Amazon Kindle Fire HD vs Google Nexus 7

7 Sep 2012

Cut-price Android tablet shoot out - which one should you buy?

After announcing that the new Kindle Fire HD would be making its way to the UK next month, Amazon instantly made choosing an Android tablet just that little bit harder. Last week, it would have been a no-brainer: Google's Nexus 7 was the undisputed king of budget Android devices. Now, the similarly priced Kindle Fire HD has the potential to steal Google’s thunder, just in time for Christmas.

In order to work out which tablet deserves your cash, we've taken a close look at both, comparing them across a range of categories. Read on to find out which is best.

Both tablets have a 7in, 10-point capacitive touch display with a 1,280x800 resolution. The panels both use IPS technology, creating fantastic viewing angles and vivid colours. They also both use Corning's reinforced Gorilla Glass, which is more resistant to scratches than untreated panels.

Kindle Fire HD

The main differences lie in the anti-glare treatment and polarising filters used to reduce light reflections and improve image quality in bright light or direct sunlight. Amazon says it has done this by laminating the touch sensor and LCD together in one piece of glass, eliminating the air gap between the two which reduces internal reflections. However, this technology isn't new - in fact, it's already available on the Nexus 7. Asus, the tablet's manufacturer, calls this system TruVivid, but the two are very similar.

In all likelihood, the panels come from the same manufacturer and there will be very little variance between the two tablets, but we won't know until the Kindle Fire HD launches in October.
Winner: Google Nexus 7

The Nexus 7 is powered by a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor running at 1.3GHz. Part of this chip also handles graphics performance, and has access to Nvidia-only special effects and graphical features. A number of games currently available in the Google Play store support this extra level of detail, giving it the edge over competing tablets.

The Kindle Fire HD uses a slower 1.2GHz dual-core CPU, along with an Imagination PowerVR graphics core for games and multimedia. It's still a fast chip, but it isn't able to use the same extra features when it comes to games.

Both chips are able to play high definition video at 720p, the native resolution of their 7in displays, and have no trouble running the Android operating system.

The Nexus might be slightly thicker than the Kindle, but it manages to squeeze this extra power into a narrower chassis which weighs almost 50g less. It also has a slightly smaller screen bezel, giving the appearance of a larger screen even though that isn't the case, and a leather effect finish versus the Kindle's plastic.
Winner: Google Nexus 7

The Nexus 7 is rather sparse when it comes to connectivity, with only a micro USB port and a 3.5mm audio jack on the bottom. There's no video output whatsoever, making the 7in screen the only way to enjoy your content.

On the other hand, the Kindle Fire HD has both micro USB and 3.5mm audio, plus a micro-HDMI video output for connecting to a TV or other external display.

Google Nexus 7

Both tablets support 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, although the Kindle has a dual-band, dual-antenna design that should result in fewer dropped connections over conventional Wi-Fi. It’s a close call, but the Kindle just edges a win.
Winner: Kindle Fire HD

Read more