Tablet Shopping: Differences Between An iPad And A Kindle Fire

Despite the explosive growth in the tablet market over the past few years, consumers only seem to want one of two big name tablets: Apple’s iPad or Amazon’s Kindle Fire. iPad has been enjoying a healthy majority in the tablet market since its debut in 2010, but the entrance of the Kindle Fire late last year was a major game changer. The iPad and the Kindle Fire have enjoyed sales in the millions and both devices have enjoyed nearly glowing user reviews from tech analysts and everyday consumers alike.

But if you’re new to the tablet market, how can you decide for yourself which one works best for you? If you visit an Apple-friendly tech blog, they’ll inevitably proclaim iPad as the one and only tablet for every person. If you go to Amazon or any website affiliated with the retail giant, you’ll see nothing but convincing Kindle Fire advertisements. So what’s the difference between the two tablets?

iPad pros and cons
One thing is for certain: hands down, the iPad has better hardware and more advanced features than the Kindle Fire. The current iPad model boasts a 9.7 inch screen displaying images in brilliant colors, lightning fast performance due to state of the art custom designed processor, and huge storage capacities (from 16 to 64GB). This version of the iPad is even equipped with a camera lens that would make most mid level point and shoot digital cameras blush. There are versions of the iPad built in with WiFi or WiFi and enhanced 3G performance. A person can confidently surf the web, stream movies and music, or even perform impressive designs on the device with little effort. The Apple store offers countless apps for the device, ranging from practical organizational apps to out and out addicting games. It’s the pinnacle of tablet design thus far.
That is, if you can afford it. The starting price for the current iPad is $499, and that’s no small amount. Buying a middle grade iPad 2 will easy cost you half a grand, not to mention the extra accessories and apps that you’ll inevitably add to your overall tablet bill. So if you have deep pockets or if you feel that your credit card can bear the strain, go for the iPhone. For the thriftier consumer’s tablet, continue reading.

Kindle Fire pros and cons

The Kindle Fire delivers all the pleasures of a high caliber tablet without taking too much of a hit on your wallet. The tablet weighs in at about $199, so it’s more than half the price of the baseline iPad model. But for that price, you’ll be given reduced features. Let me explain.
First and foremost, the Kindle Fire is a state of the art digital reader. The eReading experience is unlike any other, and new features (like the built in dictionary that will define any word you highlight) make reading on a tablet more fun and intuitive than ever before. As far as the specs are concerned, the Kindle Fire has a smaller screen (about 7 inches) with a resolution as strong as that of the iPad. It has slightly lesser specs and comes equipped with only 8GB of storage, but many argue that tablet users don’t need a lot of storage capacity anyway. The Kindle Fire has WiFi connectability and has a robust web browser called “Silk” that keeps web pages and videos loading at fast rates without affecting the tablet’s overall performance. Moreover, with the Kindle Fire a user has complete access to all the new features on Amazon. A person can purchase music, stream movies and TV shows, and order products with complete ease using Amazon’s interface. It’s no iPad, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s the Kindle Fire.

Which is right for you?
The decision between the two tablets comes down to a question of usage. Do you like reading digital books? If so, then the Kindle Fire is your best bet. Do you have money to burn on tablets and apps, and do you use the web on an hourly basis? Then you’re better fitted for the iPad. Do you want a tablet just to bring with you on a trip, or to use in your spare time? Then you’d better stick with the Kindle Fire. There are no wrong choices in either of these devices, just hard choices.

This guest post is contributed by Katheryn Rivas, who writes on the topics of online universities. She welcomes your comments at her email Id:

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  1. I have the 3G Kindle and am quite happy with it, but probably will upgrade to a Kindle Fire are some point. This was a helpful article.

  2. Thanks so much for coming by, Cara, glad it was helpful! I have a Kindle 3G too and am happy with it. A Kindle Fire sounds intriguing, though.

Stacy Juba