By Anu Passary | Sep 09, 2012 01:50 PM EDT
With major players unleashing a slew of budget-friendly devices to capture consumer interest, the tablet space is becoming increasingly competitive. Both Google and Amazon are established names in the 7-inch entry-level tablet market and command a decent share with their Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire offerings.
Amazon launched its original Kindle Fire in 2011, which went on to dominate the market as the top budget tablet option, until the Nexus 7 came along. The Nexus 7 was released in July 2012 and has gone on to become one of the best-selling tablets on the market since its release. The 16GB version was sold out within weeks due to high demand. Analysts predict that the Asus-built Nexus 7's sales figures will touch the 8 million mark by year end.
Now, Amazon has decided to up the ante and has revealed a 7-inch Kindle Fire HD challenger. Amazon claims that it is the "world's first tablet with dual antenna, dual-band Wi-Fi for ultra-fast downloads and HD streaming."
Here's a look at how the two tablets stack up against each other.
Both devices have a 7-inch capacitive display with multitouch. With the new Kindle Fire HD, Amazon has improved on its screen resolution from 600 x 1024 to 1,280 x 800, the same as the Nexus 7's resolution. Both tablets have a 216 ppi. However, a substantial bezel surrounds the Kindle Fire HD's screen, making the device a bit wider than the Nexus 7. dditionally, Amazon also claims that the panel used in the Kindle Fire HD contains a polarizing filter to reduce glare.
Size and Weight
The Nexus 7 measures 7.82 inches x 4.72 inches, compared to the Kindle fire HD's 7.6 inches x 5.4 inches. At .75 pounds, the Nexus 7 is lighter than the Amazon offering, which weighs .87 pounds. Not much difference exists in the thickness of both devices; the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD are .41 inches and .40 inches thick, respectively.
Processor and Operating System
A 1.3GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor with 1GB of Ram powers the Nexus 7. On the other hand, the Kindle Fire HD features a 1.2GHz dual-core OMAP4460 processor with "Imagination PowerVR 3D graphics core for fast and fluid performance" and 1GB of RAM. The dual-core Kindle Fire HD processor is considerably slower than Nexus's quad-core one. The Nexus 7 comes pre-loaded with the latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. By contrast, the Kindle Fire HD will come with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box.
Storage and Connectivity
The Nexus 7 offers 8GB and 16GB of internal storage options, whereas the Kindle Fire HD will be available in the 16GB and 32GB versions. Neither device has an expandable memory option via a microSD slot. However, the new Kindle Fire has Amazon Cloud available for content storage. The Nexus 7 has Google Play, which stores movies, music, and books in the Google Play cloud. Both tablets pack in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support. However, the Nexus goes one up on the Fire with its GPS and NFC abilities. On the other hand, when it comes to data connection, the Kindle Fire HD has both Micro USB and HDMI. By contrast, the Nexus 7 only offers Micro USB support.
Camera and Speakers
The Nexus 7 has a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera. The new Kindle Fire too has taken the camera route with its HD version. Neither device has a rear-facing camera. The Kindle Fire HD will feature dual-driver stereo speakers with Dolby Audio. The original Fire has stereo speakers.
"HD content requires more storage, strong processing power and plenty of battery life. Kindle Fire HD was designed specifically for HD movies and games, giving you lightning fast performance without compromising battery life or storage," states Amazon. Google's Nexus 7 has a 4325 mAh battery, which supports up to 8 hours of continuous usage. The Kindle Fire HD's non-removable battery is expected to support up to 11 hours of continuous usage.
Pricing and Availability
The Nexus 7 costs $199.99 and $249.99 for the 8GB and 16GB versions, respectively. The new 7-inch Kindle Fire HD 16GB and 32GB offerings will set consumers back by $199 and $249, respectively. The Kindle Fire HD tablet is available for pre-order and will ship from Oct. 25.
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