When it comes to budget tablets, it’s fair to say that Amazon had thrown in the first prime card with the release of the Kindle Fire. Before Amazon pushed the Kindle Fire off its manufacturing lines and into the market, tablets were dominated by large 10-inch affairs like Apple’s iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy Note. These were the quality performance tablets, and they have a high price tag on them (the iPad in particular was a costly piece of technology, with its maximum connectivity options and largest data denomination).
Amazon versus Barnes & Noble all over again
When Amazon launched the Kindle Fire, they proved that it was possible to produce a high-performance tablet (although it cannot perform as well as an iPad) at a very low price. Many others have followed suit since then, and that included their competitor, Barnes & Noble, which delivered the Nook HD.
This wouldn’t be the first time that the two online stores have butted heads when it came to hand-held electronics. Amazon’s famous e-reader, the Kindle, had faced off with Barnes & Noble’s Nook; the two devices have consistently been the most reliable e-readers in the market. But the tablet field is different. As people rely on tablets to perform a wide variety of tasks (web browsing, image manipulation, games, communication via VoIP service provider, social media access, etc…), these gadgets are expected to deliver high-quality performance based on product specifications.
With neither tablet being able to rack up the same plus points as the more famous tablets in the field, how do they compare to each other in budget tablet war, especially when you look at their newly released incarnations, Kindle Fire HD and Nook HD+?
Breakdown of Points
- Kindle Fire HD: 8.9-inch screen, with a resolution of 1920×1200 pixels, crisp display; has an extremely competitive Retina display.
- Nook HD+: 9-inch screen, with a magazine-crisp 1920×1200 pixel resolution. Clearly, designed to be a competitor to Fire HD.
- When the two tablets were placed right up against each other, the Nook’s screen was noticeably brighter than the Kindle. It doesn’t necessarily make this a good thing—brighter backlighting may mean that your eyes will tire faster. And since both companies’ demographic comprise mainly of long-time readers, they might get tired of the brightness more quickly with the Nook than with the lighting of the Kindle.
- Both screens have a 16:10 aspect ratio—worth knowing if you plan on playing some movies.
- Kindle Fire HD: This one has the new parental software controls—wise, since parents may want to get this as a reading device for their children. If you’ve used the Kindle Fire before, the UI and the performance is slightly better than the quality you’ve grown to expect.
- Nook HD+: Similar to the parental controls feature, there are now user accounts on the Nook, and superior accounts could be used to restrict other accounts from accessing certain content in order to keep everything safe. The performance is also improved compared to the past version of the Nook.
- Both budget tablets seem up to par with the standards people expect of them. In the end, user preference is what it will come down to.