Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 vs Motorola Xyboard 8.2
I remember seeing a Motorola commercial in their website about an enterprise mobility device. This device was used to hammer a nail into a piece of wood. Then it was kept as a cornerstone to keep a rolling door from falling. Subsequently it was thrown away from a car that was speeding at 65kmph. I was amazed at how rugged the device was built and wanted to try one in my hand. The device was exceedingly pleasing although it was ruggedly built. It didn’t come even close to that of the attractive looks of a smartphone, yet it has an eerie attraction to it. Those devices used Windows CE and subsequent editions of Windows Phone. The time I’m referring to is nearly five years back. I wanted to get reminded of that in order to show you how much Motorola has grown from that time onwards. They kept their rugged enterprise mobility devices intact and developed smartphones and tablets PCs that run on Android operating system. They were expected to be rugged as well, but Motorola made them less rugged and more attractive. However, these devices are still more rugged than most of the devices in the market of the same subclass.
Today we are going to compare on of these not-so-rugged devices with a non-rugged device since both of them emanates the same performance matrices. Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 was revealed only a couple of days ago and will only be released in the coming November whereas Motorola Xyboard 8.2 is already released and circulated in the market. So we are to expect some advance features from the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 because it is the new device and hence learns from most of the past experiences of various manufacturers to perfect its shell and interior. We can still compare them in the same arena because both of them feature a dual core processor and same connectivity options. We’ll take each and go in to detail before we compare them at the same showcase.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 Review
At the moment, this 8.9 slate is the crown jewel of Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet line. It is offered in two versions; one with Wi-Fi and one offering 4G LTE connectivity. We will be talking about the Wi-Fi only version although you can consider the review for the other version synonymous to this only differing with the 4G LTE feature. Amazon Kindle Fire 8.9 is powered by 1.5GHz dual core processor on top of TI OMAP 4470 chipset with PowerVR SGX 544 GPU. Amazon claims that this chipset outperforms the new Nvidia Tegra 3 chipset although we need to run some benchmarking tests in order to verify that. The center point of attraction in this 8.9 slate is its screen. Amazon Kindle Fire HD features a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels at a high pixel density which gives the user an absolute pleasure to look at it. According to Amazon, this screen has a polarizing filter enabling the viewers to have an ultra-wide viewing angle while featuring anti-glare technology for rich color and deep contrast reproduction. This is achieved through eliminating the air gap between the touch sensor and the LCD panel by laminating them into a single layer of glass. It has a matte black plate with a thin velvet black strip where Kindle Fire HD is embossed.
Amazon has included exclusive Dolby audio in the Kindle Fire HD to enhance the audio experience offered by the slate. It also has automatic profile based optimizer that changes the audio output depending on the content being played. The powerful dual stereo speakers enable deeper bass in your musing filling the room without distortion at higher volumes taking you on a wonderful journey to the stereo world. Another feature Amazon boasts about is Kindle Fire HD having the fastest Wi-Fi in any of the tablets that offer premium notion. Fire HD achieves this by mounting two antennas and Multiple In / Multiple Out (MIMO) technology that allows you to transmit and receive simultaneously with both antennas increasing the capacity and reliability. The available 2.4GHz and 5GHz dual band frequencies seamlessly switch to the less congested network ensuring that now you can go farther away from your hotspot than usual.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD is a content prone laptop thanks to the millions and trillions of GBs of content Amazon have as movies, books, music and so on. With Kindle Fire HD, you are entitled for unlimited cloud storage that is as good as everything. It also offers premium features like X-Ray for movies, books, text books etc. If you’re not familiar with what X-Ray do, let me brief it. Have you ever wondered who was on the screen when a movie is playing at a specific screen? You had to go through the IMDG cast list just to find that out, but fortunately those days are over. Now it’s just a click away with X-Ray, which gives you an overview of who is on the screen and their details, if you further navigate. X-Ray for ebooks and textbooks lays an overview about the book which is really cool if you don’t have time to read the book in full. Amazon’s Immersion Reading can synchronize kindle text with companion audible audiobooks in real-time so that you can hear the narration while you are reading. The Whispersync feature enables you to lift off after reading an ebook and the slate will read the rest of the ebook for you while you work on something else. How cool would that be eh? The feature is available for movies and games, as well.
Amazon has included a HD camera in the front for video conferencing, and there is also a deep Facebook integration which we should try out. The slate has improved performance for Amazon Silk browser and offers a facility for the parent to the control child’s time spent with the tablet.
Motorola Droid Xyboard 8.2 Review
Announced in early December 2011 and released late the same month, one would expect the Xyboard 8.2 to have specs that’d beat the best tablets at the time. Motorola Droid Xyboard 8.2 or Motorola Xoom 2 as known in the other parts of the world besides USA is a scaled down version of Motorola Droid Xyboard 10.1. The good thing is, the scaling down is only with the size and not with anything else. The Xyboard 8.2 scores dimensions of 139 x 216mm which is smaller than the predecessor and it’s also slightly thinner scoring a thickness of 9mm. The 390g weight is surprisingly lighter. It comes with not-so-curved-and-smooth-edges which certainly aren’t going to please the looks, but what it does provide is more comfort when you’re holding it because it’s designed not to sink into your palms. The Xyboard 8.2 features 8.2 inches screen as predicted by the name. The HD-IPS LCD Capacitive touchscreen is quite a wonderful addition to Xyboard which features 1280 x 800 resolution and 184ppi pixel density. It has great viewing angles and quite crisp reproduction of images and texts. The Corning Gorilla Glass reinforcement would keep the screen out of scratches all the time, as well.
Inside the Xyboard 8.2, we can see 1.2GHz Cortex A9 dual core processor on top of TI OMAP 4430 chipset. It also has PowerVR SGX540 GPU and 1GB RAM to back up the configuration. Android v4.0 IceCreamSandwich binds the hardware together to provide a good user experience. It comes with two storage options, 16GB and 32GB but doesn’t provide the flexibility to expand the storage with a microSD card which is unfortunate for 32GB just won’t be enough for you if you’re a movie junkie. Motorola has graced Xyboard 8.2 with a 5MP camera that has LED flash and autofocus and can capture 720p HD videos @ 30 frames per second. Geo tagging is also available with the support of A-GPS. The 1.3MP front facing camera bundled with Bluetooth v2.1 and A2DP gives a delightful video calling experience.
The best competitive advantage of Motorola Droid Xyboard 8.2 over other tablets would be the LTE connectivity. It fully uses the LTE infrastructure while it has Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n for continuous connectivity. It can also act as a Wi-Fi hotspot which is great with the improved speeds of LTE. Besides the usual aspects, it has a 2.1 virtual surround sound system and a mini HDMI port. The UI seems to be the raw Honeycomb built without any modifications by the vendor. It has 3960mAh battery and Motorola promises us a usage duration of 6 hours, which is only moderate.
A Brief Comparison Between Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 and Motorola Xyboard 8.2
• Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is powered by 1.5GHz dual core processor on top of TI OMAP 4470 chipset with PowerVR SGX 544 GPU while Motorola Xyboard 8.2 is powered by 1.2GHz cortex A9 dual core processor on top of TI OMAP 4430 chipset with 1GB of RAM and PowerVR SGX540 GPU.
• Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 has 8.9 inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display featuring a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels at a high pixel density while Motorola Xyboard 8.2 has 8.2 inches HD IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen featuring a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels at a pixel density of 184ppi.
• Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 has HD camera on the front for video conferencing while Motorola Xyboard 8.2 has 5MP camera that can capture 720p videos.
• Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 offers a range of premium features that aren’t available on any other tablet while Motorola Xyboard 8.2 doesn’t have any such features.
• Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is bigger, thinner and considerably heftier (240 x 164mm / 8.8mm / 575g) compared to Motorola Xyboard 8.2 (216 x 139mm / 9mm / 390g).
It’s really not an easy conclusion. I don’t want to be biased nor do I want to be unfair in the comparison. However, we need to provide some slack for Motorola Xyboard 8.2 because it has been around for almost a year now. It is clear that Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 features a better processor on top of a better chipset compared to that of Xyboard 8.2. Translated in to layman’s terms, what this means is that Amazon Kindle Fire HD is going to perform better in any task you give it compared to Xyboard 8.2 But be warned that you won’t be able to get a full Android experience with Amazon Kindle Fire HD for it has a tightly stripped Android kernel with a customized UI. You may not be able to install third party applications from Google Play Store and would only be allowed to install the applications included in Amazon app store. If this doesn’t sound like a good plan, Motorola Xyboard 8.2 may well be a good choice for you. However, if you decide to look past that, then you are in for a wonder. Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 offers one of the best display panels with a monster resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels that would blow your mind away. It also offers some very cool yet intuitive applications like X-Ray and Whispersync, which aren’t available in any other Android tablet or application, in play store. Moreover, Amazon gives you unlimited cloud storage for your content when you buy this Kindle Fire HD 8.9. In addition to that, Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is offered at $299 compared to Motorola Xyboard 8.2. That been said; I think you have enough information to make up your mind about the purchasing decision if you can wait for two more month until the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is released to the market on the 20th of November.