Continued from Part 1
The 8.9-inch IPS screen on the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 has a 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution. Text and pictures really pop out. The colors could use a little more saturation, but they are much better than on most devices, including the Google Nexus 10. When we first saw the unit last month, there was a lot of light bleeding from the edges. Our latest unit shows minimal light bleeding.
The 9.7-inch screen on the iPad 4 has a 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution screen that may be the most beautiful screen we have seen on a tablet. The colors are sharper than previous iPads and viewing photos is very lifelike. However, you will notice the two dreaded black bars above and below your widescreen videos since the iPad 4 has a 4:3 screen ratio.
Operating system and software
The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 offers Amazon's modified version of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). It is a lot more clunky and less user-friendly than Jelly Bean. Even though the Amazon Appstore has many useful apps, several important ones are missing. However, you can easily download the apk files of many popular programs and install them through the ES File Explorer.
The iPad 4 offers Apple's iOS 6, which is not only a lot smoother, but offers a far better software selection. However, 75 percent of users, especially if they purchased their device for multimedia use, will definitely not need the huge selection of iPad 4 apps.
The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 packs a 1.5MHz dual-core TI OMAP 4470 processor that delivers a decent -- if not perfect -- performance. There is a small delay when launching applications and the stock browser, Silk, is extremely slow. You will want to download the apk file for the Dolphin Browser and install it through a file viewing program such as the ES File Explorer. You can also download the Adobe Flash apk file and view flash websites -- this is something you can't do on the iPad.
The Apple A6X dual-core 1.4MHz processor on the iPad 4 really helps the device speed along. It is more powerful than the TI OMAP 4470 processor on the Kindle Fire HD 8.9. There are no delays in playing videos, games, and the screen rotates instantly when turning it from portrait to landscape mode.