Comparing the iPad 2 vs Kindle Fire vs Nook Color

Sep 28, 2011 - 41 Comments

Kindle Fire vs iPad 2 vs Nook

If you’re anxious to compare the new Kindle Fire tablet to the iPad 2, or even the Nook Color, than this handy chart from The Verge makes it nice and easy.

What obviously stands out here is that the iPad 2 dominates every conceivable spec in the chart, minus the higher price point of course. For that reason (and others), I’m not sure if this is a fair comparison but people will be wanting to compare the devices anyway. The iPad 2 clearly has many more features, a larger screen, significantly more powerful CPU & GPU, but is also priced at at least 2.5x the Kindle tablet, and if anything this comparison does a great job of illustrating that the iPad is really in it’s own league.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Fun, iPad, News


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  1. Julie says:

    The Nook Color is not a tablet. However, they do have a Nook Tablet and it has better specs than what is listed here for the Nook Color, so perhaps a better comparison should be completed before people go out to purchase their Kindle Fire or I Pads. The Tablet is only 249.

  2. Rhosie says:

    My question is simple: If I want something for work or play, which should I buy? For play, seems that a Kindle Fire is a very good, lower-priced opton. If I want something that allows me to combine work and play, iPad is the right choice.

  3. Edward says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen: Gadgets are Not the essence of life; therefore, go get a life.

  4. CS says:

    How, exactly, do you tether or hotspot to your 3G/4G phone?

  5. Augustine says:

    I’m pretty sure that I’m going to purchase the Kindle Fire, but I am unclear on something… If you have the Fire and are not in a wifi hot spot, what can/can’t you access? Ie: it sounds like you can still access your ebooks- but what else?

  6. Marucins says:

    There was no competitive disadvantage for the iPad?

    • bob says:

      yes, the competitive disadvantages is the $500-800 price tag for something that is essentially a media device. As stated above, the Kindle Fire only needs to be about half as good to be already a better value.

  7. bob says:

    Speaking as an apple & mac owner since system 6 (yes, I had a MacIISE), there are several things about this KindleFire that appeal to me:

    First is the most obvious- price. Although I dont mind spending 2K on a MacBook Pro, that is a device that I actually use as a full-fledged computer. $600 for something that essentially amounts to a “media center” is just out of whack to me. I have an iPhone4, so portable web, camera, and music I already have. I havent bought an iPad exactly because it is neither a good portable device (its too big to put in a pocket) nor is it a functional computer; both of which I have. But, a color e-reader for $200, that makes a lot more sense.

    Second, and again, saying this as a general mac fan from before it was cool- Safari sucks. Safari is the worst browser written since the invention of the GUI. Apple fanbois, just shut up and take it, it is a terrible browser, with poor coding and even poorer modern functionality. Its hard to see how the new Amazon browser could be worse than Safari.

    Third- size. I’m not so old that I need freaking 16 point font to read. I dont need an ereader or movie screen to be any larger than a standard book- any bigger than that, and I might as well just hold my MacBook Pro in my hands.

    OK, applefanboyz, go ahead and bash. Those are just my opinions.

  8. Yolanda says:

    I found this comparison very informative. I needed something like this to help me seperate my wants from my needs. This chart let me know although an ipad is the cool of the cool, the Fire and Nook would give me what I want AND need. Before reading this chart I simply “wanted” an ipad. Now I know I don’t have to pay $200+ more to get an ipad with features I doubt I would bother to use anyway. Kindle Fire is the one for me!

  9. Robert says:

    Nice comparison, the choice consumers will make is about what function(s) serve their needs and how much they will pay for the device. The Amazon Fire at $199 does not need to replace your iPad it just needs to work.

    Is $500 now too much to pay for a device that adds just 3G and Bluetooth radios, 9.7″ screen and more battery life? Not to mention the 3G service is “pay-as-you-go” I should also add the extra $300 buys the iOS user experience and iTunes ecosystem included with added costs to the user.

    To be fair only the Nook Color offers expandable memory which is cleverly left out of the comparison above.

  10. Nacymex says:

    Most sites want to see the Fire as an iPad. Why? I assume this tablet will be content driven and not app driven. Sure the Amazon appstore has fun games like Cut the Rope and Angry birds but the Fire is not made for high powered apps. It wants you to stream movies, read books and casually surf the net along with a few fun apps in between.

    Personally, I am going to take the $ of what it costs for an iPad to upgrade to a 15 inch quad-core MBP :}

    • Mike says:

      I don’t think that most sites, or most people, want to see the Fire as an iPad. I think the comparisons come more from a desire to find a tablet at a pricepoint that makes sense. iPad, and other ‘high end’ tablet offerings are being made at prices higher than the price you pay for a good mid range fully functional laptop. There is a strong desire in the market for a function gimped machine like a tablet, but not at prices equivalent or higher than you pay for much more functionality from alternative form factors. The tablet will truly see its day when the price matches the functionality. The tablet form factor is not worth the three hundred dollar premium you pay for it.
      That said, I think you see comparisons made specifically because two or three hundred dollar price point units match what ‘feels right’ for tablet cost, and human instinct is to say, “This is what i’m willing to pay, how does it compare?”

      • Chris says:

        Great point! But a three hundred dollar price point is a bit generous. Of the non-Apple tablets, the Asus Transformer (without keypad) comes closest to that figure right now @ $350, but most are closer to $500.

        I’ve been reviewing tablets for some time, as I’m very interested in the concept, but A) I’m a deliberately late adopter–trying to see what issues shake out of a field of hardware that’s mostly about a year old and B) I have a really hard time, in this economy, justifying a $350-$500 expenditure on something that will just allow me to spend even MORE money on apps, magazines and other content that I can get cheaper elsewhere (I can get a used paperback for as low as <$1 and already pay for Netflix).

  11. Scott says:

    Being pro-Apple (yes somehow I drank the Kool-Aid) , I am bias and prefer the iPad. Maybe the bigger picture is the continued erosion of demand for desktops and laptops with the expanded “tablet” offering. As a consumer, my hope is the expanded competition will drive down the price of the iPad and for that matter, all tablets/pad/mobile devices.

    • bob says:

      apparently you haven’t been drinking the Apple Kool-Aid for very long. I have had Apples and Macs since the late 80s. They have never (not counting the dark years of the Apple Clones) lowered prices on existing products substantially due to competition. What they do is release newer versions that cost the same. They will never sell an iPad for less than $499. Just buck up and either buy in or stop worrying about what the cool kids are carrying.

  12. TrekCaptainUSA says:

    Performance-wise, the Kindle Fire does well against the iPad 2. However, communications-wise, I don’t see that device beating the iPad 2 any time soon because of the lack of a 3G model, no GPS and no Bluetooth.

    • bob says:

      do you not own a phone? What do you need your tablet to have GPS on it for? Bluetooth? Again, what, exactly, do you need Bluetooth connectivity for on a tablet? Some of these features are just rubbish. It will never replace your phone, unless you’ve got some big freakin pockets.

  13. DJ says:

    Confirms my want for a smaller, cheaper, lighter iPad.

    Good for competition in general and for Apple too.

  14. icebreaker says:

    I might get one for my dad, he wants a tablet just for browsing the internet and watch youtube. At this price point it will make a qaulity tablet accessible for the masses, something Apple could never do with their high price point on the iPad 2.
    I don’t think the Kindle Fire will cause the iPad sales to drop because they have a different kind of buyer to market for.

  15. Bill says:

    One of the great things about the Kindle Fire that iPad does not have is free Whispersync, it applies to both books and video. If you watch movies on Prime or rent from Amazon you will not be paying for the 3G connection. As both a Kindle and iPad owner I like the instant access to books and video on the Kindle when I not using wi-fi.

  16. Todd says:

    Please learn the difference between then and than. I am less concerned about punctuation errors, than I am about the misuse of words. If you’re reading this comment, then you’re probably a little hot under the collar right now.

  17. Dave says:

    I think this a good move to keep Apple honest, especially now that Steve Jobs is out of day-to-day business. The camprison should note the weight advantage of the Fire and the screen size of the iPad; that’s an important factor for consumers. Ever hold an iPad up for more than 20 minutes without switching hands? – But I think the screen size is worth the weight. And why even include the Nook if you are not going to include it al all? I am an Apple consumer all the way but I stil have the capacity to know objectivity.

  18. Gino says:

    Try to compare iPad with Motorola Xoom…

  19. Richard says:

    At $199 it only has to be half as good as the iPad and this thing is going to be a smash. Think about how many people use and trust Amazon already. Forget the specs – something Apple has long told us all to do – it just has to *work* well for Amazon to succeed here.

    Personally I find the iPad to be a boring overpriced web browser, but admittedly as an IT professional I am not the target market for Apple with that one. MacBook Air and an iPhone suit me fine because I actually have to work, I think tablets of any kind are for the wife and kids, and if you’re going to be giving a kid a toy, wouldn’t you want to spend less than $500? That’s my $0.02, though I’m sure it will be an unpopular opinion.

    • Richard, I was with your logic until the sexist comment “for the wife.” Just goes to show how caveman-think and caveman-speak can undermine credibility.

      Geren’s point is well-taken. These products target different markets. The iPad – and the iPhone for that matter – have claimed the space for multi-functional productivity tools. They are indispensable for many folks – small business owners, homemakers, works-on-the-move, et al. The cool-toy factor doesn’t hurt either and that will be hard to challenge by Amazon or anyone else.

      • KAS says:

        It’s unfair to dismiss his comments as sexist…I could, and would, make the exact same descriptor in my own situation. It’s context sensitive. My wife is stay-at-home and only uses here iPad for email, youtube and hulu…same with my kids. In that context it is perfectly reasonable to say “for the wife and kids”. If my wife were an attorney, business owner or software engineer I would just say “the kids”, because it would not apply to my wife. You are applying a selective interpretation of the words…your own cultural bias.

        Are you perhaps taking issue with the possesive nature of the word “the” as in “the wife” instead of my wife? Is it ok to imply possesion of “the kids”, since you don’t seem to make any comments about that? Or maybe you just don’t like the idea of “the wife” being identified as computer illiterate (but then again, he didn’t say that…it would be your own selective interpretation). And that would beg the question as to why you don’t take issue with implying that kids are computer illiterate (I was programming at 9 for example).

        Long story short…chillax…I don’t think he was intending to be sexist…we’re talking about the Kindle…it’s a hell of a straw man to turn this into a treatise on social injustice (ok that was a bit of stretch :) ).

        • Rhosie says:

          Allyson…I’m a gal and I agree that you are over-reacting. If he’d said the now-politically-correct “partner” instead of “wife,” you wouldn’t have known the gender and you wouldn’t have jumped to your assumption. Assume the best of people, not the worst. Chill.

      • Scott says:

        Alyson, good comment! The remark is condescending, no matter how you spin it. It’s also off the mark.

        • Kat says:

          Wow… you guys are really at it…lol I always like the best of everything and the best technology that is out there. But since I got laid off a couple of years ago.. Don’t want to over spend for the situation. Want something I can read books on as I just moved and tossed hundreds of books and never want that to happen again.. I’d like to use email and whatever else it can do. I live in a place that just got iphones. Can you imagine? I had them for years and had to get an android. ATT broke my contract! lol

  20. Jorge says:

    @Peter : Not really. Apple never conceded on their profit margin.
    In fact, all the other tablets that are similar to iPad have a similar price , so its all about the eco system around them that counts.

  21. Peter says:

    Not really fair to compare the iPad and the Fire for reasons I mentioned before, but I do think this will put some price pressure on Apple, which is a good thing for consumers.

  22. Geren says:

    The iPad serves a different purpose than a book reader, and that’s the primary purpose of the Kindle and Nook products. I don’t see the Kindle (or Nook) eating into the market for people who are looking for a general use tablet product. I do see the Kindle giving the Nook some SERIOUS competition.

    With Amazon introducing two new eInk readers at bargain prices along side the color Fire, they’re sending a loud and clear message to their competition — Amazon is deadly serious about winning in the eReader market.

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