Google Nexus 7 Tablet vs Amazon Kindle Fire
Sometime back, market analysis from reputed research firms indicated that there is a void for budget tablets and hence it would be a new market segment to explore. With this information on mind, a lot of leading vendors started to design a tablet for the budget range in the market and some of them succeeded in releasing their products. However, these products weren’t really major attractions in the market due to some reasons. The main reason as per my understanding is that, most of them didn’t have the correct balance. The vendors had cut down too many important features in order to compensate the reduction in price. For instance, most of the products had crappy screens and sluggish performance, which wasn’t really attractive to new buyers.
This was changed with the introduction of Amazon Kindle Fire. Amazon used to have their Kindle readers from sometime back and gradually they made them touchscreen, and the Kindle Fire became a color touchscreen tablet prototype. This product was offered with added benefits from Amazon like cloud storage and access to multimedia content, and they have also managed to make it a budget tablet while not sacrificing the necessary features for a tablet. They had a good screen and the performance was also acceptable in Kindle Fire. Amazon also heavily tweaked the operating system although the basis is Android v2.3 Gingerbread. This enabled them to point the kindle in to their own app store which may have been a disadvantage for Google Play Store. Due to this reason or perhaps due to the constant failure of budget tablets, Google recently took it under their wing and directed Asus to design a new tablet PC. This was announced yesterday (27 June 2012), and it can be considered as the perfect rival for Amazon Kindle Fire. Hence we’ll talk about those two individually before moving on to the comparison.
Google Nexus 7 Tablet Review
Asus Google Nexus 7 is known as Nexus 7 in short. It is one of Google’s very own product line; Nexus. As usual, Nexus is designed to last till its successor and that means something in the rapidly changing tablet market. Nexus 7 has a 7 inch LED backlit IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen that features a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels at a pixel density of 216ppi. It is 120mm wide and 198.5mm in height. Asus has managed to make it thin as much as 10.5mm and rather light with a weight of 340g. The touchscreen is said to be made from Corning Gorilla Glass which means it would be highly scratch resistant.
Google has included a 1.3GHz quad-core processor on top of Nvidia Tegra 3 chipset with 1GB of RAM and a 12 core ULP GeForce GPU. It runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean which would make it the first device to run on this newest Android operating system. Google states that Jelly Bean is specifically developed to enhance the performance of the quad core processors used in this device and hence we can expect a high end computing platform from this budget device. They have made it their mission to eliminate sluggish behavior and it seems the gaming experience is highly enhanced, as well. This slate comes with two storage options, 8GB and 16GB without the option to expand storage using microSD cards.
The network connectivity for this tablet is defined by Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n only which can be a disadvantage when you can’t find a Wi-Fi hotspot to connect. This won’t be much of a problem if you live in a country that has a wide Wi-Fi coverage. It also has NFC (Android Beam) and Google Wallet, as well. The slate has 1.2MP front facing camera that can capture 720p videos, but it doesn’t come with a camera at the rear, and which may disappoint some. It basically comes in Black and the texture on the back cover is developed specifically to enhance the grip. Another attractive feature is the introduction of enhanced voice commands with Jelly Bean. This means Nexus 7 will host a Siri like personal assistant system which can answer your question promptly. Asus has included a 4325mAh battery that is guaranteed to last over 8 hours and that would give it enough juice for any general use.
Amazon Kindle Fire Review
Amazon Kindle Fire is a device that promotes the economical tablet range with moderate performance that serves the purpose. It actually is boosted by the reputation Amazon has. Kindle fire comes with a minimalistic design which comes in Black without much styling. It is measured to be 190 x 120 x 11.4 mm which feels comfortable in your hands. It is slightly on the hefty side since it weighs 413g. It has a 7 inch multi touch display with IPS and anti-reflective treatment. This makes sure that you can use the tablet in direct day light without much problem. Kindle Fire comes with a generic resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels and a pixel density of 169ppi. While this is not the state of the art specs, it’s more than acceptable for a tablet in this price range. We can’t complain because Kindle will produce quality images and text in a competitive manner. The screen is also chemically strengthened to be stiffer and harder than plastic which is just great.
It comes with a 1GHz Cortex A9 dual core processor on top of TI OMAP4 Chipset. The operating system is Android v2.3 Gingerbread. It also has 512MB RAM and internal storage of 8GB which is not expandable. While the processing power is good, the internal capacity may cause a problem since 8GB of storage space just isn’t enough to fulfill your media needs. It’s a shame that Amazon doesn’t feature higher capacity editions of Kindle Fire. We got to say, if you are a user with the need to keep a lot of multimedia content at hand, Kindle Fire may well disappoint in you in that context. What Amazon has done to compensate this is enabling the use of their cloud storage at any time. That is; you can download the content that you bought over and over again whenever you want. While this is highly advantageous, you still have to download the content to use it which can be a hassle.
Kindle Fire is basically a reader and a browser with extended capabilities to fulfill the needs of the user. It features a heavily modified version of Android OS v 2.3 and sometimes you wonder whether that’s Android at all, but rest assured, it is. The difference is that Amazon has made sure to tweak the OS to fit into the hardware for a smooth operation. Fire can still run all of Android Apps, but it can only access the content from Amazon App store for Android. If you want an app from Android Market, you have to side load it and install it. The primary difference you’ll see in the UI is the home screen that looks like a book shelf. This is where everything is and your only way of accessing application launcher. It has the Amazon Silk browser which is fast and promises good user experience, but there are some ambiguities involved in that, as well. For instance, it’s observed that the Amazon’s accelerated page loading in Silk Browser indeed yields in worse results than normal. Thus, we need to keep a close tab on it and optimize it by ourselves. It also supports adobe Flash content. The only blowback is that Kindle only supports Wi-Fi via 802.11 b/g/n and no GSM connectivity. On the context of reading, Kindle has added a lot of value. It has Amazon Whispersync included which can automatically sync your library, last page read, bookmarks, notes and highlights across your devices. On Kindle Fire, Whispersync also syncs video which is quite awesome.
Kindle Fire does not come with a camera which is justifiable for the price, but the Bluetooth connectivity would have been very much appreciated. Amazon claims that Kindle enables you a continuous read of 8 hours and 7.5 hours of video playback.
A Brief Comparison Between Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire
• Google Nexus 7 is powered by 1.3GHz quad core processor on top of Nvidia Tegra 3 chipset with 1GB RAM and 12 core ULP GeForce GPU, while Amazon Kindle Fire is powered by 1GHz cortex A9 dual core processor on top of TI OMAP 4430 chipset with 512MB RAM and PowerVR SGX 540 GPU.
• Nexus 7 tablet runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean while Amazon Kindle Fire runs on heavily customized Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
• Nexus tablet has 7 inch LED backlit IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen featuring a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels at a pixel density of 216ppi, while Amazon Kindle Fire has 7 inch IPS TFT capacitive touchscreen featuring a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels at a pixel density of 170ppi.
• Nexus 7 has 1.2MP camera that can capture 720p videos while Amazon Kindle Fire doesn’t feature a camera.
• Google Nexus 7 is slightly larger, yet thinner and lighter (198.5 x 120mm / 10.5mm / 340g) than Amazon Kindle Fire (190 x 120mm / 11.4mm / 413g).
As of today, Amazon Kindle Fire stands as the only budget tablet that succeeded in the market. The market analysis conducted by various firms indicated that there will be a heavy demand for budget tablets and hence a lot of vendors started designing tablets on that line, but none of them was major attractions in the market. As opposed, Amazon Kindle Fire had a constant stream of sales because there were some other additional features offered with the tablet like cloud storage and access to Amazon library of various digital content. However, when we compare these two tablets, I really don’t see any reason why a consumer would want to buy Amazon Kindle Fire over Nexus 7 since both are offered at the same price and Nexus 7 offers a lot more performance and versatility compared to Kindle Fire. Hence in my opinion, Google Nexus 7 is the clear winner here although you may have a change of heart if you are attracted to the features offered by the Amazon Kindle Fire.