Amazon Kindle Fire vs. iPad 2: Picking the Tablet That's Right for You - Page 2

4. Kindle: Android vs. iPad 2: iOS 5

Amazon's Kindle Fire runs Android, while the iPad 2 comes with the new iOS 5. Although the Kindle Fire's Android installation might scare some customers away, it's worth noting that the device is running a heavily modified version of the operating system designed by Amazon. Does that make it better than iOS 5? That's doubtful. But it's at least better than the run-of-the-mill Android.

5. Kindle: No cameras vs. iPad 2: Dual cameras

To keep the Kindle Fire's price tag at $199, Amazon decided not to include front- or rear-facing cameras. For those who don't want to snap photos or hold video chats, that's not a problem. But for those who do, opting for the iPad 2 with its front- and rear-facing cameras is the way to go.

6. Kindle: WiFi-only vs. iPad 2: WiFi and 3G options available

The Kindle Fire, like the iPad 2, is capable of connecting to the Web via WiFi. However, be aware that Amazon's tablet doesn't support 3G or 4G networking. There are versions of Apple's tablet, on the other hand, that boast 3G connectivity on both AT&T's and Verizon's networks. Since tablets are designed to be mobile, the Kindle Fire's lack of 3G connectivity is a real issue for some customers.

7. Kindle: Cloud storage vs. iPad 2: iCloud

Amazon has made it clear that it believesthe cloud is an integral component in the Kindle Fire's value proposition. Customers will be able to store content in the cloud, stream music from the Web and use the device's Silk browser, which relies upon Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud, for Web surfing. Apple's iPad 2 isn't so heavily invested in the cloud, but it does support iCloud, which allows users to sync content across multiple devices. In the end, though, the Kindle Fire appears to win the day on the cloud.

8. Kindle: Up to 8 hours battery life vs. iPad 2: Up to 10 hours Web surfing

Although the Kindle Fire is a smaller device than the iPad 2, according to Amazon, it can only muster 8 hours of battery life when users are reading a book, for example. The iPad 2, on the other hand, can hold out for 10 hours when users are surfing the Web. Both devices feature respectable battery lives, but the iPad 2 wins out.

9. Kindle: Amazon integrated services vs. iPad 2: iTunes

Amazon has brought all of its popular services to the Kindle Fire. Consumers will be able to buy Kindle ebooks, stream content from Amazon's Instant Video service and download tracks from the MP3 store. Apple offers all that through its own integrated services, like iTunes and iBooks. Although Apple's stores are more popular than Amazon's right now,both companies are offering compelling services worth trying out.

10. Kindle: Amazon App Store vs. iPad 2: Apple App Store

Unlike many Android-based devices on store shelves, the Kindle Fire will not support the Android Market. Instead, the tablet will support Amazon's application marketplace. For consumers, that's good news. Amazon's store eliminates much of the garbage found in the Android Market, but still comes with all the top apps from Google's store. On the iPad 2 side, the device supports the Apple App Store. And as consumers know quite well, the App Store is a winner.

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Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...