Kindle Fire HD: Budget alternative to iPad?

News: October 2012

Kindle Fire HD: Budget alternative to iPad?

As IT budgets are squeezed, some businesses may begin to look around for alternatives to the iPad for their tablet computing needs. With the launch of Amazon’s latest tablet (which is significantly cheaper that the Apple iPad), many people are asking whether the new device can deliver as a business tool.

The low cost 7-inch Kindle Fire HD comes with Wi-Fi, dual-stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus audio technology, 16GB of storage and a battery life of up to 11 hours. The mid-range 8.9-inch device doesn’t offer the same lengthy battery life, but it does come with a 1,920 x 1,200 display with 254ppi, plus an OMAP4 4470 processor and improved graphics performance.

The high-end Kindle Fire HD has the same 8.9 inch display, but this device comes with 32GB of storage and 4G LTE wireless powered by the latest-generation 4G chipset. No longer satisfied with competing in the low-cost tablet market, where the Kindle Fire has previously dominated, Amazon is now competing with the big boys by offering a high-end device with top-of-the-range specifications.

The new devices use Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, in line with many current tablets on the market. As well as adding features like Immersion Reading, FreeTime, X-Ray for Books and Whispersync for audiobooks and games, Amazon has also updated its browser to deliver content faster.

It is important to keep the limitations of the Kindle Fire in mind when installing a document creation app. The device can’t take a Bluetooth keyboard or any third-party software keyboard alternatives, and the 7-inch display will make your typing and editing options limited.

Office Software

As with most tablets, office applications on the Kindle Fire are best used to review documents and make simple changes rather than create them. The Kindle Fire ships with Quickoffice pre-installed, but this version will only allow users to read Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. Users will need to download Quickoffice Pro or another document editing app if they want to edit or create new files. However, QuickOffice Pro HD for Tablets is not the one that users can buy for their Kindle Fire. The more expensive QuickOffice is specifically optimized for Android 3.x Honeycomb tablets.