So I’ve had the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 for a little over a month, and I’ve enjoyed using it and would say it is a good tablet. However, I’ve found several issues that bugged me and made me want to get an iPad Mini. We already have an iPad 3 and several iPhones in the family, so I’m very accustom to apple products.
Screen Resolution (winner: Kindle Fire HD 8.9): The Fire HD 8.9 definitely has the better resolution screen (1920×1200 vs. 1024×768), and I will miss those crisp images. Below I compare the text between the Kindle and iPad Mini from the same “Flying Magazine” displayed in Kindle app:
Screen Aspect Ratio (winner: Kindle Fire HD 8.9): the wider aspect ratio screen works better is Movies and TV content. But I really dont watch shows on my tablet that often, thats what my TV is for. Below is the show “House of Cards” being played within Netflix App.
Price (winner: Kindle Fire HD 8.9): The price of the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 ($299) is also cheaper then the iPad Mini ($329). I ended up getting my Kindle for $275 no tax or shipping from ebay new. But the iPad mini was full price every where I looked, so I got mine at full retail price + tax at Best Buy.
Speakers (winner: Kindle Fire HD 8.9): The Kindle actually has stereo speaker that get louder and sound better than the iPad Mini. However, I usually use headphone if watching a show in most cases.
The above are the best parts of the Kindle, in just about every other way, the iPad Mini is better.
Bezel size (winner: iPad mini): The iPad mini has a much smaller bezel, which is just a better use of space. In portrait mode, the width of the viewable screen on the iPad mini is about the same as the Kindle. However, the length of the viewable screen is about an inch longer on the Kindle. The reason the Kindle is so much bigger and heavier is because of the larger bezel.
Weight (winner: iPad mini): The iPad mini weighs in at 308g while the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is 567g. You can easily hold the iPad Mini with one hand while reading it and not strain your hand. The Kindle is just at the point where your hand just starts to get tired in about 30 minutes, especially if you have a heavy case on there.
Kindle App (winner: iPad mini): I could not believe this, but some Kindle books actually look better on the iPad Kindle app, then on the Kindle Fire HD itself. Look at the chapter title of the same book on Kindle vs. iPad mini. Also, the Text-to-Speech option in on the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 freezes after 10 minutes or so of reading, and looses it’s place in the book, so you have to fast forward to continue. Very annoying. Another issue is zooming in on illustrations within a book, doesnt work on Kindle, but does on iPad mini Kindle App.
App Store (winner: iPad mini): The Kindle app store is very limited in comparison to the Apple App store by far. Most developer do a iPad/iPhone app first then make one for Android. However, most of the Android apps are only available via the Google Play app store, which the Kindle does NOT have access to. You can hack/root the kindle and sneak apps on the kindle, but some of them dont work fully because they assume you are loggeg into Google Play Store. An example of that is the “Chrome Browser”. If you want access to all the android apps, you should probably get a Nexus 7 or 10.
Browser (winner: iPad mini): The Kindle Silk browser takes several seconds just to start up. If you last had several tabs open on the browser, expect to wait close to a minute before the silk browser reloads all the tabs and you are able to enter in a new URL or continue browsing from where you left off. The iPad Safari browser just saves your last state, and you can start browsing immediately.
Overall response time (winner: iPad mini): The iPad mini has the benefit of being a well tested interface, and is snappier and immediately responsive to touch-screen selections. The Kindle can sometime just sit there when you press something, and it is actually working, but there is no click sound or icon movement to show that you have depressed something. This is not in every case, but when you experience it, it is annoying.
In this review, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 OS version is 8.1.4, and iPad Mini is iOS version 6.1.3.