Categories: Kindle Fire HDX

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 vs Nexus 10 vs iPad Air

Here we compare 10 specs of the Apple iPad Air, Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ and Google Nexus 10 tablets.

1. Price Comparison

The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ is $120 – 250 cheaper than the iPad Air depending on the options you choose (The Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ is available from $199. Offer valid as of 11.30 am CST March 4th 2014)Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" vs iPad Air vs Nexus 10 Price Comparison

Winner: The 8.9″ Kindle Fire HDX is cheaper than both the iPad Air and the Google Nexus 10

The question to ask yourself is “If I buy an iPad paying an extra $120 – $250, would I get extra value for the extra money I pay?” We hope you’ll be able to answer that question once you go through all of the 10 specs.

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" vs iPad Air vs Nexus 10 Price Differences 2. Comparison of the Screen/Display

Arguably the most important tech spec of a tablet computer Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" vs iPad Air vs Nexus 10 Screen Display Comparison

Winner: The Fire HDX 8.9″ has the highest pixel density/resolution. In addition, based on third party independent testing, it has the BEST Overall picture. Displaymate technologies concluded that the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ is the “best performing tablet display we have ever tested“*.

* DisplayMate technologies tested a variety of specs like Color accuracy, contrast accuracy, display calibration, reflection/glare, maximum brightness, contrast ratio, color temperature, color gamut, color error etc. etc. before coming into that conclusion!

The difference of pixel densities between the Fire HDX is and iPad Air is considerably big. However, like we show in our iPad Mini with Retina Display vs Kindle Fire HDX 7″ vs Nexus 7 comparison, the iPad Mini has a higher pixel density than both its competitors.

Q: What is the device with the HIGHEST pixel density?

A: With a pixel density of 468 ppi, this is the one

3. Comparison of Processor, RAM and Graphics powersKindle Fire HDX 8.9" vs iPad Air vs Nexus 10 Processing Power Comparison

Winner: The Fire HDX 8.9″ processor has twice as many cores, faster, and has more RAM than the iPad Air.

Disclaimer: Even though quad-core 2.2GHz processor looks a lot better than a dual-core 1.4GHz processor on paper, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the former will be superior from a performance standpoint. However, it’s very unlikely that the A7 processor of the iPad Air will do better than the Snapdragon 800 processor of the Fire HDX, given the huge differences of processor speed, number of cores and RAM. A scientific comparison of their actual performances has not been done to-date, to our knowledge. Once such data becomes available, we will be sure to update this space!

4. Comparison of tablet weights

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" vs iPad Air vs Nexus 10 Tablet Weight Comparison

Winner: The Fire HDX 8.9″ is ~95 g lighter than the iPad Air and 230g lighter than the Nexus 10

95 grams! Big Deal or not?

Tablet weight is not something to sweat about too much. However, it will matter if you plan on using it for long reading sessions. The 95g difference between the Kindle Fire and the iPad Air will be noticeable if you read a book holding it with one hand. When reading, usually a tablet is held in portrait mode (vertically) and you may want to free one of the hands for turning pages or to hold a cup of coffee. This brings the whole weight to that one hand. This is what makes the ‘light-weight’ an important factor to consider. In case of a movie, a tablet is usually held in landscape mode and you usually hold it with both hands. That’s why weight is not such a big issue when watching a movie.

Side note: For reading, you may be attracted to this 9.7″ device given it’s relatively cheap price tag. However, we recommend the smaller version with a higher resolution.

5. Comparison of storage options

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" vs iPad Air vs Nexus 10 Storage Option Comparison

Winner: The iPad has the broadest options while the Nexus has the least options. Extra 16GB cost $100 more on the iPad Air while on the Fire HDX, extra 16GB cost only $50.

NO SD card slot! :evil:

None of the 3 tablets have microSD card slots for memory expansion. If there was a microSD card slot, you could have bought a 16GB tablet and added microSD cards later on as and when the need arises. But now, without a memory expansion slot, you have to decide if you need a 16GB, 32GB, 64GB or even a 128GB right at the beginning! That shucks!


Check out this gadget and this free app.

Expand memory as much as you want! Much cheaper than buying the 32GB – 128GB versions. Also have additional benefits like being able to use with up to 8 devices simultaneously!

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6. Comparison of battery life

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" vs iPad Air vs Nexus 10 Battery Life Comparison

Winner: The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″

I wouldn’t base my decision to buy or ditch a tablet based on its battery life. The differences are just a matter of 1-2 hours, nothing earth shattering in our opinion. However, if you do a lot of reading, the Kindle Fire HDX may have a slight edge here. Again, for reading purposes, this device with weeks-long battery life is best!

7. Comparison of the cameras

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" vs iPad Air vs Nexus 10 Front and Rear Camera Comparison

Winner: The Fire HDX 8.9″ has the highest MP rear camera

Again, I wouldn’t base my purchasing decision based on the mega pixels of the cameras. I’m buying a tablet here and not a camera. My primary use of the tablet is not as a camera. So as long as the camera/s are decent, I wouldn’t sweat too much. Most people will only use these photos to post on Facebook etc. and the 5 MP cameras on the iPad and Nexus are plenty for that purpose. However, it doesn’t hurt to check on the available photo editing apps. We recommend #1 Best Seller, Photo Editor+ Amazon Image

8. Comparison of ports and connections

Winner: The Google Nexus has the most options

9. Comparison of the operating systems

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" vs iPad Air vs Nexus 10 Operating System Comparison

Winner: Depends on personal preference. Stock Android of the Nexus is very customizable

This is very subjective. If you’ve been using Android or iOS for a long time, it would be very difficult to adapt to a different system. The Fire OS and iOS have often been described as ‘walled gardens’ while Android OS has been described as an open garden referring to its openness to be customized.

10. Comparison of the content eco-systems

(A) Music

Amazon digital store vs iTunes vs Google Play Comparison for Music

References: Reference 1

VERDICT: Amazon wins based on price and iTunes wins based on the size of the library. However, it is reasonable to assume that the audio tracks missing on Amazon music are ones that are pretty old and rare. So if that is not the kind of music you listen to, Amazon will likely have everything you want!

(B) Video (TV shows and Movies)

Amazon instant video vs iTunes vs Google Play Comparison for Movies and TV shows

References: Ref 1, Ref 2, Ref 3, Ref 4

VERDICT: Amazon wins based on purchase price, diversity of apps/platforms to access videos, frequent discounts/sales, and the Prime membership.

Amazon Prime deserves special mention:

(C) Apps

Amazon app store vs Appple Appstore vs Google Play App Comparison

* On Amazon App Store homepage, if you scroll down to where it says “For Kindle Tablet”, you’ll see the number of apps that will work with different versions of the Kindle Fire tablets.


VERDICT: You can’t give a concrete answer to this one. There’s no arguing that Amazon is far behind Apple and Google with app numbers. However, it’s not just a numbers game. Even though Amazon has a relatively low number of apps, you’re most likely to find any of the major apps you’d be interested in. Especially with Amazon boosting its use for office-related work with the latest model, you’ll find an app for almost anything you want. >80,000 apps optimized for use on the Kindle Fire HD is quite a lot when you consider that the average tablet user only installs about 50 apps!

Some useful resources

(D) Ebooks

Kindle Book Store vs iBook Store vs Google Bookstore comparison

Reference: Huff Post


    • Kindle store is the cheapest for ebooks
    • Kindle store/books offer some additional features like book lending/borrowing, X-ray, Immersion reading, Popular highlights etc.
    • You can read all Kindle books you purchase on almost any device (iOS/android phone/tablet PC/MAC). However, you can’t read books you’ve purchased through your iOS device on a Kindle Fire. To read books you’ve already purchased on Nook, Kobo, Google etc., you have to install/side-load 3rd party apps – this is a potential limitation of buying a Kindle Fire HD/X. However, if you don’t already own any content from iBooks, Kobo, Nook or Google bookstore, you won’t run into this issue!


iTunes library is overall bigger

Amazon is overall cheaper


Summary of the 10 comparisons – who is the ultimate winner?

  1. PriceKindle Fire HDX
  2. DisplayKindle Fire HDX
  3. Processor, RAMKindle Fire HDX
  4. WeightKindle Fire HDX
  5. Storage optionsApple iPad
  6. Battery lifeKindle Fire HDX
  7. Cameras- Kindle Fire HDX
  8. Ports and ConnectionsGoogle Nexus
  9. Operating systemGoogle Nexus/iOS?
  10. Content eco-system – size; iTunes, price- Kindle Fire HDX

Bottom line

Kindle Fire HDX comes up 7 times in the above list. Can you justify spending an extra $120 – $250 for an iPad Air, when its display, processor, RAM, price of content, battery life etc. are inferior to that of the Kindle Fire HDX?

Which tablet gets your vote?

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Posted on Nov 7, 2013

2 Responses to “iPad Air vs Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ vs Google Nexus 10 Comparison”
Read them below or add one

  1. RG Geiger says:

    I got the kindle Fire HDX, side loaded an alternate home launcher (5 screens), and nearly all my favorite Google apps, including Chrome, Gmail, Currents, Play books,music,movie and newspapers. The constant failure of Google framework, and no Play Store is a small price to pay for a stunning display and all my favorite tablet apps.

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