Kindle Fire HD 8.9 vs Nook HD+
Every manufacturer in any market would like their product to be unique. However, this is easier said than done because, in a competitive market, there bound to be a lot of followers. Sometimes, people even mistake the original product as the follower jeopardizing their name and fame. On the contrary, one of the design features we have seen in the tablet market that wasn’t followed by anyone was the karabiner design at the bottom corner by Barnes and Noble. To this day, it stays a unique feature of the Nook tablet line, and they have decided to continue their tradition by featuring the same design in their new tablet Barnes and Noble Nook HD+. This also comes with their strange bezel and a firm grip. The display panel is magnificent and produces vivid colors. To make a fair comparison with this budget range tablet from Barnes and Noble, we chose a strong competitor they have in their own market. Amazon and Barnes and Noble have been competitors back from the days when they used to sell books and ebook readers. Now Barnes and Noble has proved that they are not ready to sit and wait while Amazon takes their sales using Kindle Fire HD 8.9. So here we are to compare these two budget tablets that offer us really good performance in every way possible.
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 version although you can consider the review for the other version synonymous to this only differing with the 4G LTE connectivity. 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’s graphic performance although the CPU is still a dual core in TI OMAP 4460 while it is quad core in Tegra 3. 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 pixel density of 254ppi, which gives the user an absolute pleasure to look at. 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 on which 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 been played. The powerful dual stereo speakers enable deeper bass in your music 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 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. The slate has improved performance for Amazon Silk browser and offers a facility for the parent to control the child’s time spent with the tablet.
Barnes and Noble Nook HD+ Review
Barnes and Noble released two different flavors of tablets in order to grab their rightful market share in this holiday season. We have already talked about the younger brother and let’s move on to what the elder brother has to offer us. Nook HD+ as the name suggests comes with a 9 inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen featuring a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels at a pixel density of 253ppi. It’s actually a spectacular display that would take your mind away. Barnes and Noble designers have taken on from their predecessors including the bizarre bezel and the differentiating karabiner design at the corner. Because of this, the slate may look strange and out of the place at times, but it is a unique design feature B & N has decided to continue. It is surprisingly light at a weight of 515g and sits well in your palms. You can see the regular ‘n’ home button at the bottom that is usual in B & N Nook tablets and the operating system is a highly customized version of Android OS v4.0 ICS. The new UI facilitates user centric interactions remarkably, and the new lock screen features carousel with your favorites on it. You can also log in to different accounts that can be customized which are a really good option if you are letting your kids use the tablet.
Nook HD+ is powered by 1.5GHz ARM Cortex A9 dual core processor on top of TI OMAP 4470 chipset along with PowerVR SGX 544 GPU and 1GB of RAM. The internal storage is cranked up at 16GB or 32GB and can be readily expanded using a microSD card. It features Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity with additional options although you may land in trouble if you are not in the proximity of a Wi-Fi hotspot. The company doesn’t seem to be interested in releasing a 3G version of the tablet any time sooner, so you will have to settle with the Wi-Fi only Nook HD+. Nook HD+ has a 6000mAh beefy battery which the company guarantees to work 10 hours continuously. They have also introduced a proprietary chargin port which they claim would charge the device fast, but a ubiquitous adapter like micro USB would have been better.
A Brief Comparison Between Kindle Fire HD 8.9 and Nook HD+
• 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 and 1GB of RAM. Barnes and Noble Nook HD+ too is powered by 1.5 ARM Cortex A9 dual core processor on top of TI OMAP 4470 chipset along with PowerVR SGX 544 GPU and 1GB of RAM.
• Amazon Kindle Fire HD has 8.9 inch capacitive touchscreen that features a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels at a pixel density of 254ppi while B & N Nook HD+ has 9 inch PLS LCD capacitive touchscreen featuring a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels at a pixel density of 253ppi.
• Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 runs on heavily customized Android OS while B & N Nook HD+ runs on heavily customized Android OS v4.0 ICS.
• Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 only offers a front camera for video conferencing while B & N Nook HD+ doesn’t feature a camera at all.
Both of these tablets are floating at the same price point while B & N Nook HD+ manages to overtake Kindle Fire HD 8.9 by offering a slight price difference. The 16GB version of the Nook HD+ is $269 while 32GB version is priced at $299. On the contrary, Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is priced at $299 for 16GB version and $369 for 32GB version. Other than the price difference, both tablets feature the exact same hardware specs. Hence we can expect similar performances from these two tablets. However, Amazon will provide you with more content and interactivity with cloud storage compared to that of Barnes and Noble. Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 would be your definite choice if you have invested in Amazon services; otherwise you can consider these two tablets and buy whichever is convenient for you.