Amazon Kindle Fire vs NOOK Tablet

Chiming in at that perfect moment before the holiday season is expected to get its jumpstart, fireworks are sure to fly aimlessly everywhere now that the Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet are out and available to the masses. Finding that niche spot between dedicated eReaders and full featured tablets, these two affordable devices are knowingly gunning at one another vying for supremacy in this ever-delicate landscape. Priced at $200 and $250 respectively, there’s no kidding they’re going to eat at some of the usual market share held concretely by the big names in the tablet industry, but the important question you’re probably asking, is which one should win over your hard earned money?


Sure it’s a recycled design, but the Nook Tablet easily gets our vote of confidence as being the better looking between the two – well, it’s not to say that the Amazon Kindle Fire is bad, but it’s seriously way too cookie cutter and boring with its appearance. Thankfully, both tablets are comfortable to hold with one hand,  sturdy in overall build, and easily shed that notion of being ‘cheap’ like some other sub-$250 tablets on the market. However, the Nook Tablet’s soft touch coating simply repels dirt and debris significantly better than the Amazon Kindle Fire – thus, resulting in a remarkably cleaner look at all times.

Honestly, when they both sport the same size 7” 1024 x 600 IPS displays, there’s hardly going to be one that’s going to offer better detail than the other – they boast the same pixel density of 169 ppi. When it comes down to reading, both are naturally equipped in handling that scenario, but seeing that the Nook Tablet’s VividView display is fully laminated, it results in better viewing angles, clarity, and reduced glare. Needless to say, it’s nice to see the Nook Tablet maintaining its clarity at all angles, but when you look at the two at a straight 90-degree angle, it’s hardly noticeably which one is superior. Yet, we need to hand it to the Nook Tablet on this one for the simple reason that the Amazon Kindle Fire’s display has a tendency to cast a bluish color when it’s tilted to various degrees.

Due to its prominent feel, the power button of the Amazon Kindle Fire is easily the preferred one – though, they both convey tactile responses when pressed. However, we do like that we’re able to control volume at any time with the Nook Tablet seeing that it offers us physical volume controls, whereas with the Kindle Fire, it’s all controlled via the software.

Yes, we can charge and exchange data using the microUSB ports on the two tablets, but strangely, the Nook requires its ‘proprietary’ microUSB cable to charge it. Additionally, they both feature 3.5mm headset jacks, but the Nook Tablet packs a microphone as well.

Finally, the Nook Tablet has one useful thing lining the corner of its back cover – well, it proves its usefulness in quickly getting data on/off the tablet. Specifically, it features a microSD card slot that will accept cards to supplement its internal capacity.



1. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Not a shocker the tablet that was rated higher (Fire @7.5 VS. Nook @7.0) wins. I am actually digging the Nook a little more. But Amazon is the bigger name. My money would go to the Nook, but I would bet on the Kindle to win the sales race fairly easily.

2. PhoneArena Team

Posts: 258; Member since: Jun 27, 2006

The idea of these comparisons is not only to show a winner - and sometimes, there isn't one. We want to clearly show how the two devices rate side by side, so everybody can see the difference and choose for themselves. Hope that our reviews and this VS article have helped you to decide :)

11. beruit17

Posts: 7; Member since: Jun 16, 2011

Yea but for MOSTLY used for "reading" the Nook Tablet has a wider choice as far as books.

3. Schmao

Posts: 365; Member since: Jul 05, 2009

Under multimedia you say, "Both don't have a camera." I think it would sound better if you said either, "Neither has a camera," or "Both lack a camera."

4. JGuinan007

Posts: 699; Member since: May 19, 2011

I think it would be better to say "Both do not have a camera."

5. kingston73

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

I understand you need to rate these on their stock features, but I think it's worth at least mentioning that the Nook has a much, much higher potential if you are interested in rooting and installing custom ROM's. It doesn't even need to be rooted since it can boot a custom OS off the SD card, something the Amazon will never be able to do.

6. natsu7

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

I actually like both of these but One thing I do not like about either is that Neither one Has bluetooth. To me bluetooth is a pretty important component for watching a movie in a crowded place plus it would be better in some occasions in comparison to the speakers & their position based on both of them. I also would not use the Fire for an E Reader since it would hurt my eyes very fast in comparison to the other Kindle e readers which use E Ink Tech. Just wondering how is reading on the Nook Tablet like as an ereader. Does it hurt or strain your eyes in comparison to the nook reader not the nook color.

7. wjbecker

Posts: 4; Member since: Jan 22, 2011

The Nook will trickle charge from a USB connection on the computer, I have done it. It just won't charge as fast as with the stock charger


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

The Blackberry Playbook 16GB is available for 199-250 dollars at a lot of places. Personally I would go with that.

10. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

I know right. Really it is terribly underrated.

12. SimplifyMyChoices

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 28, 2011

If you mostly want the device for reading, consider the E Ink based Kindle Touch, or the Nook Simple Touch. The displays are sharp and very readable in daylight. And the battery life is well over a month of reading. You can download books via Wi-Fi, and the readers hold 1,000+ books. They booth sell for under $100. I posted a good chart that compares the Nook models with the Kindle models. See: If you want to do more than reading - e.g. streaming video, browsing the web, and want a color display, then consider the Kindle Fire, or Nook Color or Nook Tablet. All are reviewed at the link above. No question the Kindle Fire is hot. It is #1 on Amazons best seller list. Anyone looking at the Kindle Fire should also look at the Nook Color and Nook Tablet. Both are well engineered products and have an edge with the tech specs. I think a lot of it comes down to which company are you already doing business with. Because once you buy the device, you are in it for the long run, since they each use proprietary formats to keep you loyal. Regarding which company you are mostly using now - if you have a Barnes and Noble in your neighborhood, there are some nice features that allow browsing books for free while in the store, using your nook. On the other hand, if you have been buying your books at Amazon, if you buy a Kindle, you will be able to download the kindle versions of all the paper books you bought, at no extra charge. I use Amazon Prime and love it. In addition to the free two day shipping, you get instant streaming of more than 10,000 movies and TV shows and access to borrow a Kindle book every month, including New York Times Bestsellers, with no due dates.

13. soricon

Posts: 2; Member since: Nov 20, 2011

14. AndroidShiz

Posts: 154; Member since: Nov 08, 2011

The better option that allows you to have Nook and Amazon benefits (minus the Prime) and of course has the full Market, would be the HTC Flyer at BestBuy for only 299 every day. What you get for only 50 more than the Nook and 100 more than Kindle is quite a bit. I used the Kindle for a week heavily and liked it, and now only like 7" tablets. But took it back and traded it for this Flyer. Best decision I've made. This is soooo much nicer and smoother. The two cameras, Bluetooth, GPS, build quality,16GB plus up to an additional 32 with a card, Swype style keyboard option, and the 1.5 single core is surprisingly faster than their dual core tablets. Does everything my iPad did, but with a much better hand held size.

15. Cleoleach

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 28, 2011

I have been struggling with which to buy - the tablet or the fire. I currently have a nook first generation and the one thing I dislike about it is the need to use a book light while reading in bed. I like the idea of a device being backlit to solve that problem but am concerned about the eye strain. Likewise, I also realize that reading in daylight outside will be difficult with each device. Should I keep my current nook for outside reading and get the tablet for everything else - will content stored on one be available on both? But, the kicker is this, I really want access to more apps and the FIre is that winner. Is the instant streaming free on the fire with Amazon Prime? I'm not sure I know how that works. Any help/comments/recommendations is appreciated.

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