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Old 07-31-2013, 11:25 AM   #1
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Kindle Fire HD vs. Nexus 7

I would like to get a tablet (finally) in the next ~6 months. I know there are rumors of the "next" Fire coming out this fall, which may change opinions. But, if I were to buy one today, which would you recommend and why?

My needs/parameters/requirements:

• I don't have a problem doing business with Amazon. So "Amazon is evil" type comments don't help me. Now, if you have specific customer service and support issues to report specific to the device in question, that is relevant.
• I'm pretty much an "out of the box" user. I don't mind working within standard set-up to configure the product the way I prefer, but I don't make a practice of taking it to the level of hacking/moding/rooting things. Still, I'm totally comfortable finding where all the settings are and getting them the way I like.
• This will be my first tablet and mostly a reading device. Of course, with the expanded capabilities for apps and videos, I'll be exploring those possibilities.
• Pretty much the only "must have" apps are: Kindle, NOOK, Comixology, Aldiko, and a good .pdf reader (preferably Adobe Reader). I know these all run in Android. For Fire, obviously the first is moot, but what about the others?
• I have an existing Android phone, so familiarity with that OS's quirks is not an issue. How does the Fire's OS and interface compare?
• Wi-Fi is fine. If I'm not near free, I pretty much always have my phone (which can be a hotspot) with me. Don't use it much because it eats data plan, but in a pinch it's fine.

Questions:
• Is 16GB vs. 32 GB a significant difference if I don't load 100s of apps or plan to carry around dozens of videos at a time? I lean towards more memory as a default, but in these cases is the extra $$ worth it?
• The screen on the Nexus is 1080p vs. 780p on the Fire HD. Is that significant factor at this screen size for video?
• For Fire: opinions on Special Offers. My initial reaction was "no way," but their explanation of it sounds like an intrusion I can live with.
• How well do these work with Wi-Fi off? Obviously, certain apps want to be online, but in general, how is the off-line experience?
• Does it play nice with Calibre? I have quite a few epubs to load.

That's all I can think of for now.

Opinions?
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:11 PM   #2
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For the Nexus 7 I believe the extra 16GB is only $30 which for me is absolutely worth it, just for future proofing.
I dont know about video but I bet books look a lot nicer on a 1080 screen than a 720 screen.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:17 PM   #3
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i just got the new nexus 7 (2013). the screen resolution is 1920 x 1200. my intention for this tablet is not for reading. having said that, because it's vanilla google android and open to the play market, you can use any reading app you want. this includes amazon's own kindle app, kobo, barnes & noble, as well as all other ebook reading apps such as aldiko, moon+, cool reader, fb reader, etc.

i've never had any experience with amazon's tablet, but i know that amazon has their own app store. so i don't know if amazon allows you to connect to google's app store (play market).

honestly, i don't think amazon cares if you buy their hardware. i think they are just as happy with you using the kindle app on other devices. afterall, the goal is to sell ebooks. they may even be taking a loss on the hardware, just hoping to make it up with ebook sales.

i did not get amazon's tablet because i felt i would be restricted to amazon's app store. in addition, with the nexus 7, you get the latest android os (4.3). and you get updates before anyone else.

i'm not sure if the new amazon tablet will even get 4.3. if history serves, this won't happen. and if history further serves, there will be no further os updates except for bug fixes.

Last edited by rem736; 08-01-2013 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:17 AM   #4
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I have both the Nexus 7 2nd generation 32GB (2013) and Kindle Fire HD 16GB w/o special offers

If you are already in the Amazon ecosystem and will be mostly purchasing/reading Amazon books and movies, using their Lending Library and Amazon Prime - and want it easy, then the Kindle Fire is a good purchase. But as rem736 pointed out, your selection of apps is restricted to their app store unless you are able to do a fancy workaround. The Amazon app store doesn't have two of the apps that you mentioned, and since you are a Nook user it doesn't sound like you are an Amazon loyalist so far.

My biggest gripe is that the Silk browser on the Kindle Fire is slow; I've used Opera on it too and it is still slow. Supposedly Amazon will be coming out with a new Kindle Fire in a month or two so that may be a game-changer, but it will probably still be the Amazon media consumption device that it is now. Their customer service is great, no complaints here.

I have had the Nexus 7 2013 for only two days. So far I am very impressed with its snappy performance and beautiful display. Fast web surfing. No more long loading times for news videos and slide shows on the Fire. Even though your intended use now is to read books, you will probably want to read the news, surf the web, play with apps, etc and in this case the Nexus 7 is much faster than the Kindle Fire.

It was relatively easy set up - took me maybe 2 hrs to get all my apps migrated and settings personalized. If you have a Google account it will automatically migrate your contacts when you set it up on your Nexus 7.

You can still read Amazon books on the Nexus using the Kindle app, however you won't be able to get the Amazon instant video app or use their Lending library if that is important to you. Even though I prefer the Nexus 7 for most things, I still use the Kindle Fire HD to watch Amazon-purchased movies.

The Nexus 7 is a little lighter and thinner than the Kindle Fire HD (11.2oz vs 13.9oz).
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:02 PM   #5
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What's been posted seems to confirm my natural leanings towards the Nexus. (Or at the very least, some form of Android tablet.)

Keep the comments coming, though. I really appreciate the insights.

For those who do own a Nexus 7, what are the best aspects and what are the "pain points"?
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:19 PM   #6
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Nexus 7 great for ereading: Moon Reader, Aldiko to name two....

Streaming Radio and Video works well never had a problem.

Android 4.3 as of yesterday...not sure of new features....
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:20 PM   #7
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I use a black screen with white print on all my ebook reading apps works well on a Nexus 7 ...works well on my GZ one 4 inch screen as well
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Old 08-07-2013, 03:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RHWright View Post
For those who do own a Nexus 7, what are the best aspects and what are the "pain points"?
Pro: timely official updates, plenty of third-party ROM and mods support, widest app compatibility among Android tablets
Con: no expansion slot (although this point probably isn't important to you as I believe the Fire doesn't have one either)
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:59 PM   #9
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Most of your must have apps are not available in the amazon app store. If you add a third party app store, which is not difficult to do, you can get most of the apps you need. The third party app store i use, 1market, has the nook and Aldiko apps, but not the comixology app. The amazon app store has several good pdf apps, including adobe and ezpdf. Overall, it would be simpler if you got a nexus.

With the nexus, you'll get a comparable selection of books, movies, music, magazines, and a superior selection of apps and games. I would only consider getting the kindle fire if i was an amazon prime member already heavily invested in amazon's ecosystem. Even then, the only amazon content you won't be able to access on the nexus tablet is hd movies and tv shows.

As for video, you probably won't notice much of a difference between 1280×800 and 1920×1200 on a seven inch screen. Where the increased resolution makes a difference is in web browsing, small text, magazines, comics, and pdfs. Ultimately, since everyone's eyesight is different, only you can determine whether the increased resolution makes a significant difference for you in the aforementioned activities. Personally, i can see tiny web page text (such as when i'm using my tablet on mobileread) and pdf text perfectly fine on my kindle fire hd. This video may be of some help



Some other factors that may or may not be relevant to you

--the new nexus is much lighter than the kindle, about three ounces. The kindle has fairly large bezel all around, the nexus has tiny bezel on the sides and fairly large bezel on the ends. If you like to rest your thumbs on the sides of the tablet, the nexus may not be comfortable to hold.

--the kindle fire has the best speakers of any tablet.

--the nexus 7 has widgets, folders, wallpapers. The kindle fire allows for no customization , organization, or personalization.

--the kindle fire currently is $70 cheaper. That could change.

-- the new nexus 7 has no hdmi port, the kindle fire does.

--if the differences in screens between the kindle fire and nexus don't matter to you, you might want to consider the new memopad or hisense sero pro 7, which have the same screen as the kindle fire hd 7 but superior processors, full access to google play, two cameras, a microsd slot, and sell for $149. The nook hd is another tablet to consider. it has a better screen than the kindle, full access to google play, a microsd slot, and sells for $129.

Last edited by spellbanisher; 08-08-2013 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:19 PM   #10
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I sold my Kindle Fire HD and picked up the 2013 Nexus 7. The screen on the Nexus is fantastic and for me, the 16GB size was fine. I think I'm done buying talents linked to a specific bookseller. I still love my Paperwhite, but if I'm going to read on a tablet, I reach for the Nexus.
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:59 AM   #11
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I'd personally go with the Nexus it's just one of the most powerful tablets about at the minute and not priced like it, if I didn't have the original which is fast enough for me right now I'd almost certainly buy one myself.

Wouldn't rule out Google Play books as an ereader app either it's starting to grow on me I like the fact I can read on my tablet in bed then at work read a chapter on my phone without worrying about the page placement but there are a lot of good choices I've Play Books, Mantano and Fabrik on mine and have been switching between them trying to decide myself which I prefer.
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:11 AM   #12
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If you are willing to root it, I'd recommend the Kindle Fire HD over the Nexus 7. Rooting is different than flashing a new ROM. Rooting simply unlocks the currently installed version of Android to give you "administrator" privileges. You can still have access to the original Kindle UI but also have it look like a traditional tablet by installing a launcher and Google Play... the two modes (Android and Kindle Fire) can coexist.

From what I've seen, the overall build quality of the KFHD is better than the Nexus 7. And the current price of the KFHD7 is terrific for a device with these specs and quality. For media playback, the KFHD devices still have the best sounding speakers than comparable devices.

I was so impressed with the KFHD7's performance as an Android tablet that I regretted not waiting for the 8.9" model to become available. But that's a story for another thread.
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:33 PM   #13
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I love my nexus 7 personally

If you want a tablet that have all the features, that you can personalize , have Google play, updates, go for the nexus 7.

If what you want to with the tablet is just reading / music / movies, the Fire will to the job.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:16 AM   #14
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Get both - that's what I did
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Old 08-12-2013, 03:21 AM   #15
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I personally recommend Nook HD+ for the half price or if you only need a 7 inch one get the HD. You get 1900x1200 HD+ and 1440 x 900 with HD, pretty good for what they are. I have both HD and HD+ they both serve to different needs.

I use these only for reading, so I never cared about camera, super high speed cpus etc.

As far as the Fire goes, I would not personally bother with it since it has relatively low resolution compared to the Nook HD or Nexus 7.

Last edited by khahoon; 08-12-2013 at 03:27 AM.
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