Amazon Kindle Fire HDX vs. iPad Mini and Nexus 7

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Amazon Kindle Fire HDX Amazon Kindle Fire HDApple iPad MiniGoogle Nexus 7 (2013)Asus MeMO Pad HD 7
Starting Price$229 (7-inch), $379 (8.9-inch)$139 (7-inch), $269 (8.9)$329$229$129
CPU2.2-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 with Adreno 330 graphicsDual core 1.5-GHzDual-core Apple A51.5-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro with Adreno 320 graphics1.2-GHz Quad Core Media Tek MT8125
Display7 -inch (1920 x 1200) or 8.9-inch (2560 x 1600)7-inch (1280 x 800), 8.9-inch (1920 x 1200)7.9-inch (1024 x 768)7-inch (1920 x 1200)7-inch (1280 x 800)
OSFire OS 3.0Fire OS 3.0iOS 7Android 4.3Android 4.2
Expandable StorageN/AN/AN/AN/A32GB via microSD, One year free ASUS Webstorage Space
Battery LifeEstimated 11 hours mixed use, 17 hours when reading (7-inch) /  Estimated 12 hours mixed use, 18 hours when reading (8.9 inch)Estimated 10 hours mixed use (7-inch, 8.9-inch)10 hours, 33 minutes on LAPTOP Battery Test8 hours, 26 minutes on LAPTOP Battery Test9 hours, 40 minutes on LAPTOP Battery Test
ConnectivityWi-Fi/4GWi-Fi (7-inch), Wi-Fi/4G (8.9-inch)Wi-Fi/4GWi-Fi/4GWi-Fi
Size7.3 x 5 x 0.35 inches (7-inch), 9.1 x 6.2 x 0.31 (8.9-inch)7.5 x 5 x 0.4 inches (7-inch), 9.4 x 6.4 x 0.4 inches (8.9-inch)7.87 x 5.3 x 0.3 inches7.9 x 4.5 x 0.3 inches7.7 x 4.7 x .4 inches
Weight10.7 oz (7-inch Wi-Fi), 11 oz (7-inch 4G), 13.2 oz (8.9 inch Wi-Fi), 13.5 oz (8.9-inch 4G)12.2 oz (7-inch), 20 oz (8.9-inch)11.04 oz10.24 oz11 oz
Storage16GB, 32GB or 64GB8 GB, 16GB (7-inch), 16GB, 32GB (8.9-inch Wi-Fi), 32GB, 64GB (8.9-inch, 4G)16GB, 32GB, 64GB16GB or 32GB8GB, 16GB
Cameras Rear / FrontFront Facing HD Camera (7 and 8.9-inch), 8-MP rear (8.9-inch only)N/A (7-inch), Front-facing HD (8.9-inch)5-MP/ 1.2-MP5-MP/ 1.2-MP5-MP/ 1.2-MP
PortsUSB 2.0, 3.5mm headphone jackUSB 2.0, 3.5mm headphone jackLightning dock connector, 3.5 mm headphone jackmicro USB, SlimPort, 3.5mm headphone jackmicro USB, 3.5 mm headphone jack

With a faster quad-core CPU and sharper display, Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX 7 and HDX 8.9 tablets certainly improve on their predecessors. But is that enough to go head-to-head with today’s tablet industry leaders?

The new pair of Kindle Fire HDX slates are among the few mobile devices to sport a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, which should make them ideal for gaming. As rumored, the online retail giant has also bumped up the resolution on the 7-inch version to 1920 x 1200, while the 8.9-inch variant features a pixel-packed 2560 x 1600 display. The company will also introduce its new Fire OS 3.0, Amazon’s skinned version of Android, to both lines of Fire HDX and HD tablets.

MORE: Tablet Buyers' Guide 2013: 5 Questions to Ask Before You Buy

Amazon has made it clear that the Kindle Fire HDX 7 and HDX 8.9 are designed to rival today’s top-notch tablets, with prices starting at $229 for the 7-inch version and $379 for the 8.9-inch version. The 7-inch model starts at the same price as Google’s new Nexus 7, while the $379 Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is more expensive than all of the tablets in our comparison thanks to its roomier, sharper display.

Meanwhile, Amazon’s line of Kindle Fire HD slates will be getting a minor refresh as well. The 7-inch Kindle Fire HD, which is now one of the cheapest slates on the market at $139, features a 1.5-GHz dual-core processor as opposed to the previous generation's 1.2-GHz CPU.

At $229, the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 directly competes with the new Google Nexus 7, which we’ve crowned as our favorite Android tablet. Both tablets feature the same size display with identical resolution, but what truly sets the Nexus 7 apart is its eye-catching design and unmatched pure Android experience. Not only has Google has made its second-generation Nexus 7 thinner and lighter, but the newer slate sports a soft-touch back and edge-to-edge glass design that makes it feel like one of the most premium tablets out there. The Kindle Fire HDX 7, however, comes equipped with the most powerful processor of any 7-inch tablet to date, which could give it an advantage over Google’s new offering.

When it comes down to pure specs, the iPad Mini truly shines when it comes to battery life. The miniature Apple slate lasted for 10 hours and 33 minutes during the LAPTOP Battery Test, which means it survived for more than 10 hours while constantly surfing the Web via Wi-Fi with its brightness set to 40 percent. The iPad Mini’s screen isn’t as sharp as some of its competitors and its processor may not be as fast, but its sleek design and robust app ecosystem is what justifies its premium price.

The budget-priced  Asus MeMO Pad HD 7 may not be as flashy as some of its competitors, but it’s hard to argue against that low price tag. The 16GB edition, however, will cost you $149, which is slightly more expensive than the new Kindle Fire HD 7. Those seeking a cleaner Android experience, expandable storage and a long-lasting battery would be well-advised to choose the 16GB MeMO Pad HD for the extra $10.

Both of the new Kindle Fire HDX slates are up for preorder on Amazon’s website starting today. The table above offers a quick impression of how these tablets stack up to the competition, but stay tuned for a more in-depth analysis in our full reviews.

Lisa Eadicicco
LAPTOP Staff Writer
Lisa has been reporting on all things mobile for since early 2013. When she’s not reviewing gadgets, she’s usually browsing patent databases or interviewing experts to track down the hottest tech trends before they even happen. Lisa holds a B.A. in Journalism from SUNY Purchase and has contributed to The International Business Times, The New York Daily News and Guitar World Magazine.