Maybe it’s hard to believe it, but it’s actually Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread hidden underneath the heavily customized interface brought on by Amazon and Barnes & Noble with their respective devices. Without a doubt, they don’t compare to the rich personalization offered by the usual crop of Android tablets on the market right now, but opt for more simplistic experience. However, if we have to choose, we’d pick the interface of the Nook Tablet for the simple reason that it offers more personalization with its resizable icons, 3 homescreens, and the ability to change the background wallpaper. In contrast, the Amazon Kindle Fire is less personal with its approach because we’re left to accept its presentation, then again, it isn’t a bad one as we’re greeted with a bookshelf-like layout and a 3D carousel of recently accessed content.

Unfortunately, both tablets are not “with Google” devices, lacking the Google apps like Gmail, YouTube, Calendar and most importantly – the Android Market. They rely on their own eco systems, and here Amazon is the big winner, with huge Appstore selection in comparison to the Nook one. It also has a good music and videos ecosystem. However, if you don't mind some “hacking”, there already is a simple solution to load the Amazon Appstore on the Nook. We wouldn't be surprised to see third party developers bringing the Android Market itself to both of them.

Under the hood, they share the same 1GHz dual-core TI OMAP4 processor that keep them in good light with some of their full-featured tablet competition, but the Amazon Kindle Fire is coupled with only 512MB or RAM, which is half the 1GB tucked inside the Nook Tablet. Nevertheless, they’re able to exhibit a good amount of speed and performance to merit them as tolerable – though, the Amazon Kindle is inconsistent at times with its performance. Well, it’s not terrible, but noticeable enough to catch our eyes when compared to the Nook Tablet. Obviously, they’re not the most fluid with their movements and executions, but at least they’re never to the point unmanageable to handle.


Typing up lengthy messages is indeed a process, especially when their landscape keyboards are wickedly cramped, but at least they get the job done. Actually, we don’t necessarily find one to be better than the other, but we can agree that the portrait options are  undeniably easier to handle since our thumbs are able to encompass their layouts.

Likewise, we can say the same about their respective native emails clients seeing that they present us with only the most bare essential features. Of course, it’s not going to take us away from the appreciable Gmail experience we’re accustomed to seeing, but nevertheless, it’s nice to gain access to emails.



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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