Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble bring worthy competitors into the low-cost tablet game …
Apple may be at the top of the tablet game, but that hasn’t stopped the world’s two biggest booksellers from making their own contenders to throw in the ring. Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet are both low-cost alternatives to Apple’s popular iPad that pack quite a punch of their own. Both tablets sport 7″ displays and perform many of the same tasks as higher-priced alternatives.
Which tablet will come out on top? My take, Amazon because of the low cost Amazon shipping with the tablet.
Size The Kindle Fire is 7.5″ x 4.7″ x .45″, while the Nook Tablet is slightly larger at 8.1″ x 5″ x .48″. Even though the Nook Tablet is larger is size, it weighs 14.1 oz., slightly less than the Kindle Fire’s 14.6 oz.
Data Both the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet are wifi-only devices. If you want to use them on the internet, you have to be connected to a wireless network, whether you’re at home, a local coffee shop, or work. Some other tablets, including the Apple iPad and Motorola Xoom, offer a 3G data connection option that allows you to download content anywhere you can get a cell signal.
Processor The processor speed of a tablet determines how fast it is able to do things. Both the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire have dual-core processors. The Fire has a 1GHz OMAP4 processor with 512MB of RAM, and the Nook Tablet has a 1.2GHz OMAP4 processor with 1GB of RAM. The advantage goes to the Nook Tablet; however, the differences in speed are close enough that you may not notice a very big difference between the two when performing most functions.
Content With the Kindle Fire, you purchase content you want to play on the device from Amazon, which also makes the tablet. Amazon offers movie rentals, movie downloads, and music for sale, and the company wants you to use Amazon to purchase all of those things to use with your Kindle Fire. If you’re an Amazon Prime customer, you can access a lot of free content, including a free book rental each month and instant streaming for some 10,000 movies and TV shows.
On the other hand, Barnes & Noble doesn’t offer audio and video downloads, so it has to rely on other services to provide them. That said, the Nook comes preinstalled with popular entertainment services like Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora, which all offer tremendous amounts of content at a low price.
Battery life Barnes & Noble claims the Nook Tablet offers nine hours of video playback and 11 hours of reading time on a single charge. The Kindle Fire offers a shorter battery life at only 7.5 hours of video playback on a single charge. Actual usage, of course, may vary.