Here's How The Kindle Fire HD Stacks Up Against The iPad

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Photo: Wikimedia/Dylan Love

Amazon recently unveiled its Kindle Fire HD tablet.It’s a huge step forward from last year’s Kindle Fire. It more closely matched Apple’s iPad in size and features. So which one should you buy?

In an effort to help you answer that question, here’s a feature-by-feature breakdown of how it stacks up against the iPad.

Price

The $500 Kindle Fire HD comes with 32 GB of storage and 4G LTE. The most affordable iPad with 4G LTE is $630, and it's only got 16 GB of storage.

Data costs

The Kindle Fire HD blows the iPad out of the water with a flat yearly rate of $50 for 250 MB of data per month.

Depending on your carrier, an equivalent plan for your iPad will cost roughly $20 per month, or $240 a year.

The display

All your time spent with your device is spent looking at the screen, so you want to make sure it's a good one.

Because the iPad has a larger display, that makes it easier for it to have a better resolution than the Fire.

The iPad's 9.7-inch screen has a 2048x1536 resolution, markedly better that the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD's resolution of 1920x1200.

Camera

Despite how we feel about it, plenty of people use tablets for photography. The iPad is the clear winner in this category, offering you a 5 MP rear-facing camera and a VGA-quality front-facing camera.

The Kindle Fire HD has just a front-facing camera for Skype videochats.

Battery life

The Kindle Fire HD runs for 8 hours on a single charge. The iPad goes for 10.

Weight

With the iPad weighing 23 ounces and the Kindle Fire HD weighing 20, the difference here is neglible.

Extensibility

Apple forces you to buy an adaptor before you can use your iPad with any sort of video out feature. This stands in stark contrast to the Kindle Fire HD, which readily provides the user with a standard Micro-HDMI port.

Ecosystem

Both companies offer content for sale and cloud services, but Amazon blows Apple away in that it can also deliver physical objects to your door. You can buy anything from trash bags and toilet paper to cat food and a new living room table.

Furthermore, Amazon's Appstore for Android is distinct from the apps sold in Google Play. Developers have to develop for the Kindle Fire tablets specifically in order to let people use apps on it. The upside is a better experience for the apps Amazon does offer, but the iTunes App Store has many more offerings.

The verdict?

It's a tough call, but we'd generally recommend an iPad over a Kindle Fire HD.

You can access all of Amazon's services via an iPad and still have access to a much larger App Store, which only makes your tablet more useful.

However, we still think the Kindle Fire HD will be perfectly useful to a large population. The killer differentiations are mostly economic--the flat annual rate for data and the lower cost will make a big difference to a lot of people.

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