Guest post by Maino.
Editor’s note: I had dismissed Amazon Kindle Fire as an iPad competitor when it was announced last year. It did manage to create a market of its own (while not dwindling iPad’s sales as much). This guest post finds a place here to ensure you get different perspectives on the same topic, which is Kindle Fire vs iPad!
Before you start punishing me for my bold statement you need to understand that I am just as tech savvy as I am logical. My qualms with iPad have got nothing to do with any drawbacks or problems that I have personally encountered. Mind you, I have not found anything missing in my iPad yet. It is just that for whatever the iPad 2 (I’m not talking about the latest iPad 3 as that is not yet available to us here in India) offers, it is just too expensive for me. The Amazon Kindle gives me more mileage with its plethora of features and attractive pricing. Let me explain what I mean.
My First Encounter With These Tablets
I got my iPad about a month ago for Rs. 24,500 (approx. $480). It is the 16GB WiFi only model as I am a cheapo with gadgets when they start costing so damn much. In fact, I had no plans of getting it and if it had not been for the saleswoman at Apple Store, her amazing motivational skills in particular, I would never have realized why I need an iPad.
I still don’t understand why I need an iPad but that’s not the point here. The Amazon Kindle is a newer possession of mine having received it only last week online at Ebay for just Rs. 10,375 (approx. $207). Yes, that is how cheap the Kindle Fire is in comparison with the iPad 2. My Kindle is just 8GB but that is all I require for my insatiable diet of e-books.
First Impressions of The Kindle Fire
Now, the first impressions of the iPad were as expected since I knew what I was getting, but with the Kindle Fire, I had no idea what to expect. However, I was pleasantly surprised to notice that the Kindle, although smaller in screen size and lacking in clarity, was lighter and quite easy to hold onto, something that iPad failed to understand from their previous version. For me personally, lighter is better as I like carrying gadgets around.
As I started to play around with the Fire, it became clear that applications were neatly arranged and there were plenty of inbuilt stuff to tinker with for hours. I have yet to find out what some of the applications are for. However, what really caught my attention was its media centric interface. I could read eBooks with equal clarity as I did with my iPad, I could download magazine apps to stream the latest editions and managed to even get some of my favorite games onto the system (I just can’t get enough of Android games, simply love them).
However, one thing that nagged me was that there were a few programs on the Amazon Kindle Fire that simply cannot be removed. These are sort of permanent applications that Amazon has probably taken a whole lot of money to keep rooted on their tablet. Some of them are IMDB, Pulse News Reader and Facebook. While I understand why Facebook and IMDB would be so important on a tablet, what I cannot get around are the other programs. It already has just 8GB and with fixed apps, space is now premium. Inquiries about this on Amazon forum revealed that there are more programs on it fixed and like me many more feel helpless about this issue.
It streams online videos quite well, buffers excellent and produces clear and crisp images for its size and price. Something that also nagged me here is its slight delay in loading online videos. While I should not complain much about this as it is less endowed in the processor department but a seamless performance would have been much appreciated.
What I feel about my iPad 2
Compared to the Amazon tablet, I will say that the iPad is better in the apps department, music stores (obviously), and it also has a much better camera. Yes, the screen is much more brighter, larger and clearer but nothing out of the ordinary that would justify its high pricing and the need for a newer version of the iPad. The actual difference while watching a movie on the Kindle and the iPad 2 is slim at best.
The iPad is faster with its super charged processor and capable of streaming high definition games as well but if I wanted that I would have got a PSP Vita instead. What I found truly amazing though was its camera and the plethora of configurations that it provided for rectifying images. But I already have a phone and camera for that purpose just as everyone else shall so the tablet camera really does not make much of a difference for me. Moreover, the camera on this tablet can never match up to a phone cam.
One more thing that irritated me a lot was the huge price difference between the 3G and Wifi only model. Mine cost $400 for the Wifi only and if I would have opted for the 3G model, I would end up paying at least $130 more. Why should 3G increase the costs by nearly 30%? At least with the Kindle, there is no 3G and I am left with a single choice and one that is understandable.
My choice: Kindle Fire
All I can say about the iPad right now is that when I first got it I felt great about it but after seeing the Kindle Fire close up, I am cursing myself for such a frivolous expenditure on the iPad. $400 gone down the drain on something that is just a minor upgrade over its predecessor.
In the end, the Amazon wins this battle for me personally because it is better priced, equally powerful, perfectly suited to a tablet’s requirements and a handy companion. Ipad is costlier, larger and bulkier, provides nothing great over the older generation and does not blow my mind with its promises. The only thing that I got out of my Apple experience is that they do have great salesmen around, so beware!
PS: It seems that Apple has yet to learn from its mistakes as the third generation has come heavier, larger and pricier. This may work with die-hard Apple fans and for business houses but for logical and reasonable folks like me, it really does not sway my decision. I am not even considering purchasing the third generation anytime soon.
Would love to hear what you think of the iPad 2 and the Kindle Fire. Which one made it big for you?
This was a guest post by Maino who loves writing about tips, tutorials and news on android tablets.