With the release of the 7.9-inch iPad mini this week, Apple will essentially be entering Amazon’s home turf. You could argue that Apple still dominates the overall tablet market. But with two years of Kindle Fire sales under its belt, Amazon owns the 7-8-inch tablet space.

And as you may have guessed, it’s not prepared to concede any of that space to Apple without a fight. Over the weekend, people started noticing that Amazon had placed a comparison chart between the iPad mini and its Kindle Fire HD, front and center on its homepage

Talk about valuable ad placement. Though I couldn’t find an exact figure, Alexa says that Amazon.com is the 10th most popular website in the world. That means that millions of people are visiting the site each day, and are now seeing the above Kindle Fire-iPad mini ad.

In addition to the ad, Amazon also included the following quote from a Gizmodo article on the iPad mini:

“…your [Apple’s] 7.9-inch tablet has far fewer pixels than the competing 7-inch tablets! You’re cramming a worse screen in there, charging more and accusing others of compromise? Ballsy.”

Admittedly, the ad is fairly accurate. The display on the Kindle Fire HD does have a higher resolution than the iPad mini’s, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Fire’s stereo speakers sounded better. And, if we were just looking at Wi-Fi models, the Kindle Fire HD is $130 cheaper.

But if we really wanted to make a pros and cons list for the two tablets, we would have to include things like build quality, user experience, and app selection. I mean, I could make an old tube TV sound better than a new LCD TV if I could just cherry-pick certain features.

In the end, however, it matters what consumers think. And this ad could certainly help Amazon nab any visitors who were on the fence between the two tablets. In fact, it already announced that the day after the iPad mini event, it sold a record number of Kindle Fire HDs.

On the flip side, we should find out later today how the iPad mini launch weekend went for Apple. And according to its [US] website, it completely sold out of all initial [Wi-Fi-only] iPad mini pre-order stock during the 72-hour span. So the figures should be impressive.

What do you think of Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD vs. iPad mini ad?