By and large, the difference between the Kindle Fire HD and the iPad — for most consumers — will boil down to price. That is a big separator for most consumers. If you only have $200 to spend, the Kindle Fire HD isn’t bad, but (in my opinion), you are really missing out on a good experience. It’s an okay experience. Yes, it works, and you can do things on it that you can do on many other tablets — like getting online and playing simple games, but the performance really leaves a lot to be desired in comparison to a lot of those other tablets.
To me, the Kindle Fire HD experience is disjointed. Amazon has taken Android and modified it to create the company’s idea of a self-contained system that easily connects you to the overall Amazon experience that Amazon wants you to have (and the products that Amazon wants to sell you). In fairness, at its core, this idea is no different from what the other companies — Apple included — out there are doing, but some do it better than others. To me, the Kindle Fire HD does it… less better than the others.
I won’t go as far as to say that the difference in this experience between the Kindle Fire HD and the iPad is night and day, but it’s palpable. I’m not just talking about the tablets’ raw performance or speed, but the cohesiveness of Apple’s marriage of software and hardware with the iPad seems quite a bit more thought-out and integrated than what you’ll find on Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD; Apple’s been at the game for quite a bit longer, so this isn’t all that shocking.
Also, while I can reach a lot of Amazon’s cloud services (which I use to manage most of my music, for instance) on the Kindle Fire, there are apps — created by Amazon, no less — that allow me to bypass the use of my Kindle Fire entirely and reach that same content with my iPad. This isn’t a bad thing, of course — I like having the choice. If I didn’t already have an iPad and I only wanted to spend $200 on something that would get me by, the Kindle Fire HD would be fine enough for simple needs. But it’s just not all that I might hope for it to be.
I think that the Kindle Fire HD will get better over time — as I said before, Apple’s been at this game for a while, and Amazon is playing catch-up. And even as Android — the system upon which the Kindle Fire HD’s system is built — evolves, so, too, will Amazon’s approach to the way it designs its tablets to come.
But for right now? In summary: There’s no compelling reason to get an Amazon Kindle Fire HD over an iPad — at least at this point in time — other than price. Agree? Disagree? Please feel free to leave a comment below and let me have it!