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Kindle Fire HDX dominates iPad Mini in this spec showdown

The Amazon Kindle Fire never lit the world on fire with any of its offerings. It has always been considered to a pretty solid device but hasn’t gotten the traction. The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX might be the one that really gets the fire stoked, though. Announced today, the newest tablet from Amazon comes with some impressive internals that should bring equally impressive performance to users. This could be Amazon’s best chance to bite into some of the market share of the big names, and there’s perhaps no name bigger in mobile devices than Apple. Does the Kindle Fire HDX have enough to knock off the iPad Mini this holiday season? We put the two side-by-side for a spec showdown to find out.

 

iPad Mini

iPadMini

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX

KindleHDX

Size 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.3 (in) 7.32 x 5.04 x 0.35 (in)
Weight 11 oz 10.97 oz
Screen 7.9-inch LCD 7-inch LCD 
Resolution 1024 x 768 pixels 1920 x 1200 pixels
OS iOS 6 Android 4.2 with Fire OS 3.0 UI
Storage 16GB 16/32/64GB
SD Card Slot No No
Processor Dual-core A5 2.2GHz Quad-cord Snapdragon 800
RAM 512MB 2GB
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, 4G LTE Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, 4G LTE
Camera Front 1.2MP, Rear 5MP Front Camera with 720p recording
Bluetooth Yes, version 4.0 Yes, version 4.0
Battery 4,440mAh (10 hours of use) 11 hours of use
Charger Lightning connector Micro USB
Marketplace Apple App Store Amazon Appstore
Price $330+ $230+
Availability Verizon, AT&T, Sprint October 18, 2013

The iPad Mini comes from a more impressive legacy than the Amazon Kindle HDX thanks to the successes of Apple tablets that came before it. But looking at the specs, the Amazon Kindle HDX looks like the more impressive device. The iPad Mini has always felt a little underwhelming, lacking the Retina display present on later models of the larger iPads, and was a very safe entry into the 7-inch tablet category for Apple. Amazon has been in that market for a while and the Kindle HDX looks like it’s the company’s best chance so far to have a hit. It has a powerful chipset and 2GB of RAM acting as its driving force and has what appears will be a gorgeous display. It does seem to be missing a rear camera and could suffer some loss of love from Android fans because of the Fire OS user interface and lack of access to the Google Play Store for apps, but it’s still packing an impressive punch for $230, or $100 less than Apple’s iPad Mini, though the Apple ecosystem and its huge collection of apps might justify the difference for some.

An interesting showdown between these devices that won’t take place in the specs is the customer support. Apple has long been considered one of the better companies when it comes to helping their customers and its in part thanks to their Genius Bar, the collection of people behind the desk at the Apple Store that will walk you through any issue you might be having. Amazon Kindle HDX has that service built right into the device with a 24/7 help menu called Mayday. It could make the Kindle HDX the go-to option for the less tech-savvy, a market that its price point also helps reach.

How well the Mayday feature truly works, we’ll have to wait and see. But starting October 18, 2013, it looks as though Amazon will be giving Apple and all other tablet makers a run for their money.

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