New Kindle Fire vs iPad comparison chart tells more of the story

Amazon has been pushing the release of their Kindle Fire tablet pretty hard with a comparison chart that makes the iPad look pretty lame, but another comparison chart is making the rounds and tells a bit more of the story.

Marco Arment, the man who gave the world Instapaper, took a look at Amazon’s chart and decided that there were some facts missing. Important ones at that. So, like any good fan of full disclosure, he put together his own… but don’t count on seeing Amazon borrow it any time soon.

His first beef with Amazon’s chart is that it includes several quotes in the “What people are saying” section without giving proper attribution. “Maybe it’s because all of them are simply reactions to the Fire’s specs and price after the announcement, not reviews from anyone who actually used one”, he explains. And he (justifiably) questions why Amazon isn’t including any current review links in their promotions page.

The real payoff, however, is Ament’s revised chart. Where Amazon’s chart favorably compares the Fire to the iPad with regard to resolution, weight, and some misleading information about availability of apps (Amazon says “Most Amazon content can be enjoyed on your Kindle Fire and many other devices” and then “Most Apple content can only be used on select Apple products”, almost all of which is either a misrepresentation or outright false), Arment goes for the throat. Available apps? Fire: “Not A Lot. And mostly crap”, iPad: “A Lot. Critically acclaimed apps and award-winning games”. Stability? Fire: “Needs Improvement”, iPad: “Very Stable”. Volume buttons? Fire: “No”, iPad” Yes”. etc. etc.

My only reservation about Arment’s chart is that he has so much great data to work with, but lapses into editorializing. By including comments like “Infuriatingly Awful” about the Fire’s magazine reading capacity, he invites evangelists to step up and say “I think it’s great!” and, thus, muddy the point. I wish he’d stuck to data only, because there’s no arguing that.

Nevertheless, it’s an entertaining read and mixes a little much-needed truth into the recipe. I wouldn’t bother checking Amazon for this chart any time soon, but you can take a look at Arment’s site and get a look.


Corey has been been a tech journalist with a focus on Apple since 1998 and has written for The Loop, MacHome magazine, and as games contributor for The Mac Bible, and co-hosts the iGame Radio Podcast. He works as a… Full Bio