When it comes to budget tablets, there are only two main options: the Amazon fire tablet or the Apple iPad. Which one is the best for your needs? Let’s take a look.

To be clear, we are only talking about the basic iPad here, not the iPad Pro version. This is because tablets like the iPad Pro and Microsoft Surface Pro are meant more as laptop replacements rather than simple tablet devices.

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    Amazon Fire Tablet vs. Apple iPad: Which Should You Buy? image
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    Amazon Fire Tablet vs. Apple iPad: The Rundown

    In a way, the comparison isn’t really fair. The Amazon Fire tablet is priced at less than half of what the iPad 10th Gen asks for, making it clear that there are going to be major differences in their features and performance.

    The iPad outperforms the Fire tablet on every technical specification, offering more storage, more processing power, higher resolution, and better cameras. So the question is not whether the Apple iPad is better than the Amazon Fire tablet – it definitely is – but rather if it is worth the extra price.

    And honestly, that is a difficult question to answer. Because it depends entirely on what you want out of a tablet.

    If you are looking for a simple entertainment tablet to read books, play games, and watch movies on, the Amazon Fire tablet is perfect for you. It is especially good for kids. But if you’re looking for a more powerful mobile device with a range of productivity apps and the specs to power them, the iPad would be a better choice.

    Amazon Fire Tablet vs. Apple iPad: The Specs

    Amazon Fire HD 10 Apple iPad 10.9 10th Gen
    Operating System FireOS iPadOS
    Display 10.1-inch 1080p Full HD 10.9-inch Liquid Retina True Tone
    Resolution 1920 x 1200 2360 x 1640
    Processor Octa-core 2.0 GHz Apple A14 Bionic
    Memory 3GB or 4GB 4GB
    Storage 32GB, 64GB 64GB, 256GB
    Camera 2MP Front, 5MP Rear 12MP Wide camera with Smart HDR 3
    Connector USB-C USB-C
    Price Starts at $149 Starts at $447

    Amazon Fire Tablet vs. Apple iPad: Pricing

    The first and most obvious difference between the two tablets is the pricing. The Amazon Fire tablet is practically dirt cheap, with even the latest 10-inch model retailing at just $150, while the iPad starts at well over $400.

    Amazon Fire Tablet vs. Apple iPad: Pricing image

    Even if you are willing to go back a few years – metaphorically speaking – and buy an older generation model, you’ll still be hard-pressed to get a price lower than the Fire tablet. And this is before we consider the iPad Pro, which will cost you at least a thousand bucks, if not more.

    This renders the Amazon Fire tablet the undisputed winner in terms of pricing. Unless you really want more from your tablet – and can extend your budget – you can go with the Fire HD 10 with no regrets.

    Winner: Amazon Fire Tablet

    Amazon Fire Tablet vs. Apple iPad: Apps

    Contrary to what you might expect, the Amazon Fire tablet does not run on Android. It instead uses FireOS, a fork of Google’s AndroidOS. And therein lies its biggest problem.

    Amazon Fire tablet cannot run Google services. This means no Play Store, no Gmail, no Chrome (it has its own browser), and most surprisingly of all, no Youtube. Even the general selection of apps available on the Fire tablet is smaller since you can only install apps from the Amazon App store.

    Amazon Fire Tablet vs. Apple iPad: Apps image

    Now technically, it’s possible to install these natively unsupported apps on a Fire tablet through workarounds. But such methods are tricky and often get broken when a new update rolls out.

    The Apple iPad, in contrast, features all applications available in the Apple ecosystem. This means you get Google apps like Youtube alongside Adobe and Microsoft’s creativity and productivity apps.

    Winner: Apple iPad

    Amazon Fire Tablet vs. Apple iPad: Display

    The display is a major factor in choosing a tablet, and another area in which the cost of the device ends up playing an important role. And so while the Fire HD 10 is marketed as a multimedia tablet, it is the more expensive iPad that sports a better display.

    The 10.9-inch iPad features a Liquid Retina display with True Tone color, along with a whopping 2360 x 1640 resolution. This sets it leagues apart from the Amazon Fire tablet’s 1920 x 1200 Full HD display.

    Amazon Fire Tablet vs. Apple iPad: Display image

    Of course, this also means that accidentally breaking the iPad’s display is going to burn a deeper hole in your pocket. If you’re getting this tablet for a kid, you might be better off with the Amazon Fire tablet’s Kids Edition, which encloses the tablet in a more durable casing for just fifty bucks extra.

    Winner: Even

    Amazon Fire Tablet vs. Apple iPad: Camera

    Apple is known for its incredible cameras, so you can probably already guess the winner in this category. That’s right – the Apple iPad has better cameras than the Amazon Fire tablet.

    Amazon Fire Tablet vs. Apple iPad: Camera image

    The increased price tag obviously plays a part in this, since you can only fit so much into a $150 device. Especially when the primary function of that device is to serve as an entertainment tablet, not a photography tool.

    Still, the Amazon Fire tablet’s 2MP cameras are good enough for the occasional photo or video call. If you want proper cameras, however, you should go with the Apple iPad without a second thought.

    Winner: Apple iPad

    Amazon Fire Tablet vs. Apple iPad: Processor

    The CPU of a tablet is often not a deciding factor for most people, since it’s hard to judge how the numbers translate into actual performance. This holds true when comparing these two tablets since they both boast of a multi-core processor with 2Ghz (or higher) clock speed.

    That being said, the Apple iPad is outfitted with a more sophisticated processor. Named A14 Bionic, the chip contains specialized hardware for machine learning, giving a huge boost to all the new AI algorithms being rolled out.

    All that doesn’t really matter if you just want to watch movies or play games on your tablet. For most use cases, the Amazon Fire tablet’s CPU performs just fine.

    Winner: Even

    The Verdict

    If you look at the specs alone, the Apple iPad takes the clear win. From the display to the camera, it outstrips the capabilities of the Amazon Fire HD, with higher-quality hardware and software.

    At the same time, you must remember that this increased quality comes at a price. The iPad 10.9 is priced at more than twice the cost of the Fire HD 10, and most people won’t find the hefty price tag worth it.

    Whether you want to read books on the Kindle app or watch Amazon Prime Video, the budget-friendly tablet performs quite well. Unless you really want the extra features, the Amazon Fire tablet would be the correct choice for you.

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