Kindle Fire vs iPad 2: Bootup Times, Web Browsing, and Netflix Streaming

By , Nov 15, 2011

I finally acquired my highly anticipated Kindle Fire this morning, and I’ve been putting it through its paces all day long.

It’s a decent first attempt by Amazon, and it has tons of potential, but it still suffers from the fact that it’s a first generation device.

Even still, we thought it only appropriate to compare Apple’s latest tablet to Kindle Fire. How does the iPad 2 stack up to Amazon’s debut entry into the tablet race? Check out the interesting — yet ultimately unscientific — video comparison inside…

In this video I compared three different areas: bootup times, web browsing, and Netflix streaming.

Surprisingly, Kindle Fire held up pretty well in two out of three of our tests. Kindle Fire is really fast when it comes to Netflix streaming, though that could be due in part to Netflix’s new Android interface.

Overall, though, there’s absolutely no comparison between the two. The iPad 2 is just insanely more polished in all facets when compared to Amazon’s tablet. It really makes you appreciate all of the work that Apple goes through to get their hardware and software performing just right.

Did you buy a Kindle Fire? What do you think about the two tablets? Is there room for both in the tablet market? Sound off in the comments below.

  • Share:
  • Follow:
  • http://twitter.com/elcarter101 Carter Barrett

    I want one but I can’t get it in Canada :(

  • KewlDewd

    While you didn’t put as much emphasis on the scrolling, that is a big deal to me. Smooth scrolling just makes the experience so much better. Particularly on a touch screen. Nice comparison.

  • http://www.facebook.com/suryatej Suryatej Reddy

    Why did you blurr the netflix video?

    • jo-macral

      Copyright

  • jo-macral

    Next time instead of blaming flash for the slowdown, why not disable it on the Kindle, then compare the two on a more equal footing. I am still thinking the Kindle will be a good ebook reader and cheap media player, but I hardly doubt it will get much more use than that.

  • http://twitter.com/S3d_Olle S3Eed

    I don’t think 200$. Is worth for kindle fire no cam ,7″ display ,only 8Gb storge , u need to spend more than 400$ to upgrade it and this is not avaliable at all .. if u have the ability to buy hundreds eBooks of Kindle store that cost u more than 1000$ ,
    Then the price dos not matter at all to get i pad2 with big screen, large capacity, cam and more and more of specification .
    I don’t say kindle fire is bad but for me i’ll buy ipad2

  • http://twitter.com/Yboy403 Yerachmiel Paquette

    Is it just me, or is this video kind of like “Samsung Galaxy 551 vs. iPhone 4S”?
    I think there’s room for both, because they’re targeted completely differently. Personally, I’d rather have an iPad–but only if I wasn’t paying.

  • http://www.BriefEpisode.com/ Gib Wallis

    The Netflix comparison was really interesting. I wonder if it’s the new app? Or because Netflix is on AWS servers?

    I agree with the other commenters — Flash is being discontinued because it’ slow. It’s also comparing Flash adverts to HTML adverts, which is rather useless in letting us know what the two are like to use.

    Thanks for doing it, though.

  • http://www.unitedworx.com Paris Paraskeva

    i admid that kindle fire works pretty well cosidering its price tag.

    the downside thought it the 7” screen, its much mcuh smaller that the iPad.

    i hate to see boot up times in reviews!

    come on guys! this is not a PC that you will boot up every time to use! this is a table which is awlays on, rebooting might be needed ocne every 2-3 months if somethign goes wrong.

    • http://twitter.com/AliLars Ali A

      You’re absolutely right. But this is part of the comparison, so they’ve got to show it to us. Thanks Jeff I’m blogging your video now!

      • http://www.unitedworx.com Paris Paraskeva

        boot up time is something completely irrelevant when comparing an always on device.

      • Anonymous

        Sure it is when you have a glitch and need to reboot it. It’s not a PC, but it is a computer. It has an OS and a file system and applications, and in turn can have issues if apps hang and force quitting them doesn’t resolve the problem. This can happen either on the iPad or an Android device since both use a variant of Unix.

  • Anonymous

    Viva ipad2 slower on video but faster on everything else
    I know which one I’m getting :-)

  • Anonymous

    You’ve gotta remember you’re comparing a $200 device to a $600 one. The Fire is so much more accessible, and at a third of the cost, the compromise of performance and scrolling is very tolerable.

    • http://twitter.com/ex2bot Doug Bott

      The iPad starts at $500, not 6.

      • http://www.rundouble.com Martin Long

        I stand corrected, but I think my point still holds.

  • http://www.facebook.com/miguelangel.morenomiguel Miguel Angel Moreno Miguel

    absolutely astonished and fascinated with my Ipad 2…so I don’t change it for nothing in the world. Well, only for one thing, Ipad 3 :)

    • Anonymous

      And other higher versions…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1470822676 Pam Eves

    I ordered one, it’ll be here tomorrow. Interesting comparison. But I feel as though, while it’s understandable that they’re being compared, it’s kind of like comparing a Chevy Cobalt and a Ford Mustang.

  • Jay Phillips

    I have the nook color which I rooted and am running full android and while there’s no comparison between it and an iPad or the other premium tablet devices out there it does a fairly decent job for what I want it to do without the premium price. It’s also a lot lighter than the other heavy duty tablets. The fact that you can’t add more memory to the fire is the big turn off to me. I always have several movies and TV shows on my nook’s 32g sd card with plenty of room to spare. And what good is the cloud if you’re not in range of WIFI? Even though it’s $50 cheaper if I was buying today I’d still get the nook. And kindle looks great on the nook! :)

  • http://twitter.com/billy_koch Billy Koch

    Truth be told – I think there is room for both. I personally own both the Fire and an iPad2. And I would rather lug my Kindle Fire around more than I would lug my iPad2 around outside home or when I travel. Granted I could take both of them but the Fire is smaller and it would do everything I need it to do. But I use the iPAD as well for the video chat capability and for VRS (Video Relay Services *a service used for deaf and hard of hearing people). But both are great products I see the benefit of both –

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VCKZSUBMPZMP4PKJFIAKG3U6RQ Barney

    For $200.00 less I can live with these small differences. Thanks

  • http://twitter.com/joepeffer joepeffer

    The comparison, IMO, should be between the Kindle Fire and the Nook Color. Similar price points and similar size and, I would imagine, on lots of holiday gift lists. I’m trying to make up my mind for a gift and would rather see that side by side comparison because I think it would make more sense.

  • http://twitter.com/molbal Bálint Molnár

    Well, you’re an awesome blogger – You don’t hide that you love iOS, but still respect other devices. You’ve gathered another visitor.

  • Anonymous

    I own both devices and the Kindle Fire loads content of nearly every site faster than the iPad 2. You are the first reviewer to acknowledge that. Yes the iPad 2 is better. However, the Kindle 2 is getting ripped for being slow at browsing the web. It is blazing unless you are anxious for the flash. A fix would be for us to have the option to strip out the flash… But the non-flash content is consistently faster on the Fire. I enjoy them both and alternate between them pretty evenly.

    I wish they both had sd slots. Amazon did a great job of keeping the tablet open (I sideloaded DropBox and Epocrates with ease) while improving the Android experience ten-fold.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DT6KMAYORJ6YVC3BDCUNNOKPSE Douglas H.

    What’s the battery life in Sleep Mode and how long does it take to wake up?

    Thanks.

    • http://twitter.com/zencart_ Dev Team

      We just got our Fire and left the Fire on overnight and this is the first Android device we have seen that didn’t drain any charge at all!

      We are an Apple Shop BTW but say that the Fire is a great device – very slick, very fast, great build quality, virtually no finger prints, Gorilla Glass – Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus play great.

      The Fire actually matches or outperforms our top of the line Android Tabs and certainly does some things as well or better than the iPad

  • http://twitter.com/blakecaldwell Blake Caldwell

    You overplayed how important the speed of the Netflix app is, and downplayed how horrible that scrolling on the Kindle was. Netflix was 4 seconds faster on the Kindle – that’s 4 seconds… to start a 2-hour movie. And then you spent 4 seconds trying to scroll a webpage on the Kindle, and apologized for it, but said that it deserved some leeway because it was loading flash… ads… as if that was worth the wait.

    Very biased – if Apple made the Kindle, it would get MUCH more flack, even if it was $150

    • jo-macral

      Your points are spot on, and I don’t think apple WOULD make a kindle class device that performed that poor, even on a v1.0 kOS.

      All that aside however, the form factor, and price of the kindle has sold me somewhat, so I will probably get one. Since I live and work in SE Asia, it will be interesting trying to order one.

  • Anonymous

    I am now an official regular viewer of your site, I like the fact that your not an opionated blogger, those kinds of bloggers shouldnt be bloggers, but I think that all aspects of devices should be related to evenly, such as scrolling, you didn’t really focus to much on that for the kindle, just sorta brushed it off. But I’m not complaining (even though I sort of am)
    Also, in my opinion (ironic right?) scrolling is everything for a touchscreen device, besides I didn’t notice but is it as laggy as it was on the Internet browser as on the hone screen????

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_X47KIBOIEADCS5IREVTJMNZTOM Nicole

    This is the first version of an Amazon tablet against the 2nd version of the Apple(who has had a few years head start)–I’ve been wanting an IPad for a while, but my husband got me a Kindle fire for my bday-it is arriving in 5 days—As far as the load speed goes, there is not That big of a lag between the 2–it seems the person videoing this sounded a bit more partial to the IPAD 2, but he failed to take into consideration the 100′s of $ difference between the 2–and the extra years of practice on the part of Apple. Although I origanally wanted and IPAD, I think that i will be just as pleased with the KindleFire, and still save up to 600$–its not an IPAD and shouldnt be compare to one-besides the buyers of the kindlefire warranty have the option to upgrade to the newer bug-free versions.

    • http://twitter.com/blakecaldwell Blake Caldwell

      “it seems the person videoing this sounded a bit more partial to the IPAD 2, but he failed to take into consideration the 100′s of $ difference between the 2–and the extra years of practice on the part of Apple”

      It’s important to compare like features. Price is just one feature, that the buyer will have to put his/her own weight on. You can’t review every feature with an apology for the Kindle just because it’s cheaper.

      As for “and the extra years of practice on the part of Apple”… I’m not sure what relevance that has. We’re not grading effort here on Amazon’s part, we’re trying to determine which device is better in your hands. You can feel sympathy for Amazon for joining the party late, but that won’t make your browser scroll any faster.

  • http://vimeo.com/ryanlaing/videos september11th

    This was a great video. Thanks. I’ve seen lots of reviews but it’s so much more helpful to really show side by side comparisons and the thing in use. The slugishness and in scrolling around the Fire would drive me insane.. It’s strange, it can play video and games fluidly, but why is the simple scrolling through menus and html pages so jittery?

    • http://twitter.com/blakecaldwell Blake Caldwell

      Android doesn’t have the GPU acceleration that the iPad has. CPUs do lots of things decently, but GPUs do a few things extremely fast.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1105814420 Mike Orozco

    Video speed with the netflix app can be for several reasons. A smaller screen requires a lower bandwidth, so it would be able to load faster. The iPad may allow for a larger load cache before starting the movie to prevent minor hiccups when playing a movie. Lastly, the Netflix app may be optimized for the Android with the new version and will change when updated for the iPad app.

  • http://www.metaksan.com Cable trays

    I like kindle. And this model gives you much for 200 USD.

    But, I did not like 8gb, may be they want to have their cloud service to be used more..

  • Anonymous

    Nice comparison. I’m thinking about buying one or the other now. I was concerned that the Kindle would be way inferior, but other than size I can’t see the price justification for the ipad. Wonder why the Kindle is so much cheaper? Must have found a cheaper sweat shop in China.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y3QV4WJNHEPRXZM5OCJ47L6YEE Dimitri

    I believe after u get out of amazons way of doing things by way of rooting and get the android market its a great android tablet. For the money and performance with its duel core processer and great display, i believe its a must have for a lot of people i current use mine for school notes even though i have a Asus transformer i feel that my kindle fire is just easier to carry around and more of a first hand pick for me when i walk out the door every day.