When it comes to tablets, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet from Barnes & Noble and Kobo Vox from Chapters Indigo are in a category of their own.
All three devices are built around the concept of providing an affordable interface to connect users with a rich ecosystem comprising of millions of books, magazines, videos, music and TV programs.
Why Do These Tablets Cost Less?
In order to be affordable, Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet and Kobo Vox focus on providing hardware that is essential for content consumption and do not really try to match the specifications and capabilities of high end tablets.
In general these devices lack the following features that are found in Apple’s iPad or popular tablets from Samsung’s Galaxy range.
- Front facing camera for video chat
- Rear facing camera for taking pictures
- GPS – for finding directions
- Bluetooth – for communicating with other devices
- Apps & Games – limited to essential ones!
Are These Tablets for You?
You are likely to be happy with a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet in case your answer is a definite ‘No’ to most of these questions below:-
- Are you willing to spend $499 or more for a tablet?
- Are you likely to click pictures or record videos with a tablet?
- Are you going to use your tablet for video chat instead of your laptop?
- Are you going to use a tablet and not your smart phone for finding directions?
You can continue reading this post if you have answered ‘No’ to above questions and you definitely need to be looking for an iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab in case you have answered a ‘Yes’ to above questions.
Which is Best - Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet or Kobo Vox?
This is the next question that crops up once you have decided that you do need an affordable tablet for reading books, watching videos and playing games.
The comparison table below will help you familiarize with hardware and features that each of these tablet provides, and you are also likely to come up with a clear choice or your top 2 choices.
Kindle Fire vs Nook vs Kobo Comparison Table
|Features||Kindle Fire||Nook Tablet||Kobo VOX|
|Size||190 x 120 mm||205 x 127 mm||192 x 128 mm|
|Thickness||11.4 mm||12.2 mm||13.4 mm|
|Weight||413 grams||400 check grams||402.6 grams|
|Screen size||7 inches||7 inches||7 inches|
|Resolution||1024 x 600||1024 x 600||1024 x 600|
|Pixels Per Inch||169||169||-|
|Processor||1.2 GHZ,Dual Core||1GHZ, Dual Core||800 MHZ|
|Battery Life||8 hours||11.5 hours||7 hours|
|Expandable Memory||No||32 MB||32 MB|
|Native Media Streaming||Cloud Player, Amazon Prime||None||None|
|3rd Party Media Streaming||Netflix, Hulu,Pandora||Netflix, Hulu,Pandora||None|
From above comparison, Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire are clearly the two main contenders for top 2 spots. Kobo Vox due to its less powerful (800 MHz) processor and lack of streaming media services takes the third place.
Let us now take a look at some of the key features and benifits offered by Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet.
Nook Tablet Features
- Impressive collection of children’s books – Nook is well placed in this area
- Physical buttons for volume control – These are lacking in Kindle Fire
- Manual Control Home Button – Not present in Kindle Fire
- Expandable Storage – Kindle Fire gets around this by providing cloud storage
- Battery life – Impressive battery life of 11.5 hours while reading and 9.5 hours while watching videos and playing games
- Supports e-pub format which is widely recognized and supported by libraries
- Barnes & Noble Membership – Offers free shipping for print books and online discounts for $25/year
- 16GB Nook Tablet offers faster web browsing due to 1GB RAM
Kindle Fire Features.
- Free Cloud Storage – 5GB Free and extra available at reasonable rates
- Free and unlimited Cloud Storage for all your Amazon Content
- Online streaming of movies, videos, and music from Amazon servers
- Free movies and videos for Amazon Prime Members
- One free book per month for Amazon Prime Members including best sellers
- Free shipping for Amazon Prime Members
- Free trial of Amazon Prime for a month ($79/year later on)
- Borrow free books from Kindle Owners Library with no due dates
- Upload Music from your computer to Amazon Cloud and listen to it on Kindle Fire with Cloud media player
- Rent movies for $2.99 & TV programs for $1.99 – Nook Tablet lacks this service
- Tabbed web browsing with Amazon Silk – Nook Tablet does not support this feature
- Watch a movie on Kindle Fire & pick it up on any other device such as your TV
Final Verdict | Kindle Fire Vs Nook Tablet Vs Kobo Vox
There is hardly any difference between Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet in the 8GB versions. Both use the same dual core T1 OMAP4 processor and offer 512MB of RAM.
Nook Tablet offers expandable memory upto 32GB, while Amazon gets around this by offering free cloud storage. Hence, it is a tie as far as hardware and general performance is concerned.
In terms of display, Nook claims to have better image quality and lesser glare. However, there is hardly any noticable difference while playing videos from Netflix on either device.
The perception of better image quality on Nook Tablet is perhaps due to the fact that people are comparing Netflix HD display on Nook Tablet with non HD Amazon Video display on Kindle Fire.
Nook Tablet offers better battery life, while Kindle Fire offers better multimedia performance due to its stereo speakers and instant access to Amazon’s ever increasing supply of video, text and audio content.
In addition to streaming services from Netflix, Hulu and Pandora, Kindle Fire provides access to Amazon’s impressive cloud based music service and lets you rent movies and TV shows on Kindle Fire.
After a close fight, this is how the finish line holds.