.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9" vs. iPad 3rd gen: Processor and memory

iPad 3 is powered by Apple's dual core A5X chip belting out 1 GHz backed by a quad-core GPU. Kindle Fire HD 8.9 inch's heart is a 1.5 GHz dual-core ARM processor.

iPad 3 is available in 16, 32 and 64 GB models. Kindle Fire HD 8.9" is available in 16/32 GB or 32/64 GB models depending on whether users buy a model that is 4G compatible.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9" vs. iPad 3rd generation: OS & Content

Content will invariably play a massive role in helping users decide whether they want to buy the 3rd generation iPad or a Kindle Fire HD. iPad 3 is based on the legendary iOS. Apps and content are via the iTunes Store while storage is on iCloud.

Amazon's Kindle Fire HD is based on android OS and will deliver content primarily via Amazon Prime and through the e-tailer's own content. Users get access to Amazon's cloud drive and the company also offers free unlimited storage for its own content.

Users who are familiar with iTunes are likely to continue using it against other app banks, potentially buying the iPad over Amazon's tablet. On the other hand, fans of Amazon's content bank will buy the Kindle Fire HD. There seem to be fewer real-life scenarios where the phrase, Content is king, is more apt.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9" vs. iPad 3rd generation: Price

Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 4G's base 32 GB model costs $499 while iPad 3rd generation tablet's base 16 GB model with Wi-Fi + Cellular costs $629. For users who want 4G LTE connectivity, the base model of Amazon's new tablet costs 20% less than Apple's 3rd generation iPad.

Without cellular connectivity, Amazon's new 8.9 inch tablet costs $299 for 16 GB and $369 for 32 GB. Apple's 3rd generation tablet costs $499 for 16 GB, $599 for 32 GB and $699 for 64 GB.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9" vs. iPad 3rd generation: Which is better?

There is little denying that Kindle Fire HD 8.9" is cheaper than iPad 3. Resultantly for budget conscious users and buyers wanting to spend less money, Amazon's new tablet emerges as cheaper and more affordable.

Buyers who can afford a slightly higher price tag and those who have used Apple products in the past will potentially bear the premium price tag and buy the new iPad. Simply because of exclusive features, Apple's iconic innovations and an unparalleled user experience that is virtually impossible to replicate.


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    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      8 years ago from Orlando, FL

      We have both the iPad 3 and Kindle Fire HD, the Kindle gets my vote!

    • dilipchandra12 profile image

      Dilip Chandra 

      8 years ago from India

      Great review article :) Good work, Voted UP and shared

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This is similar to a hub that I wrote...I think I prefer the Ipad over the kindle although the kindle does have good qualities. Check out my hub if you want.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Very informative and useful article. I think personal preference of what is more important to you plays a role. Why not have both?

    • tlmcgaa70 profile image


      8 years ago from south dakota, usa

      nice review. as a kindle fire owner, when the time comes to upgrade, i will most likely stick to the kindle family. i have a friend with an ipad and i cant see that i am missing out on much by having a kindle instead. sure there is size, but that doesnt bother me much. the qualitiy of the movies i watch is as good or better than i get watching them on my computer, and 0nce into a movie you sort of forget you are watching it on a smaller screen. that kind of surprised me. voted up and shared.


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