The sub-10-inch tablet market just got more interesting, and more confusing. The tablet market is crowded these days with luxury and budget tablets to fit everybody’s pockets and needs. Dominated by Amazon, tablets available today ranges from Samsung, Apple, Barnes & Noble to Asus. Amazon alone launched three tablet models in 2012 that are all priced under $300. Earlier this week, we compared the iPad Mini vs. Kindle Fire HD vs. Nexus 7 in a small tablet shootout. However, many people emailed us that a much better alternative to Kindle Fire HD 7″ is the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ and it is a much more formidable opponent to Google Nexus 7. So we thought it would be apt to put together that viable comparison too. In this article, let us compare two of the most affordable best tablets of 2012 – the Kindle Fire 8.9 versus the Nexus 7.
The Size and Weight
Being different classes of tablets, Nexus 7 is small and classic and the Kindle Fire 8.9 is a midsized one. If you are on the lookout for a bigger sized tablet, you can choose the Kindle Fire 8.9 though it is smaller than the iPad. The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is going to be a familiar experience, as it looks and feels identical to its 7-inch predecessor. Slightly larger, of course, but the design is virtually indistinguishable — right down to the subtle molding seams at each of the four corners. If you want a bigger tablet which is cheaper than the iPad, then the 8.9 incher is not a bad choice at all.
However, the bigger size of the Fire also means higher weight. Weighing 227 grams, you are forced to carry the device with both your hands. If usability, ease of carrying it around and light weight are in your mind then you should probably look at the Google Nexus 7, instead.
The Display and Resolution
This is the most important factor of a touch-screen device. The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD, not only has a bigger screen but a much better one as well. The tablet has better pixel density that is comparable with the current group of tablets like the Nook HD, Nexus 10 and the iPad. Nexus 7 is the smaller of the two with its 7-inch display running a resolution of 1280×800 pixels for a density of 216ppi. The Amazon offering has an 8.9-inch display at 1920×1200 pixels for a density fo 254ppi. The Kindle Fire HD is both bigger and has better pixel density, making for a better display.
Processor and RAM
Both the Kindle Fire 8.9 and Google Nexus 7 are very fast with their processing speeds. While both tablets are perfectly capable, the Nexus 7 looks like it wins on paper with its NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad core 1.3GHz processor. The Kindle Fire HD has a TI OMAP 4470 dual core 1.5GHz. That’s a higher clock speed, but the Nexus 7 has more cores. Both tablets have hardly anything to choose between them when it comes to their RAM capacity. Both have 1 GB RAM.
Storage is excellent in both the products which are now sold in both the 16 Gigabytes version and the 32 Gigabytes version. If you want to purchase the LTE version of the Kindle Fire 8.9, it’s sold in the 32 GB and 64 GB versions.
The battery life of the gadgets too is comparatively equal with both standing up to 10 hours after a full recharge.
The Nexus 7 lacks mobile connectivity. It is rumored that Asus and Google might add 3G services in near future but that is yet to be confirmed. Amazon on the other hand, does not keep you guessing – it charges an additional $200 for its 8.9 inches Kindle Fire with 32 GB in a 4G LTE version. You might feel that the $200 pricing might be too high as Apple itself charges $130 for LTE antenna in the tablet. But hold on, Amazon offers some cool data plans. The data plans, although not completely convincing, you get 250 MB of data every month for $50 which diminishes easily in just a few hours of extreme data usage. Most buyers would be satisfied with just the Wi-Fi only version.
Both the tablets lack a rear camera but feature a front-facing one. This allows convenient video chats but when you want to use them for shooting, you might feel that it’s just not there.
The Nexus 7 is lighter on your pockets in terms of the pricing. It is cheaper by $100 when compared to the 8.9 Kindle Fire. On the other hand, if you need more mobile data or storage space you will have to shed more from your pockets for both the tablets.
There are now three great 7 (and 8.9) inch tablets to pick from, the Google Nexus 7, the Kindle Fire HD and the iPad Mini but to sum up, each tablet has its own merits and demerits. While the Kindle Fire is bigger, has better display and is better in terms of hardware, Nexus has a better operating system. It is lighter in weight and on your pockets as well. So unless you must go for that larger 8.9-inch display with better pixel density or you really like the Amazon storefront, the Nexus 7 is likely the better bet here. It’s cheaper and it’s more versatile with its vanilla Android OS and Play Store access.
About the Writer: Theresa likes to follow technology related news which enables her to write comprehensive insights and reviews on gadgets, software, mobile phones and other technology stuffs. She is currently working as a writer for FTV offering FiOS TV deals and services.