Originally Posted by WillysJeepMan
Tablets are highly price sensitive. You can't just dismiss the screen size difference as no big deal. What is the price for other 9.7" tablets? And how do they compare to the iPad 2?
In much the same way, I wouldn't be singing the praises of the price of a 9.7" iPad 2 compared to a more expensive Galaxy Tab 10.1 simply based on believing that the screen size/resolution difference is no big deal.
Apple really did shock the tech world with the iPad (particularly with the pricing). First people dismissed it saying that it was simply a larger iPod Touch. Then they made fun of the name. Companies who had similar products in the development pipeline scrapped their plans once the iPad hit the streets.
Although I just a few minutes ago upgraded my KF for the 16GB HD, I don't see the 8.9" model being a particularly good value.
For me it is an excellent value because of the resolution:
1920x1200 on an 8.9" tablet is 254 pixels per inch. 1024x768 on a 9.7" panel is 132 pixels per inch.
For me, that extra 122 pixels per inch is worth much more than the 0.8" additional diagonal that you get for going to the iPad 2. The Kindle Fire HD's 8.9" screen is almost as crisp as the later generation iPad's. I'll happily admit that the third generation iPad with the retina-class display is notably better than the Fire HD, but the iPad 2 isn't in the same class.
Here are some more numbers to put it in perspective.
The 8.9" Fire HD has 79% of the total viewable area of the 9.7" iPad, but the difference in aspect ratios means it has 95% of the usable area when watching widescreen video. It also has 192% of the pixel density of the iPad 2. For anyone watching HD video (or anything else in 16:9 widescreen), trading a 5% decrease in viewing area for a 25% drop in price and a 92% increase in pixel density sounds like a pretty reasonable choice.
Put more simply, the 8.9" Kindle Fire HD screen can do 1080P native resolution, while the 9.7" iPad 2 cannot manage 720P natively.
For anyone interested in watching HD video (which may not apply to at least some members of this forum) the size vs. resolution tradeoff comes down firmly on the side of the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" against the iPad 2, even without counting the hundred dollar price advantage.
As for comparisons with other tablets, the real competition for the iPad is the 10.1" class, as there are very few Android tablets at 9.7" because of the aspect ratio. Also, a 10.1" tablet is within 1% of the screen area of Apple's 9.7" display. While there are some 10.1" tablets that are close to the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" in price, they fall short in resolution. The only 10.1" tablets currently on the market with the same near-retina-class resolution are the latest Acer A700 and Asus TF700, which are priced at $450 and $500 respectively. They are bigger, but also much more expensive than the 8.9" Fire HD.
The 8.9" Fire HD is at least $150 cheaper than anything else with a similar resolution. Yes it is smaller, but the difference in screen area between 7" and 8.9" is much greater proportionally than the difference in screen area between 8.9" and either 9.7" or 10.1"
The 8.9" Fire HD is going to be a very good value for many customers.