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Amazon Announces Kindle Fire 7-inch Tablet With Android Os

November 18, 2011 by staff 

Amazon Announces Kindle Fire 7-inch Tablet With Android Os, With tablets at the top of many Christmas lists this holiday season, two have emerged as serious competitors to Apple’s iPad 2.

The Amazon Kindle Fire, released Tuesday, is a 7-inch tablet running on Google’s operating system, Android 2.3.

In the other corner is Barnes and Noble’s recently announced Nook Tablet, which comes out Friday. It also is a 7-inch Android tablet.

The main appeal of each tablet is price — $199 for the Kindle Fire and $249 for the Nook Tablet. Both are drastically cheaper than the $499 iPad 2.

Stacked against each other, each tablet brings its own unique features to the table.\

Processor

Both the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet have a 1GHz dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP 4 processor, which should provide zippy performance and little to no lag.

However, this isn’t a guarantee. My HP Touchpad has a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and ran incredibly slow until the recent update.

Memory

The Kindle Fire is limited to 512MB of RAM, while the Nook Tablet has 1GB.

While 1GB of RAM is nice, this category comes down to performance, as well. My Touchpad has 1GB of RAM and sputters when multiple apps are open, but the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 do perfectly fine with 512MB. It’s a toss-up.

Storage

The differences become apparent here. The Kindle Fire is limited to 8GB of internal storage, two of which are used for the OS. That isn’t a lot of room for all your books, apps, movies and whatever else you want to put on the tablet.

The Nook Tablet has double the storage of the Kindle Fire with 16GB of storage plus a microSD slot for expandable memory, up to 32GB. It’s got a lot more room for everything you want to do on a tablet.

Apps

Neither the Fire nor the Nook Tablet has access to the full Android Market, but Amazon is the clear winner here.

Amazon’s Appstore almost rivals Android’s with content. The Nook Tablet’s app selection will surely continue to grow, but it isn’t anywhere close to Amazon’s right now.

Appearance

Both devices are about the same size, but the Kindle Fire is a bit smaller and thinner (7.5 inches by 4.7 inches, 0.45 inches thin) than the Nook Tablet (8.1 inches by 5 inches, 0.48 inches thin.)

Screen

Each device has a 7-inch touchscreen. Resolutions differ only slightly on each device — 169ppi for the Fire and 170ppi for the Nook Tablet — so the viewing experience should be more or less the same.

With the devices being so similar, it’s hard to choose a clear winner. The Nook Tablet’s storage size is definitely a win for Barnes and Noble, but is it worth the extra $50?

It all depends on what you’re planning to use the device for.

If you only plan to stream Netflix, download apps, read books and browse the Internet, the Kindle Fire should be more than enough. But if you want to have a few albums, movies and pictures on your device, the Nook Tablet’s 16GB of onboard storage plus expandable memory slot could be closer to what you need.

Will the low price point make up for the lack of features on these devices? A smaller screen, no camera and somewhat limited app selection can save you hundreds of dollars.

It’s worth it. I bought a $99 discontinued HP Touchpad back in August and haven’t looked back. It can do everything the $499 iPad 2 can do with a few exceptions, like app selection.

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