Tech specs of the new Amazon Kindle Fire tablet vs Apple iPad 2 in an infographic

By Enrique Serrano.

Compact and useful, tablet computers are moving from being just eye-catching gadgets to productivity tools. Nowadays it isn’t strange to find tablets in the workplace, as even judges use iPads. Twenty percent of U.S. lawyers already use a tablet device, and 96 percent of them are iPads, as the ABA Legal Technology Survey concluded. Other tablet devices, like the HP TouchPad, have had a hard time competing.

But now there’s a new contender in the landscape of tablet computers. Amazon is presenting a new tablet device, Amazon Kindle Fire. In the next infographic, we take an in-depth look at the tech specs of the new Amazon Kindle Fire tablet and compare them with the Apple iPad 2 specs, to determine if there is a place for the Amazon tablets in a professional environment (Affiliate links included)

Kindle Fire vs iPad comparison infographic

Amazon Kindle Fire tech specs vs. iPad 2 tech specs

The key points of the comparison between the Amazon Kindle Fire and Apple iPad are as follows:

  • The measures of the Kindle Fire are 4.72 x 7.48 x 0.45 inches while the measures of the iPad 2 are 7.31 x 9.50 x 0.34 inches. That means that even when the iPad is slightly thinner (0.11 inches), the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet is considerably smaller than the iPad 2. It has been designed to be easily held with just one hand.
  • Consequently, the Kindle Fire is much lighter than an Apple iPad. Amazon’s tablet is a 45 percent lighter than the new iPad 2 — a difference of 0.43 pounds or 188 grams.
  • Nevertheless, the advantage of the smaller size in the Kindle Fire is also a drawback, as the size of the color screen in the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet is only 7.1 inches measured in diagonal with a screen resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. Reading text in the bigger iPad 2 screen of 9.7 inches with higher screen resolution (1024 x 768) and larger pixel size would probably be less demanding on your eyes. Both devices have multi-touch screen input support.
  • Kindle Fire and Apple iPad use flash memory to store data. There are three different iPad models with 16, 32 and 64 GB of storage available. The Kindle Fire only has a single model available with 8 GB of storage which cannot be expanded. Nevertheless, Amazon offers unlimited Amazon Cloud storage for Kindle Fire users so memory shouldn’t be a problem as long as you had a network connection available.
  • Both Apple iPad 2 and Kindle Fire have dual-core CPUs, with 1 GHz clock speed. The Apple A5 processor on the iPad could have some higher performance than the Texas Instruments OMAP4 processor on the Kindle Fire, but we would need to confirm this after the first Kindle Fires are released. The amount of RAM memory is identical on both devices, 512 MB.
  • Amazon Kindle Fire has no camera or microphone so it is impossible to use it to take pictures, record video or video conference. All of these functions are available on the iPad 2 which is equipped with a mic and 2 cameras: a front VGA camera for video conferences and a high-resolution camera on the back.
  • Amazon Kindle Fire doesn’t have cell phone network support (GSM, 3G or 2G,) while some iPad versions do have such mobile connectivity. Both the Kindle Fire and the iPad have WiFi and Bluetooth networks. The Kindle Fire lacks GPS which will make impossible to use navigation or services depending on fine geolocation.
  • The battery life of the Kindle Fire is expected to be around eight hours while reading but the iPad claims to work up to 10 hours without needing to be recharged. So that means that the battery of the iPad lasts 2 hours longer than the battery of the Kindle Fire.
  • Amazon Kindle Fire will have a Web browser named Silk. Unlike the iPad web browser, Silk will have Flash support. But the most important feature of Kindle’s Silk browser is cloud-based technology that leaves most processing to the Amazon cloud, reducing the number of requests to fetch a Web page and speeding the browsing process up to 20 times faster than the standard Web browsing speed.
  • The iPad runs iOS. The Kindle Fire runs Android under a custom Amazon interface that ties it with Amazon’s shopping and entertainment services which features 18 million movies, tv shows, songs, magazines and e-books. Although the Kindle Fire will be shipped with access to Amazon’s own App Store, its users won’t have access to Google’s Android Market from their Kindle Fire devices, as Amazon announced. This significantly cuts the number of available apps for Kindle Fire to a few thousands while Apple App Store offers around 425,000 apps that can run on an iPad (with more than 90,000 iPad-optimized apps amongst them.)
  • The iPad is available in 64 countries. The Amazon Kindle Fire will only be initially available in the U.S. The release date of the Kindle Fire tablet is officially set for November 15.
  • The price of an Amazon Kindle Fire tablet will be $199 and they can already be preordered at Amazon. The cost of the Kindle Fire tablet is definitely an advantage, as the less expensive iPad 2 model starts at a price of $499. So it is possible to buy 2 (and a half) Kindle Fire tablets for the price of a single iPad 2.

Conclusions of the Kindle Fire vs. iPad Comparison

Overall, Amazon seems to be introducing a powerful tablet with interesting features at a competitive price that is very well tied to Amazon’s services. But the smaller screen and smaller app catalog of the Amazon Kindle Fire are probably directing this gadget more towards a non-professional usage. So, unlike the iPad, Amazon Kindle Fire will probably be less used at work on enterprise environments. Nevertheless, its attractive price might make it worth considering for entertainment, reading and Web browsing.

Have you already tried a new Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, or are you considering to buy a new one as soon as they are officially released? Would you rather choose an iPad instead?