Why the Kindle Fire HDX is a far better tablet than the iPad

Why the Kindle Fire HDX is a far better tablet than the iPad

Summary: I used to think that the iPad was the king of the tablets, but not any more. It's time to whip the crown away from Apple and give it to its rightful holder – Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX.

TOPICS: Mobility

I used to think that the iPad was the king of the tablets, but not any more. It's time to whip the crown away from Apple and give it to its rightful holder – Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX.

There's no doubt that the iPad is the most influential tablet currently available, and it is the one that kicked off the tablet revolution that is now sweeping the consumer tech industry. But what Apple bought to market, Amazon has improved upon dramatically.

Note: Both the Kindle Fire HDX and the iPad come in two different flavors – the Kindle Fire HDX comes in 7-inch and 8.9-inch variants while the iPad is offered as the 9.7-inch iPad Air and the 7.9 inch iPad mini. Both devices are also offered in a range of capacities.

So what is it that makes the Kindle Fire HDX a better tablet? Let's find out.


The 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX starts at an incredibly low $229, while an retina-display iPad mini with the same storage is $399. Want to boost the capacity from 16GB to 64GB and the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX is only $309, while the iPad mini is up to an astronomical $599.

The pattern in repeated for the larger tablet. A 16GB 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDX costs $379, while bumping the capacity to 64GB takes that to $479. Compare this to the iPad Air, where the 16GB model starts at $499 and climbs to $699 for 64GB of storage.

No matter how you cut it, the Kindle Fire HDX is the better deal.

USB file transfer

Being able to connect the Kindle Fire HDX to a PC or Mac and drag files to it is a massively useful feature for people who want to use the device for work. Sure, I've come up with elaborate workarounds using email or cloud services to get files onto the iPad, but nothing beats the speed, convenience and security of direct transfer.

Nicer display

Side-by-side, the display on the Kindle Fire HDX blows away that of the iPad. Not only do the colors look superior and more vivid, but also the brightness is better and the way blacks are handled – especially in video – is much more even.

On top of that, the display on the Kindle Fire HDX seems to throws off a lot less glare, making it easier to use outdoors.

Battery life

The iPads offer about 10 hours of battery life in a mixed usage scenario, while the 7-inch Kindle Fire can go for 11 hours, and its bigger brother can go for a whopping 12 hours.

Another win for the Kindle Fire HDX.

Super-fast hardware

Everything about the Kindle Fire HDX feels fast, from navigating the interface to launching and using apps, thanks to the speedy quad-core 2.2Ghz processor.

The other day I was playing a game while listening to an audiobook while simultaneously apps were being downloaded and installed in the background, and everything carried on feeling fast and fluid.

Excellent Wi-Fi range

Another big win for the Kindle Fire HDX is Wi-Fi range. The MIMO dual antenna setup gives me far better signal performance, especially when at the periphery of my Wi-Fi network (where the iPad starts to have problems).

On top of that, the Kindle Fire HDX seems far cleverer than the iPad when it comes to choosing which Wi-Fi station to connect to. The Kindle Fire HDX seems to pick the best choice, while the iPad wants to stubbornly stick to a base station until the signal gives out completely.

Superior on-screen keyboard

Everything about the Kindle Fire HDX's on-screen keyboard is better than the one found on the iPad. It's faster to appear, better laid out, more responsive, and has a better color scheme. Additionally, the ability to move from character to character without lifting a finger makes typing long messages far more comfortable.

Better speakers

The Dolby Digital Plus setup on the Kindle Fire HDX make the speakers on the iPad sound like old tin cans. If you care about how things sound, the Kindle Fire HDX is the device for you.

The 'Origami' case is perfect

I have to admit that at first I was skeptical of Amazon's 'Origami' case for the Kindle Fire HDX. After all, things that fold can be flimsy and confusing, and in the photos it looked more like a gimmick than a good solution for a case.

However, having used the case now for a few weeks, I'm now a total convert. At the core of the case are a handful of magnets. These magnets are used to hold the tablet inside the case, to hold the cover shut (and put the tablet to sleep), and to hold the 'origamied' kickstand in place, allowing the Kindle Fire HDX to be used in either landscape or portrait orientation.

The case makes all the buttons on the tablet available (and easy to find in the dark), and also it doesn't muffle the speakers (if anything, it feels like it amps them a bit).

Better email and calendar apps

I've lived and worked with Apple's iOS since it was called PhoneOS, and over those seven years I've seen Apple do great things with the platform. But while some aspects of the operating system have come on in leaps and bounds, I've felt that when it comes to the email and calendar apps, Apple 's creativity well has run dry. There's been a lot of tinkering with these apps over the years, but progress always feels like it's one step forward, one step back.

Amazon on the other hand has created email and calendar apps that are both useful and intuitive. Not only are these apps a breeze to set up, they give you all the tools you need to keep a tight reign over your email and schedule.

The Mayday button

While owning an Apple product gives you access to the Genius Bar when you want help, Amazon puts that support in the palm of your hand in the form of the Mayday button. Got a problem or question or query, and all you have to d is press a button and help from a real live person is only seconds away.

This is an awesome feature, and it means that users can make the most from their investment by getting the help they need, quickly, easily, and when they need it.

Topic: Mobility

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  • Does anyone proof read anymore?

    This article must set a record for typos.
    • Agreed

      He must have used the Kindle Fire HDX to type this article. :)
      • If he had used Word 2013

        This wouldn't have been a problem. It's a great app and works well to prevent issues like this. It comes bundled with 8" Windows slabs and Surface.
        • word license

          I was under the impression that the license in Word for Surface was for non professional use...
        • if he had use

          micro sludge word on a surface his story would have been a week late, waiting for it to save.......
          • @winddrift03

            In your haste to bash Windows you neglected to follow any sort of grammar rules such as proper punctuation and capitalization. You also use FUD - at least it's FUD until you can produce some sort of link to a credible source that cites the slowness of Word on a Surface tablet to save a document.
          • On Sluggishness

            In which case, let me be amongst the first to assure you that Mr. WindDrift's aspersions are seldom lost upon the sensibilities of us experienced (&, too oft, suffering,) users of the Windows system. In particular, the standard applications for viewing news, mail, & movies, dawdle vexsomely.
    • Does anyone proof read anymore?

      Perhaps the Kindle Fire HDX lacks a spell-checker and he was too shy to mention that.
      • No

        it is the lousy autocorrect, none of the tablets or smartphones I've used are any good at autocorrect.
    • Typo hell...

      It was even hard to understand a few sentences, the typos were so bad. Otherwise, a good article which I never thought I'd see. But I assume you are still tied in to the Amazon ecosystem?
      • "But I assume you are still tied in to the Amazon ecosystem?"

        Compared to Apples ecosystem?

        Lets be honest. Of the two....Apples is the most restrictive.

        I own neither, but would consider owning a Kindle. Regarding any Apple product.... I wouldn't use it, even if you give me one for free.

        ~Best wishes keeping what you earned.
        • Apple' Ecosystem is Bigger

          The Kindle Fire would be great if it had access to Google Play. But it doesn't. In the meantime, you can access Kindle services on an iPad or full Android Tablet.
          • It's pretty easy to get other apps

            You can side-load almost Android app and I've found that almost all of them work well on my Kindle Fire HDX 8.9". Some of them won't work, but it's easy to remove them again if needed. Best of all. most of the software for the Kindle is FREE and the Amazon store gives away an app every day too.

            He left off one of the most important advantages of the Kindle Fire HDX, probably because he isn't Amazon Prime. If you ARE Amazon Prime, then there are literally thousands of movies and TV shows that you can stream directly to your device for free, you can cache shows to watch later without wireless if you choose, and there are hundreds of new and best-selling books that you can read for free through the Prime lending library, one per month. There are also thousands of free books available on the Kindle platform.

            Amazon also offers Free Time, a well-curated kids' service that lets you set up different password-protected accounts for your kids. You add specific age-rated content, games, books, and shows, and then you can say how much screen time the kids are allowed each day. My son is almost 6 and he loves his Free Time. He usually chooses to read books instead of watching shows, too.

            I'll admit it; I haven't owned an i-anything since my 60GB iPod was stolen in a house robbery in 2011. I miss that iPod, but I'm very happy with my Android smart phone (a Samsung Galaxy S3) and my Kindles. I looked into buying an iPad instead of the HDX when it was time to upgrade but I had sticker shock over the price of the device for the specs, and then over the prices on the apps. No thanks.
          • amazon prime

            Last I checked you can watch Amazon Prime movies on an iPad as well as iPhone so it's not really an important advantage.
          • Yes, but . . .

            I don't think you can cache the files from Amazon Prime for use offline on the iPad.
          • False

            You can get the Kindle reading app but you can not watch movies or even stream movies because you can't install flash player on android. I've tried work around with no luck.

            The amazon ecosystem with prime membership is far superior to anything the Google play store and apple offers.

            I've owned and still own many "I' products. Recently I switched from kindle fire Hd to samsung specifically because I thought Google play store would offer better apps, I was sorely mistaken and will be first in line for the kindle hdx2 release.
          • Side loading =malware

            This is why android has a reputation for having so many infections. People go around sideloading apps from sketchy sites.
            new gawker
          • He wasn't talking about sideloading...

            He was talking about file transfer. If you want to bring your own content like supported media files or large PDFs you can load them via USB rather than syncing them to the Cloud. This is a much faster option if you have alot of content to carry with you.
          • And if you see no reason why you should be forced...

            ...make everything you own pass through the cloud almost as if there was someone up there who has the right to first visually inspect and check everything you own before you get to use it.

            The cloud is bizarre and mostly a ridiculous time waster. Just give us 128GB+ onboard storage.

          • Apple's ecosystem is bigger but

            Who needs 500,000 useless apps?