Kindle Fire vs iPad 2

by: Ken EastDecember 20, 2011

It’s holiday season, and it’s really tough to decide which tablet to buy–an iPad 2 or a Kindle Fire? And, if you are not done shopping for your tablet because you are torn between the iPad 2 and the Kindle Fire, we can help you with your dilemma by comparing the two tablets side by side.

Some people out there buy Apple because of the brand and quality, but others prefer the Kindle Fire because of the low price. How do these two tablets differ? And, which one might be a better choice for you? Read on to find out.


Most people are more inclined to choose the iPad 2 because of its sleek design and its wider display (9.7 inches) making it better than the 7-inch display of the Kindle Fire. However, if you want a tablet that is easy to carry around and would definitely fit in your bag, you should go for the Kindle Fire. Although the iPad 2 is actually heavier and wider than the Kindle Fire, it is actually thinner than the Amazon tablet. In terms of weight, the iPad 2 is clearly the heavier tablet because it’s larger and it’s made of metal materials. The Kindle Fire is lighter and is easy to carry in one hand because it is smaller.


One of the most important aspects that a buyer should know when buying a tablet is the display, since it is essentially the highlight of a tablet. The iPad 2 has a 9.7-inch IPS display with 1024×768 resolution, while the Kindle Fire has a 7-inch IPS display with a 1024×600 resolution. The iPad 2 is perceived by many as better, but if we consider that the iPad 2 has a larger screen, it practically displays fewer pixels per inch of screen than does the Kindle Fire at that resolution.

Specs and Performance

There is not much difference between the two tablets as far as their processors and RAM are concerned. Each one uses a 1 GHz dual-core processor with 512 MB RAM onboard. Such configuration allows users to enjoy these tablets without experiencing lag especially when playing games that are pretty heavy.

In terms of storage, both the Kindle Fire and the iPad 2 have no SD card slot for storage expansion. This is really a setback for the two tablets. However, if you want more memory, you can choose among the 16 GB, 32 GB, and the 64 GB models of the iPad 2.

On the other hand, the Kindle Fire’s 8 GB of internal storage is compensated for with Amazon’s offer of cloud storage through Amazon Prime (for video streaming), Amazon Cloud (for documents), and Amazon MP3 (for music). The Kindle Fire’s 8 GB of internal storage is generally enough for average users and casual gamers, but it may not be enough for heavy gamers.

As for power, the iPad 2 also has relatively longer battery life than the Kindle Fire. Amazon’s estimate for the Kindle Fire’s battery life is lower than the iPad 2’s–and that’s with Wi-Fi off on the Kindle Fire. The iPad 2, in contrast, lasts a few hours longer–and with Wi-Fi on. Thus, in terms of battery life, the iPad 2 seems to have an upper hand.

Another plus point for the iPad 2 is that it has cameras–both a rear-facing and a front-facing camera. The Kindle Fire simply doesn’t have any.

Which Is Better?

Compared to the Kindle Fire, the iPad 2 is relatively better with its larger display, longer battery life, and the cameras onboard. Yet, it is also heavier in terms of price–starting at US$500. That’s where the Kindle Fire trumps the iPad 2. Amazon’s tablet is priced at the sweetest point–US$200–without sacrificing the most essential features in a tablet. Thus, with its price vis-a-vis its features, the Kindle Fire is actually a great deal.

For those who have the cash, the iPad 2 is probably worth its price. But, to those on a tight budget and who badly need a tablet for general use, the Kindle Fire offers a good balance between features and price. Or if you dare test your patience you could wait for the Kindle fire 2 which is rumoured to launch in mid 2012.

[poll id=”65″]

  • Guest

    Ok, wow! The Nook beats the Fire in every area and now your pushing the Fire against the iPad. Not an iPad fan but really? Just because its Amazon does not make it great.

    • Christian809

      Well, so far it does make it great. Amazon has earned a strong reputation for doing things well. They give the consumer what is desired at a price that motivates. The Kindle fire is no different. Surely the Nook is a nice product. Some specs are better than that of the Fire. But with the infrastructure, those specs mean little. I want movies and mp3s. I want the Fire.

      • Guest

        It only makes it great because some bought an paid for outlet says it does. There is nothing tangible to make it so. Is a good product, maybe, but I prefer the better one in this case. Nook does mp3’s, a waste on a tablet, and movies, so Nook still outclasses the Kindle. By all means keep buying into the hype and buy an inferior product.

        • Drdoolittle_davis

          I think you’re missing the point. Many consumers have a general idea of what they want, but they may need some additional information to finalize their purchase. I was buying a tablet for my 9-year old daughter for Christmas and the fact is, I had both the iPad and the Kindle Fire in my hands. The iPad is clearly amazing and for those with an iPhone 4, it offers seemless sharing of files and information. But, the price tag was probably the biggest set back. I then went to Target and found the Nook Color ($199) and the Nook tablet ($249) and compared them to the Kindle FIre ($199 as well, but sold out). The Nook, as a product, has features that trump the Fire, but it has limited apps (in the 10s of thousands) and media as compared to Amazon’s vast array of downloads (in the 10s of millions) and many of the apps available on Amazon for free carried a higher price tag on B&N of several dollars. Netflix rental movies ranging from $2-$4 on Amazon were regularly $4 on Barnes and Noble. Before making a blanket statement about the quality of a product, check your facts. Whenever making an electronics purchase, you don’t always consider the price of the hardware. You look at design, features, accessories and costs of add-ons.

          So Nook vs. Fire:

          Nook has a better external design, a faster browser and a more responsive touch-pad keyboard, but of the 13 GB of “memory”, only 1 is for the actually user. The other 12 are reserved for downloadable content from B&N. It has approximately 1 hour of additional battery life with the WiFi on (about an hour and 45 min with it off), slightly smoother page turning when reading books/magazines and some would say this makes it a better read.

          Fire has 6GB (all yours) of storage capacity and unlimited space on Amazon cloud, a much more useful and user friendly email program (which for some, this seals the deal) and a giant store selection of books and media available through Amazon, most of which are less expensive for the same item on Barnes and Noble.

          So… the bottom line is, decide what features you are looking for and what is most important to you. Decide what you are going to use your tablet for and what types of media you plan to buy and consider the price. The Nook and the Fire are equally useful products, both with highlights and setbacks. Do your research and buy the one that suits your needs! And if you need a camera and can afford the $500 price tag, get the iPad. But probably not if you’re giving it to your 9-year old for Christmas. (BTW, we bought the FIre)

          • [email protected]

            To long!

          • NookUser

            I have the Nook color and it meets my needs (reading, web browsing)- but I wish I could download library books without having to sideload them via computer. For that reason alone, I’m considering the Kindle Fire. It annoys me to no end to have to sideload with the Nook.

    • Anonymous

      The Nook is $50 more, has merely 1 GB of user memory (w/o a card) for ALL the music and movies you want, has an extremely small app selection, and doesn’t have Amazon Prime. In terms of user content, the Nook clearly is beaten by the Fire. In price, the Fire wins. In terms of media? Fire wins by a wide margin. I don’t see how you could think the Nook is better in every way.

      To explain, the Nook has 11 GB of memory that isn’t used for the OS or pre-loaded apps, and 10 GB of that is for Nook content only (ie Books and Apps). Since the Nook’s store doesn’t sell movies or music, you get 1 GB total for all the movies and music you want. So to fix that, you have to buy a memory card, which raises the actual price of the tablet.

      The Nook’s store for Apps is very, very small. For example, the Amazon Appstore has around 5 or 6 weather apps at varying price ranges, yet the Nook’s store has one. And it costs $5.
      Even if the Nook has a better screen for videos and apps, the lack of Nook content makes that distinguishment worthless.

      Amazon Prime gives members one free book per month (lending, so you give it back to recieve another), gives you free movie/video streaming on many TV shows and movies Netflix-style and reduces the prices of many others, and gives you free 2-day shipping on anything you buy via Amazon. What special programs does the Tablet offer? None.

  • Xavpil

    great review. Just one note: the Fire does not have 8Gb of internal storage but 6Gb

  • I really don’t know which one is better,ipad 2 seems more perfect,but it’s too expensive for me.
    kindle fire is also a good choice,but kindle drm is so boring

    • guest

      what do you mean boring

  • There are interesting differences in the ways people use Amazon Kindle Fire and Apple iPad 2, in what they think about the features and more. At Social Nuggets, we analyzed over 200,000 social media conversations on Amazon Kindle Fire and iPad 2.

    Check out our iPad 2 vs Kindle Fire analysis at

  • Anonymous

    At least you didn’t just say “The iPad’s better in every way” at the end. You barely saved yourself from flaming with that price card. However, they really shouldn’t be compared anyway. If you have the money, get an iPad. If you have a choice, iPad. The Kindle Fire is great, but it doesn’t match up at all.

  • why is this even a vs im getting tired if apple man just stop

  • chicagoannie

    How much does the Amazon Prime cost per month? Also, can you use Netflix and Hulu without the Amazon Prime fee?

  • Johnscotthe3rd

    yea.gatta give it to the ipad.the options to what you can do as far as apps available on the app store crush that offered by other tab items.its super responsive.for the price.the fire isnt bad.but if a choice.go with the ipad.the touch sesnstivity is on point.very responsive and bat life is outstanding.not to mention it can be jailbroken.then theres no comoparing anything to the ipad.

  • Owltech

    According to the Amazon techy that I talked to, the Kindle OS has no access to, the place for open Android apps. Instead, the user is allowed access only to the Amazon Android market for their apps. Another problem is the Amazon version of Android blocks access to Google services and internal functions, such as the googlemaps development SDK. Developers also have to pay $99 per year to put their apps on the Amazon Android market. Google only charges $25 to join their developer group. And without access to the Google services and functions, this seems a waste of time. I think that with this market strategy, the Kindle Fire will eventually relegate to a niche market, away from the general Android main stream. Developers don’t want to pay extra to develop under restrictions.

    • Tjj

      Well if your techie was a real Amazon techie, they would have said, “System/Device and turn on “Allow Installation of Applications.””. That is how you allow non-Amazon store apps to be loaded on to the Kindle Fire.

  • Alex

    I have and iPod touch 2nd gen and it is broken. I really want and iPad because I think I will use it more than and iPod. But it is expensive and my friend has the Kindle Fire and she loves it. I’m 13…. what do you think would be better for me? I use my iPod every single day. Also can you check email on the Kindle Fire? Does it have an app specifically for email like the iPad?

    • Serena

      I’m 13 and I have the Kindle Fire and it’s been perfect for me! One of my friends as an iPad and other than the fact that it has a camera I don’t see how it is any better than the Fire. You can check your email through the internet, but they have email apps for all the big email companies (or whatever they are called) like Yahoo and Gmail. The only thing is if you have a ton of apps on your iPod you will have to buy them all over again if you get the Kindle Fire. Still, with the price difference you can easily pay for all of them unless you have a ton of really expensive apps. Overall I would go with the Kindle Fire!

  • Alex

    or should i stick with and iPod?

  • Falsealarm

    it does have 8 gb, but about 2gb is taken by the OS, so the user only gets about 6gb and the 5gb cloud.

  • Zillkillyou

    Everyone that says the Ipad 2 is better, you’re just mad because you got suckered into buying a $600 tablet which can do the same as the Kindle Fire basically, except for the camera, big screen (but now its heavy and cant fit in pocket, ugly), and that’s about it.

    Buy the Kindle Fire. It wins.

    • Caharrison

      No it don’t. U can’t surf the net and are tied to Amazon.

      • TJJ


  • george

    can you use the Kindle fire for a day planner also

  • Delia

    Why is this a comparison? The iPad is 2 1/2 x the price? That means you can buy 3 Kindles 2 Fire and 1 eInk Kindle for the price of 1 iPad. So battery life the Fire wins. Plus 3 people can read 3 different books in 3 different locations at the same time.

    No iPad can do that.

    • Iparig

      Thats excellent! I never thought of that!

  • Joanne

    I got the fire for Christmas, I love it! My brother, a huge apple fan,(he lives in San Jose, apple’s home) got the ipad. I thought he was going to pick fun at me for getting the fire, but he actually liked it. He said it pretty much does the same stuff as the ipad, but of course, without the camera and it has a smaller screen. He does like the smaller size, he’s thinking he might even get his wife the fire so she could carry it with her in her purse. His cost 3 times more than mine, I couldn’t see the logic in spending the extra cash. Also, the fire is supported with the android system. A lot of apps to choose from and so many that are Free :) This is just my thoughts. Happy New Year everyone.

  • Vgon

    I have a Kindle Fire…I rooted it of course and it has turned into a powerful android device with extra services from Amazon !!! I live outside US and using Android Market (since my Kindle Fire was rooted) i overcame Amazon’s services ban !!! Very satisfied with it !!!

  • Kindle Store & Kindle Review

  • Kapoios Allos

    Your poll says a lot about your readers impartiality.
    Kindle fire is better than iPad 2? Quite the opposite, actually.
    Kindle in fact is much a lesser product than the iPad 1 which I believe you can find it for about that money. But for the android market, I will agree, the Kindle fire is a valid product and an entry tablet for those don’t want to spend much.

  • gramma

    i think the kindle fire is better than the ipad 2 because it is easier to carry around everywhere and the ipad 2 you cant take it everywhere. the ipad 2 is not worth it

  • Know it all

    Kindle fire is better i have an fire and my bro has a ipad 2 we both agree the fire is better the ipad 2 is a waist of money :)

  • Md. Eakub Ahmed

    Is Kindle Fire really a Tablet PC! Lacking a lot in features and giving a lot of media, the trade off is not that ballanced! Its really very interesting to see the ransformational nature of personal communication & computing technology in last 20 years.

    The analytical reasoning behind the evolution of netbooks to laptop & mobile phones to smartphones to tablet is nothing but the market force which driven the whole communication technology from miniaturization to functionality to large touch screen to portable & faster computing.

    Consumers of handheld communication devices in the whole world is currently devided in 3 main groups. The current market rockers are Kindle Fire from Amazon, iPad from Apple & Galaxy Tab from Samsung. Who will get the largest share of the pie entirely depends on the value proposition the product offers. Say, iPad2 is high priced & a highly feature loaded tablet. On the other hand, Kindle Fire is targeting low spenders who love to consume e-contents and dont bother about unlimited storage but bother about price.

    And the recent release of Samsung Galaxy Note is nothing but the merging of Tablets & Smartphones is cutting the growth of current hot sellers. This Hybrid product will lead the future of personal handheld device for a long time for sure.

  • Todd Rambilas has the best price i think for these suckers

  • lucas

    kindle fire sucks

    • king

      sup lz

  • lucas


  • lucas

    sup eric

  • King


    • lucas


    • lucas

      douglas casnt find it

  • King

    kindle fire sucks