iPad Mini vs Kindle Fire HD

Obviously geared at putting media consumption first, the Fire HD has a gloriously clear 1280×800 screen, super-fast WiFi and comes with plenty of Amazon offers.

Kindle Fire HD Specs
Display: 7.9″ HD LCD, 1280×800 (216PPI)
OS: Android 4.0 ICS
CPU: 1.2GHz Dual Core OMAP
Camera: 1.3MP [front]
Connectivity: WiFi, 3.5mm, miniHDMI, microUSB, Bluetooth
Battery: 11hrs

The Kindle Fire HD is definitely no e-Reader that’s been given a splash of colour! The build quality is very good, with a reassuring weight, an exception screen and amazingly clear stereo speakers. It also comes with plenty of ports and dual-band WiFi for superfast downloads. All in all, not much to complain about in terms of hardware.

From a software perspective, it isn’t quite as impressive however. Whilst the Kindle Fire HD does run Android, it is so heavily modded that you can’t really tell. Amazon’s app store is still very much behind Google Play and Apple, and without access to Google Maps, Dropbox or most of the apps you’d take for granted, the Fire HD is a bit to narrow in its application. It’s quite clear that Amazon has prioritized access to its media over basic functionality such as email or simple web browsing.

That being said, the Kindle Fire HD is great for people new to the world of tablets and simply looking for an excellent media consumption device. And since it ships at very much the same price as teh Nexus 7, it does boil down to what you want from your 7″ tablet.

The Verdict
★★★★★

The modified Android OS will be too restrictive for Android fans, but the Fire HD is cheap and packs enough quality hardware to make it one of the best media consumption tablets.

The original Anroid OS is hardly recognisable, and Amazon has cloaked it into a series of sparkly shopfronts and a 3D carousel of your recently viewed media.

With the free Amazon Prime Trial obviously designed to lure customers into Amazon’s rich world of movies, books and other media, the Fire HD makes it seductively easy to purchase content based on helpful recommendations.

Amazon also throws in a free Lovefilm trial, but the service so far only has 5000 titles on the Fire HD – more are hopefully on their way soon!

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