Kindle Fire vs. iPad vs. Nexus 7 vs. Surface RT vs Playbook

Kindle Fire vs. iPad vs. Nexus 7 vs. Surface RT vs Playbook

Amazon has just announced an amazing new line of Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD 7-inch and Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch tablets. I'll share thoughts on those in another post. For now, here's a quick look at how the new Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD stack up against Apple's iPad, as well as Google's Nexus 7, Microsoft's Surface RT, and BlackBerry's PlayBook.

So, looking at the tale of the tape, and recognizing each device has unique value propositions that just don't show up on charts, how does this sway you? Anyone jumping on a Kindle Fire HD now, or will you wait and see what the iPad mini brings to the table in October?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Kindle Fire vs. iPad vs. Nexus 7 vs. Surface RT vs Playbook


I'm finding it almost impossible to make sense of Amazon's damn product announcement. I'd kill for a clear, crisp product grid the way Apple does them.

But then Apple would sue them for infringing on their "clear, crisp product grid the way Apple does them" patent.

Sorry man. I guess I have to work on my sense of humor ahahah. I might be an old bastard from the George Carlin & Sam Kinison days, but I don't wanna grow up cuz I'm a toys R us kid!
Who wants to be an adult??? (especially with a damn kid wanting to get married even though she's only 19)
Lighten up! Ahahah

wow Rene is such a fucking fan boy how can you have this idiot writing for imore if all goes here for is to taint everything he writes to make apple the best jeez I would kick your fucking ass... Y are you mad that every other company has better tablets than apple

Thanks for all of your input. For those who missed out on "webos owns" pearls of wisdom...

Recent Comments
44 min ago wow Rene is such a fucking fan boy how can you have this idiot writing for imore...
1 day ago it hurts when I poop lol apple owns
3 days ago wow the more of this crap I read I have the feeling of just throwing my iPad cause...
3 days ago wow you guys really can`t take a hint into writing something better... I mean...
4 days ago omg apple has the best innovations around I hope they start suing other companies...
4 days ago omg I finally have a reason to invest into this shit! It will only take a while to...
4 days ago well I mean why is apple the only one "allowed" to sue brah...

I do agree that some of the products Apple has been releasing lately add no innovative features and soon, people will realize there's no point upgrading when it's practically the same as the old... but your comment is plain rude!

550 is the for the 4g playbook. Put the price for the wi-fi only. Its misleading people going to think the wifi only is 550

Nice hardware, but doesn't binding yourself to Amazon's ecosystem defeat the purpose of going with Android?

On another note, looks like any new Nook may be too little too late. It's really too bad for B&N, I'd hate to see them fail and shut down their B&M stores, but I suppose it's inevitable.

Not really as you will be heading into an ecosystem regardless as Android is its own ecosystem well the one with the Playstore I mean.

With almost all other Android devices you can download anything you want from anybody who offers it. Not just the Play store. That makes it an open ecosystem. Kindle and iPad are closed as you can only download from Amazon and Apple, respectively.

Yeah but you can also side load apps on this well at least last I checked Amazon allowed it on the old Fire anyway I don't really know too much about the Fire.

They're just using Android as a base, then building their own blend of the OS on top. Similar to what HTC and Samsung do with Sense and Touchwiz, respectively, but more in depth.

I know people who own the first Kindle Fire who absolutely love it. Not my particular cup of tea, but I don't use Amazon's services. For someone that does, they now have 3 choices for the perfect tablet.

The Fire HD looks like an interesting device and a nice conduit to the Amazon market. Nothing I saw made me regret my purchase of the new iPad.The great thing about the Amazon ecosystem is its availability on all platforms. I can use the Kindle App on my iPad, PC, and Android Phone. I can stream Amazon Video on my iPad or Roku to my TV. I buy all my music from the Amazon MP3 store and it's available all over. The only real lock in is only being able to use the Amazon App store on my phone and not my iPad but that's true for any non ios apps.

The Surface RT display is also wrong. It's 1366x768 not 1280x720 as that resolution is below Microsoft's standard

I was pretty impressed with the new fire. Everyone I know who owns one loves it. I really really like my ipad but I have always wanted a smaller one. I think 7 inches is just the right size for what I want to do. Looking forward to the ipad mini announcement. I really hope it comes in 32 gigs.

I was impressed with the announcement today. Still all Apple through and through, but amazon solidified their spot as #2 and gives Apple a reason to keep moving forward. The two are really opposite sides of the same coin. Apple the product, amazon the service. Both the complete package with the focus of each clear. The only one that may be able to mirror this is Microsoft. I think amazon will pull sales from Apple, at least those who purely want a tablet for consumption (as the kindle fire is purely a consumption tablet), and leaves very little room for the other android oem's to fight for.

I think i'm more interested in the paperwhite kindle. But the Fire isn't a bad deal for the mainstream as it probably does what they want a tablet to do.

"If you need more data, additional 3 GB and 5 GB data plans are also available for purchase. You can sign up for a data plan right from your device." It'd be swell if Amazon would tell us the prices of those.. The 250mb plan isn't even worth considering.

The Fire's are the best competing tablets I've seen to date. I'll look at The Surface & Playbook, but as tablets go I don't have a compelling reason to ditch our ipads. (excuse me while I duck the Fan Boy darts.) The genius of Apple was being the first to market and hooking tablet consumers while they were young. I have an original & an 2 ipad 2's, so I'm pretty attached to the itunes/app store ecosystem.

My most used apps are special education software that have made major major improvements with our autistic son. They've done wonders with his sister's school progress too. Android either doesn't have those apps or isn't giving me a good enough reason to shell out another few hundred bucks to replace apps I already own.

Apple's keeping me in the tablet market solely by giving me exactly what I want and need in iOS6. if the coin was flipped and Android was releasing guided access controls with single app lock downs in their new update & Apple wasn't, I'd be selling used ipads and making the switch. Amazon and Android may make some serious dents in the consumer market, but Apple stands to retain alot of consumers and grow tremendously in educational markets on that feature alone.

What new phone I'll get when my upgrade is due on November 1 is totally up for grabs though.

My only question to you guys saying that the Fires are the best Android based tablet, why do you not think the nexus 7 falls in line with it? The entire 'purpose' of android is choice. With so many different ideas being generated from OEMS in regards to hardware (galaxy note 10.1, asus's transformer series ) consumers have a lot to choose from. Add to that the kindle fire (as it is Android based but HEAVILY skinned) and it makes for a more exciting tablet market. But aside from that what exactly does each of these tablets not have that give the fire an edge? They each offer a market for a select niche AND still provide content consumption as they have access to both amazon app store and the Google Play.

I'd like to know if Amazon intend to release the new Kindle's worldwide. The old one wasn't available in the UK. Compare that with the others in there, and the choice shrinks :(