Google finally took the wraps off the most celebrated Nexus 7 tablet. What was once touted to be an iPad-killer now appears to clearly target the Kindle Fire. Interestingly, Google not only launched the Nexus 7 at a starting price similar to the Kindle Fire but also with almost similar form factor and pricing. Coincidently, the Kindle Fire was also known to be an iPad-killer during its pre-release period. While it was no competition to the iPad, Amazon got one of the highest sales figures during the holiday season last year, as it sold about 1 million units each week of the holiday season.

Earlier Microsoft was predicted to be building a tablet along with Barnes and Noble to target the Kindle Fire, and now with the Nexus hitting store shelves soon, Android will continue to rule the low to mid segment of the tablet world. We aren’t shocked that Google built a tablet to target Kindle. Although Kindle runs on Android operating system (read Android 2.3 Gingerbread), it was accused of sidelining Google services, especially apps that generate revenue for Google. The Kindle Fire sold like hit cakes, and has a complete customized outer layer with the Android OS running deep within.

Nexus has a better display than Kindle Fire...

Nexus has a better display than Kindle Fire…

As the Google Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire fall under the same class of tablets owing to several factors including the price range, we decided to put them in the ring. Going by the spec sheet and features known about the two devices, here’s a face off between the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire.

The Nexus 7 has a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen, clearly explaining why the number ‘7’ has been included in its name. It features an IPS screen with scratch resistant Corning glass protection and a resolution of 1280×800 pixels. The Kindle Fire also embeds a 7-inch capacitive IPS touchscreen. However, the screen resolution is low at 1024 x 600 pixels. Clearly, the Nexus 7 has a better display.

The Nexus 7 is built by Asus and comes with a 1.3GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor for quick loading, smooth and responsive interface and running multiple apps, along with 1GB RAM. A 12 core GPU offers rich and immersive graphics while patented 4-PLUS-1CPU design offers processing power. The Kindle Fire has an OMPA 4430 Dual-core 1GHz Cortex-A9 processor and 512MB of RAM. Here again, Nexus 7 appears to offer a faster speed.

We’ve noticed that Android tablets haven’t given much importance to cameras, probably owing to a preconceived notion that Android users don’t prefer using a camera on a large 7-inch device. The Nexus 7 is no different, while Google has given the rear camera a miss; it comes integrated with a 1.2MP front camera for video chats. On the other hand, the Kindle Fire, hasn’t roped in any, neither a rear camera nor a front facing one. Though Nexus has a front camera, it is disappointing that Android tablet cameras haven’t seen much improvement over the year.

Nexus and Kindle Fire show off content...

Nexus and Kindle Fire show off content…

As we know, the Google Nexus will be the first tablet to feature the Android Jelly Bean operating system. So, it proudly flaunts the newest version of the Android operating system and takes away the brownie point here too. The Kindle Fire, on the other hand, runs on the Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The OS version of the Kindle Fire is however, highly customized. As aforementioned, though the Kindle Fire runs on Android, Amazon has added its own touch as much as possible. However, we aren’t sure when or if it would get the taste of the newest iteration. However, Kindle is said to begin working on a new Kindle Fire soon.

When Amazon had launched the Kindle Fire late last year, it was widely accepted by masses due to the competitive price tag attached to a host of new features it is loaded with. It sold only the 8GB model without any expandable memory. The Google Nexus is available in two models – 8GB and 16GB storage. Here also, there is no expandable memory slot. But you have a choice to pay extra and opt for higher storage, especially considering how important a role content plays in tablets.

The Nexus 7 tips the scale at 340 grams with 198.5 x 120 x 10.5 mm dimensions. The Kindle Fire on the other hand, measures 190 x 120 x 11.4 mm and weighs 413 grams. Google has launched the tablet with almost similar dimensions and a tad lighter, again giving it an upper hand.

Battery Life
Nexus 7 promises a battery life of over 9 hours of HD video playback, 10 hours of web browsing or 10 hours of eReading. It also offers up to 300 hours of standby time. The Kindle Fire also promises up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, with wireless off. On paper, Google Nexus looks good. However, battery life often varies upon usage factors.

Highly customized..loads of content...

Highly customized..loads of content…

Apps and Content access
The Nexus 7 has been designed for an enhanced experience of the Google Play. Google Play has been redesigned with some new nifty features and offers access to a lot more content. Kindle Fire runs on Android, but has customized the device with its own app store and multitude of content including ebooks, magazines, music and so on. Amazon has taken utmost advantage of the Android platform to offer its own content, and we think it was quite thoughtful. Though the Android Market is large, in terms of content, Amazon has a lot to offer its users. With the new Google Play and Jelly Bean capabilities, we feel both could possibly be on similar ground.

Going by the specs, we know, the Google Nexus appears to be a clear winner with a better set of specifications. It offers a faster speed, a better display, is highly portable and offers storage options. The 8GB Kindle Fire and the 8GB Nexus 7 are priced approximately Rs. 11,070 ($199) each and the Nexus 7 which is also available in 16GB is priced around Rs. 13,853 ($259). We can just hope, Google launches the Nexus 7 in India soon, and doesn’t increase the price tag drastically for Indian users.

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