The battle between the Kindle Fire HD vs Nook HD is a very difficult one to analyze. This isn't just about which tablet is better, it is also about the ecosystems in which they function. Barnes & Noble vs Amazon is also a battle to consider in this war of the tablets. Thus, approaching this can be quite difficult but we will try to structure this review in a fair way and, as always, you can leave your own opinion in the comments and we will gladly feature the best critics/reviews in another blog post!
|Size comparison of the two tablets|
So, I usually make my readers go through the entire article before I tell them my final verdict, but this time I am going to do something different. In the battle between the Nook HD and the Kindle Fire HD (7 inch model) there are two short answers:
- The updated Nook HD tablet is a overall a better tablet with superior battery life, better screen quality, new software and full access to Google Play.
- If you are an Amazon Prime user and often use the services that Amazon provides then the Kindle Fire is a much better choice than the Nook since most of the advantages that the Nook gives don't really mater for you.
Well, that was the short answer, but now comes the hard part - explaining why we feel that the answers above are correct. We will brake this review down into 3 categories: design, hardware and ecosystem/ software to try and explain our reasoning.
Nook HD and Fire HD Design Comparison
When it comes to design beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but there are always certain standards to follow. Still, if the design is not functional then we can always say that it is, by all means, bad. When it comes to the appearance and appeal of the two tablets I must admit I fancy both. Nook HD is one of those devices with a more original design than most but that doesn't mean it is the best.
But, the design isn't just about the looks, it is about the software as well. We are not just talking about aesthetics, but how all the content and data is organized. In all honesty the Kindle Fire HD winds hand's down when it comes to the user interface, software architecture and the user experience. The Nook's UI looks like someone took the original Nuke UI and put Android's and Amazon's UI on top of it in hopes that it would look good. Well, it really doesn't.
The winner: Overall, I think that the Kindle Fire HD wins this one. We can debate which one looks better all day long, but at the end of the day Amazon made a much cleaner, more functional design. We did like that the Nook HD was a lot lighter though, but the difference isn't that huge.
The Hardware Showdown
One of the things we mentioned above is that the Nook HD provides better battery life and a higher quality display. This is, without a doubt, true and was proven on multiple occasions by different testers. In the tests done by CNET the Nook HD was able to play a video file for over 7 hours while the Kindle Fire HD lasted between 5 and 6 hours depending on whether or not you had Amazon Prime which made video streaming consume less energy.
|Well done Barnes & Nobke, well done...|
The other key thing to note is that Barnes & Noble's Nook HD has a great resolution - 1440 x 900 and amazing HD display. The Kindle isn't bad with its 1280 x 720 resolution, but the Nook was flat out better in every single test when it comes to this.
As far as other specs go, there was really nothing major to actually influence the Kindle Fire HD vs Nook HD review, other than these two things which are worth nothing:
- The Nook HD has better hardware for gaming which requires a bit more power and it even proved to be better than the Nexus 7.
- The Kindle Fire HD comes with 32 GB of internal memory while the Nook HD has 16 GB. However, a Nook user can expand the memory of their tablet for another 32 GB via an SD card while a Kindle user doesn't have this option.
And the winner is... the Nook HD obviously! It was slightly better or evenly matched in just about every single test. The only test where the Kindle Fire HD dominated was the sound as their Dolby Audio is unmatched!
The Ecosystem and Software
Well, this is where it all falls down to isn't it? There isn't anything for more to say here other than: choose what you need, not what people tell you is better. The Nook HD is a great way to experience Android even though the OS is fairly locked when it comes to some key features. However, the new update lets you use Google Chrome Mobile and gives you full access to Google Play. Amazon's Silk web browser is inferior to Chrome and their OS limits a lot of your options when it comes to using Google Play. And let us not forget how fast B&N is growing and how much great content they provide!
|The Fire HD is A LOT of FUN!|
On the other hand, Amazon has its own application store going and there is a lot of content available when it comes to books, movies and music. This is also a "family-friendly tablet" which gives a lot of parental control to parents who plan on lending this device to their kids. Amazon's OS also gives one a lot of features that help you to experience the content you wish to enjoy in the best way possible. From continuing where you last left off with an episode, movie or book to saving all of your gaming data to the cloud via Game Circle, Amazon can do a lot!
So, what is it that you really need at the end of the day? If it is the Kindle Fire HD, then feel free to get it from Amazon on their official website.