Comparison: Amazon Fire vs Apple iPad 2, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, NOOK Color
Last Updated on Monday, 29 December 2014 10:52 Written by DarkKnightH20 Tuesday, 15 November 2011 01:29
There are lots of tablets out there now adays. Each one has great features that try to give it an edge over its competitors. But when it really comes down to it, what is the best tablet right now?
That’s really a hard question to answer and in the end really depends on what you’re looking for, as well as your price range. Check out our guide here to help pick the best tablet for you as we have the top 4 contenders verse one another as the top tablet in our article.
Comparison of Screens
Amazon Fire Screen
The Amazon Kindle has a 7 inch, multi-touch IPS display screen with an anti-glare / anti-reflection layer. The screen resolution is 1024 x 600 pixels at 169 PPI and has a whopping 16 million colors. This product doesn’t use E-Ink or ePaper technology like the Kindle and has a backlight. Since it is multi-touch, you can use several fingers at once to perform actions. This screen is also very durable and scratch resistant because of being chemically strengthened to endure abuse.
Apple iPad 2 Screen
The Apple iPad 2 display is 9.7 inches! It is larger than many of its competitors, which comes at the price of being slightly less mobile, but offering more viewing space. The resolution is average though, at 1024×768. The screen is LED backlit, which means the backlight uses little power and should last a long time. It is a multi-touch, widescreen, IPS display. It has a glossy screen finish. The screen is 132 PPI / pixels per inch and has a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Screen
As suggested by its name, this tablet offers users a 10.1″ widescreen — beating the iPad in size. It has 4-way rotation, a 1280×800 HD WXGA TFT LCD, and runs at 149 pixels per inch. Like other tablets, it is multi-touch to allow for gestures. This device is especially nice for displaying media because of the added resolution and space. It uses Samsung TouchWiz UX with live panels and mini apps.
NOOK Color Screen
The Barnes and Noble tablet has a 7″ touchscreen with VividView technology. It is ultra-responsive and has 16 million, ultra-bright colors! It is also glare resistant and has multi-touch functionality like the other tablets above. The screen uses IPS technology as well for resolutions of 1024×600 at 169 PPI. The screen is laminated.
Comparison of Size / Weight
Amazon Fire Size & Weight
The physical size of the Amazon Fire is pretty small. It is 7.5in x 4.7in x 0.45in OR 190mm x 120mm x 11.4mm. Not bad! Pretty thin too. For mobility reasons, many people base their purchases on mobile products based on their weight. The Amazon Fire weights only 14.6 ounces, or 413 grams. That’s only 0.91lbs / pounds! You can easily hold the device in one hand.
Apple iPad 2 Size & Weight
This device is thin with very little depth! Only 0.34 inches thick. The dimensions are…7.3 x 9.5 x 0.34 inches. It’s pretty portable despite the bigger screen, but this does come at an increased weight. The product weighs 1.32 pounds.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Size & Weight
Despite its slightly larger screen, this product weighs slightly less than the iPad at 1.25 lbs (565g). It is thin — 0.34 inches of depth. The dimensions are 10.1 x 6.9 x 0.34 inches. It’s designed to be easy to grip in your hand, but can’t beat the Amazon Fire in weight.
NOOK Color Size & Weight
This tablet is 8.1 inches in height, 5 inches in width, and 0.48 inches in depth. It weights only 15.8 ounces, or 0.9875 pounds, making is very light weight. In this regard, it competes with the Amazon Fire. The light weight makes holding it in your hand for long durations of time easily done.
Comparison of Storage Space
Amazon Fire Hard Drive
Wonering how much hard disc space is on this mobile tablet device? It has 8gb’s of internal memory, of which 6 gigabytes is reserved for downloading. That holds an estimated 80 apps / applications and either 10 movies, 6000 books, or 800 songs / music files. On top of this, Amazon offers their free Cloud Storage space so you can store lots of files there if you choose to take advantage of it. This helps make the disadvantage of having only 8gb’s of internal memory a non-issue!
Apple iPad 2 Hard Drive
How much space does the Apple iPad 2 have? Well, how much do you need?! You can choose between a 16gb model, 32gb model, and 64gb model. Regardless of your choice, you’ll have plenty of space to hold all your media files.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Hard Drive
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 competes with the iPad in this department. They offer 16gb, 32gb, and 64gb models in ROM. That’s a lot of storage space! Naturally, it adds to the weight a little bit and the price tag.
NOOK Color Hard Drive
The Barnes & Noble NOOK Color tablet is similar to the Amazon Fire in regards to how much space it holds too. It has a 8gb capacity. What makes it unique, however, is that it has expandable storage through use of microSD memory cards. This means you can add up to 32gb’s of additional space to the device very easily and even swap out cards if you ever needed to.
Comparison of Battery Life
Amazon Fire Battery Life
The battery life of this new tablet is 8 hours for continuous reading. If you are playing video without wireless internet enabled, then it drops to 7.5 hours because of the increased processing. The device takes 4 hours to charge completely, which can be done through your USB port on your computer or through an outlet.
Apple iPad 2 Battery Life
Battery life is important on mobile products. The Apple iPad 2 does a great job in this field despite the big screen. It is rated at 10 hours of battery life! That’s 600 minutes, which makes it nice for long car rides or plane rides. Keep in mind accessories exist to add a great deal more of hours to this product too such as extended batteries or even attachments to add more life! The battery in it is a 25-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Battery Life
Such a big device needs a big battery. That’s why this device sports a 7000mAh battery! It provides up to 9 hours of video and an amazing 72 hours of music-listening. That’s 3 whole days! It goes without saying that depending on who you use this device, you may not have to charge it often. WiFi and 3G will naturally lower that and drain the battery faster.
NOOK Color Battery Life
The battery life on the NOOK color is 8 hours, just like the Amazon Fire. It takes 3 hours to charge this device and charging can be done through a USB port or through a wall outlet.
Amazon Fire Connectivity
Wondering what kind of input / output ports and connections this device has? It has one micro-B USB 2.0 connection that is used for data transfers and charging. It also has a 3.5mm stereo audio jack connection. For Wifi connectivity, the Amazon Fire supports the common types that hotspot and wireless routers use — 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n. It supports a multitude of security encryption standards such as WEP, WPA and WPA2 — so you just enter the password / key and you’re ready to go. It does NOT support ad-hoc / peer-to-peer Wi-Fi networks though, but that is not very common anyway. There is NO 3G or 4G connectivity at the time of this writing.
Apple iPad 2 Connectivity
Naturally, this device sports a 1/8th (3.5mm) audio / headphone jack. It also has the normal 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity options. It also has a custom iPod-style USB port, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology, and 3G capabilities, not to mention GPS. There are many products that exist and adapters that can be used to further add functionality, such as HDMI or DVI ports, RCA / composite ports, S-VIDEO ports, or even composite ports. With Apple products comes lots of accessory options after all! The bands that this product supports if bought from a carrier are…UMTS / HSDPA / HSUPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM / EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz) (and Rev. A) so go ahead and use this product around the world in areas that have these bands!
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Connectivity
Depending on the model, you’ll have a SIM card slot for 3G / 4G support. It has the typical 3.5mm sterio headphone jack and also a 30-pin dock connector port. It’s got the normal wireless internet support (802.11 a,b,g, n) and has dual-band support for 2.4ghz and 5ghz wireless broadcasts! This device has Bluetooth 3.0 and HSPA +21 850/900/1900/2100, EDGE / GPRS 850/900/1800/1900 band support. It even has GPS via A-GPS, which uses Google Maps location-based service for delivering turn-by-turn directions for navigation.
NOOK Color Connectivity
Other than the mentioned micro SD slot, this bad boy sports the 3.5mm headphone jack, and 802.11 b/g/n wireless connectivity (with free Wi-Fi from Barnes and Noble too). It also has a USB port, which can be used for charging the device, as mentioned earlier.
Comparison of Media Capabilities
Amazon Fire Media Support
This device works well for playing music. It sports speakers in the top and has a 3.5mm audio jack as mentioned above. You can watch movies, TV shows, play games, run apps, read books, checkout newspapers, listen to audiobooks, read lots of magazines, and even view lots of docs / documents. It supports the following file formats / extension: Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8.
You can play games on it too, such as Words with Friends, Angry Birds, and even the beloved Plants vs. Zombies. There are even apps for watching / streaming from Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, ESPN ScoreCenter, and Comics by comiXology
Apple iPad 2 Media Support
So…what kind of media capabilities does this baby have? The frequency response is rated from 20Hz to 20,000Hz. The supported audio formats are HE-AAC (V1 and V2), AAC (8 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (8 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV. If you have an Apple Digital Adapter, then you can also use a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound pass-through, unless you want to use the normal speakers that are on this device. Apple notes the video support of this device being… H.264 video up to 1080p, 30 frames per second, High Profile level 4.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file formats.
As noted before, with adapters you can even have the iPad 2 output to VGA connections. Common output is done at 1080p, 576p, 576i, and 480i.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Media Support
As you may have expected, this tablet has full high definition playback at 1080p and 30 frames per second. The supported video codecs are WMV9, WMV8, WMV7, H,264, MPEG4, XVID, DIVX, H.263, and VP8. The audio formats supported are MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, and RA, which play beautifully through the surround sound speakers.
NOOK Color Media Support
Though not as media-loving as some other tablets, the NOOK Color can play media just fine. It supports EPUB and PDF files easily. It also can read CBZ, XLS, DOC, PPT, TXT, DOCM, XLSM, PPTM, PPSX, PPSM, DOCX, XLX, and PPTX file extensions. For videos, it supports MP4 and Adobe Flash videos (SWF / FLA). For images, it supports JPG, GIF, PNG, and BMP (which can be used as wallpapers for your desktop). With the mono-speakers that this device has, you can also play MP3, MP4, and AAC music formats.
Comparison of Operating Systems
Amazon Fire OS
The Amazon Fire uses a special version of Google Android OS that is tailored a lot towards looking as Amazon-like as possible in its graphical design.
Apple iPad 2 OS
Like the iPhone and iPod Touch, this device uses Mac iOS 4. It will feel very familiar because of this. That may or may not be a good thing to you if you’re bored of the interface, but any Macintosh user or even Windows user can appreciate the simplicity of it and intuitive design.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 OS
It uses Google Android Honeycomb 3.1, which has updates provided to it on occassion. This works great for multitasking and offers split-view support too.
NOOK Color OS
There’s not much to say here. It uses a flavor of Android for its operating system. This gives it the typical OS functionality of any given Android-using device.
Comparison of Web Capabilities
Amazon Fire on the Web
The web browsing capabilities of the Amazon Fire or superb. It uses something called the Amazon Silk browser. This uses a cloud-accelerated web browser to let you view web pages at super high speeds regardless of where you are. This exercises the use of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud in tandem with the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) to take stress off of the device’s hardware while delivering it fast to the device.
You can send emails through this device, as well as chat online (through instant messaging / IM services like AIM, MSN, or Yahoo!) and stream videos. It even supports Adobe Flash Player, unlike the Apple iPad 2, iPhone, or iPod Touch.
Apple iPad 2 on the Web
If you can dream it, then you can do it. With all the apps available for the iPad and iPod, you can do anything! Instant message, emails with attachments, surf the web using Safari, and a whole lot more. The one thing this device lacks is native support for Adobe Flash. It does, however, support HTML5, which aims to replace Flash one day.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 on the Web
What’s there to say here? It has the same capabilities you would expect from the iPad, except with the added benefit of Adobe Flash support! It uses Android Browser for web browsing and has Social Hub basic for instant messaging, e-mailing, and SNS. You can use Music Hub for downloading and searching for music, as well as Readers Hub for accessing e-books, newspapers, magazines, etc. in 49 languages! Since this uses Android, you have access to Google Talk Video Chat, GMAIL, Google Calendar, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Latitude, Google Places, and of course the Android Market. This in tandem with the Samsung Hub provides for everything you may need.
NOOK Color on the Web
Yes — it supports Flash! Now that we got that out of the way…You can send and receive email from POP and IMAP email protocols, which includes Yahoo!, GMAIL, AOL, Hotmail, and other email services. You will get access to NOOK Comics, which will be in color of course, and will have access to Netflix and Hulu Plus. You’ll also have access to Rhapsody, MOG and Grooveshark, as well as Pandora trials.
Comparison of Hardware Specs / Specifications
Amazon Fire Hardware Specifications
The Amazon Fire uses dual core processors. As of right now, the speed is not known. The amount of RAM is currently unknown too. It has 8gb’s of hard drive space, a 7 inch screen, no camera, and no bluetooth. It does not have all the extras that are found in other tablets in this regard — which is one of the reasons it is priced much more reasonably.
Apple iPad 2 Hardware Specifications
The Apple iPad 2 has been around for awhile, but still has nice hardware even if a little less powerful than other tablets. It sports a dual core processor clocked at 1ghz, 512mb of DDR RAM, and 16gb’s of storage space (or 32gb or 64gb depending on the model you get). There is no expandable memory slot. Unlike the Amazon Fire, this device has GPS and bluetooth, a 0.7 megapixel back-camera, and a 0.3 megapixel front-facing camera. The back-camera can record video and audio (with the mic / microphone) in HD at 720p and has 5x zoom capability. The front-camera just has VGA resolution.
Time for more information on the processor. Specifically, it is a 1GHz, custom dual core, AMD Athlon Apple A5. It uses little power, while providing more than adequate processing power.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Hardware Specifications
So what is the sum up of the specs? We’ve got the 10.1″ screen mentioned earlier, the 16/32/64gb ssd / solid state drive options, and surround sound speakers. For cameras it has a 3 megapixel camera on the back with camcorder capabilities that captures 720p videos. On the front, it has a 2 megapixel camera for video chatting and you can even stream videos through Allshare. The processor is a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2, 1ghz prcoessor and this device has 1GB of ram, which goes a long way when multitasking!
NOOK Color Hardware Specifications
The NOOK Color isn’t as powerful as some tablets hardware-wise. It has a single core processor that operates at 800mhz and has 512MB of RAM. As mentioned earlier, it has 8gb’s of hard drive space, but because of the awesome microSD slot, it is capable of being up to 40GB’s of space without a problem.
Comparison of Price
Amazon Fire Price
The price on this is absolutely amazing. You get a great value on this high quality product and it will only cost you $199. This product is hard to resist because of this price. It is certainly giving other tablets a run for their money. After all, who wouldn’t want a nice, affordable tablet?
Apple iPad 2 Price
This product, like all Apple products, is expensive. It is at a high price of $499 or more, which makes it a tough buy for some. However, what you must remember is that when you get an Apple product, you are paying for the high quality of it, the support for apps, iTunes for music, etc. If you have an Apple iPod Touch or iphone for example, then syncing your music, apps, etc. can make it extremely convenient and worth the price. Keep in mind that this price can be discounted as well if you purchase it through a cellular carrier. Cell phone service providers such as Verizon and AT&T offer a discount, but then you are locked in a contract with them.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Price
Like other tablets, this product’s price varies depending on how you obtain it. The 16gb modeo is currently on sale for $487.95 at Amazon. The 32gb is $579.75. If you get this device through Verizon, T-Mobile, or AT&T, the price will be discounted further. It all depends on the carrier.
NOOK Color Price
The price for this isn’t bad. You can pick up one of these tablets for $199 now instead of the old price of $249. This is because the new NOOK Tablet is coming out soon, which will make the NOOK Color less sought out. This doesn’t mean that the NOOK Color is a bad buy. On the contrary, it is still a solid device.
Comparison of Special Features
Amazon Fire Special Features
When you get the Amazon Fire, you get a month free trial of Amazon Prime, which allows for free 2 day shipping on qualifying orders from Amazon and 1 day shipping for only $3.99, not to mention access to fre instant streaming. Amazon also adds their special Whispersync technology to ensure that your videos (Amazon Instant Video service), books, and bookmarks are all synchronized (synced) with eachother. Since everything is in sync, you never have to find where you last left off or manually import / export data from other devices into the new one. There are also many childrens books available for the Amazon Fire.
Amazon has thousands of Kindle books for free that are readily available for download.
Apple iPad 2 Special Features
What’s there to say? This device has so many apps and games for it that it completely transforms what this product is capable of. There are so many accessories that you can do just about anything. Heck, this device even has a three-axis gyroscope / gyro, accelerometer, and an ambient light sensor. You can even use a digital compass on it!
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Special Features
This device has similar special features that the iPad has! It has a gyroscope, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and a digital compass. moreover, it also has mobile office software, such as Polaris Offce: PowerPoint (PPT), Word, and allows you to create or edit Excel documents.
NOOK Color Special Features
So the special features of the NOOK Color aren’t hardware related as you may have guessed. B&N offers NOOK Comics, TV Shows and Movies, NOOK Kids (for kids stories), and PagePerfect Nook Books to try to stay competitive with the other tablets.