Amazon Kindle Fire HD vs iPad 3 vs iPad Mini (rumours)
It's a three-way fight this time round as the iPad 3 takes on the rumoured iPad Mini and Amazon's Kindle Fire HD
We pitch Apple’s current iPad 3 and its rumoured iPad Mini against the Amazon Kindle Fire HD.
iPad 3 - 241.2 x185.7x9.4mm, 652g
iPad Mini – TBC
Amazon Kindle Fire HD - 193 mmx137mmx10.3mm, 395g
The iPad 3 is the largest of the three tablets we’re comparing here with its 9.7-inch display and in most ways it’s virtually identical to its predecessor, the iPad 2.
This means you get the same iconic Apple style with softly rounded corners, a moderately sized and evenly proportioned bezel around the screen and a back panel which slopes upwards and inwards slightly from the front.
The slate comes in either black or white colouration with a flashy aluminium back panel and is quite sleek and modern looking, if a little ‘bubbly’ thanks to its curvy design.
In terms of build quality you get exactly what you’d expect from Apple and that’s a premium level of fit and finish and overall the device seems very sturdy to hold.
Previous rumours indicated the iPad Mini would be closer in design to an enlarged iPod Nano than to the existing iPad models. However, since then more recent leaks have strongly suggested it will follow the iPad 3’s form factor quite closely but on a smaller scale.
Plenty of leaks have put forward 7.85-inches as the golden figure for the iPad Mini, although some sources still say it’ll be dead on 7-inches. Our money is on the former.
It’ll also allegedly feature the iPhone 5’s much-reported charging port, which has a smaller design than the one seen on previous Apple products and, like the iPhone 5, may or may not have the 3.5mm audio jack moved to the bottom of the device.
Again we expect the build quality to be excellent all round, we also doubt Apple will scrimp on materials even though rumours persist of a budget price tag and leaks indicate we’re still talking about an aluminium back panel.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD will only be available in the UK as the 7-inch version (at least for now) but the form factor between the two size types appears to be more or less the same.
We’ve previously drawn comparisons in its visual design with the ill-fated HP TouchPad and, to be clear, we thought that was something of a looker.
It’s more rounded at the corners than even the iPad and appears to have a larger bezel, though as with Apple’s device it’s evenly proportioned all the way round.
The back panel is rubber-coated and there’s a black band around the bottom section with the Kindle logo.
We haven’t had a hands-on with the Kindle Fire HD, so can’t vouch for its build quality, though we can say we got to grips previously with the original Kindle Fire and it was a reassuringly robust and well-built tablet, which suggests to us the same attention will have been lavished on the successor model.
At the end of the day tablet aesthetic design is one of the more uninspiring aspects of mobile tech as there’s apparently only so much that can be done with the medium. They all end up looking like rectangular slabs.
Which is, of course, totally fine, but it creates a situation in these comparisons where the only measuring stick is build quality and, when you’re dealing with heavy hitters like Apple and Amazon you know it’s going to be equally good.
The one thing we will say is that, for dedicated tablets (as opposed to the new class of hybrid laptop/tablets) we’re beginning to like the smaller form-factor more and more, rendering the iPad 3 the less appealing option of the three devices compared here.
Winner – Draw between iPad Mini and Amazon Kindle Fire HD