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iPad vs Kindle Fire HD (2020): Which Entry-Level Tablet Is Better?

There’s a much wider field when it comes to entry-level tablets, especially when it comes to price range. Case in point, the latest Apple iPad (7th Gen) and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 10 are both considered to belong in this segment, and yet their performance, build quality, and cost couldn’t be farther apart. Here’s how to decide which standard tablet to get between these two popular and highly-rated devices.

iPad vs Kindle Fire HD Tablet Comparison Chart

ModelApple iPad 7th Gen (Wi-Fi)Amazon Kindle Fire HD 10
Apple iPad (10.2-inch, Wi-Fi, 32GB) - Silver (Latest Model) Fire HD 10 Tablet (10.1' 1080p full HD display, 32 GB) – Black 
PriceCheck Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon 
Rating
13,770 Reviews 

 
Display Size10.2″10.1″
Resolution2160 x 1620 pixels1920 x 1200 pixels
Pixel Density264 ppi224 ppi
Height9.8″10.3″
Width6.8″6.3″
Depth0.29″0.4″
Weight1.09 lbs1.11 lbs
System ChipA10 FusionOcta-core 2.0 GHz
GPUM10 Coprocessorn/a
Internal Storage32GB, 128GB32GB, 64GB
Expandable StorageNoYes
Front Camera1.2MP2MP
Rear Camera8MP with HDR, 1080p HD video2MP, 720p HD video
AccessoriesApple Pencil, Smart KeyboardNone
ColorsSilver, Gold, Space GrayBlack, Plum, Twilight Blue, White
Battery LifeUp to 10 hoursUp to 12 hours
ReleasedSeptember 2019October 2019

Design

The iPad 7th Gen simply looks better than the Kindle Fire HD 10.

iPad vs Kindle Fire HD 10 (iPad 7th Gen) Design
What this photo doesn’t show is the superior gloss and finish of the iPad 7th Gen (left) and the plastic build of the Fire HD 10 (right).

Placed side by side with their displays on, we’d bet that you’d pick the iPad 7th Gen over the Kindle Fire HD 10 in a heartbeat, if cost wasn’t an issue of course. But as it is a big reason for the build quality of both devices, you know you’re getting what you pay for whether you’re spending more for the iPad or shelling out less for the Fire HD 10.

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The iPad just looks fantastic, as its metal casing and glass display oozes with premium and modern appeal. Meanwhile, the Fire HD 10 is cased in plastic, making it sturdy and more resistant to the occasional dings and bangs, but it’s plastic nonetheless. You’ll want to be more careful handling the iPad, and not just because it’s a more costly product to break.

Turning their displays on simply highlights the drastic difference between the two tablets. The iPad packs more pixels in its 10.2″ display, which is brighter and has a wider color gamut for improved accuracy. The Fire HD 10 looks good enough to enjoy movies on, but there’s no denying how much better the visuals become when they’re played on the iPad.

Performance

The iPad 7th Gen is much faster and has a deeper app library than the Kindle Fire HD 10.

iPad vs Kindle Fire HD 10 (iPad 7th Gen) Performance
Along with great power comes great…app variety. The iPad 7th Gen’s more powerful hardware lets you run the best iOS apps.

The Fire HD 10 is designed to be an entertainment device. It’s great if all you’re looking to do with a tablet is consume content like movies, TV shows, digital books, audio books, and maybe play casual games. Its upgraded 2.0 GHz processor has enough juice to run these apps well. However, don’t expect much from it if you want to be able to do more intensive tasks with it.

Now, anything you can do on the Fire HD 10, the iPad 7th Gen can do better, faster. It has a more powerful system-on-chip and graphics unit, capable of running 3D-heavy games, interactive AR applications, responsive drawing apps, and more. You can use it as a productivity tablet too, and get some work done even without your laptop.

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Another big advantage of the iPad is that it gives you access to the entire iPadOS library of apps, minus the Pro-level ones of course. In comparison, the Fire HD 10 is running on Amazon’s version of Android, heavily focusing on their content apps and lacking several critical software like Microsoft Word. There’s a way to get Google Play on the Kindle Fire tablet but it’s an extra step and even then app compatibility is a coin toss.

Cameras and Storage

The iPad 7th Gen has better cameras but the Kindle Fire HD 10 has expandable storage.

iPad 6th vs 7th Generation Cameras and Storage
You can only get more storage for the iPad using cloud-based options such as iCloud or Google Drive.

Once again, the iPad 7th Gen outshines the Fire HD 10 when taking photos or recording videos. Its main camera has an 8MP sensor capable of 1080p HD video and HDR-enhanced pictures. The Fire HD 10’s 2MP rear camera is fine for taking the occasional snapshot, but it certainly won’t impress. It does have a 2MP front camera for video calls and selfies, but you’ll still find that the 1.2MP FaceTime camera of the iPad offers better image quality.

Additionally, the iPad’s cameras and beefier hardware lets you explore augmented reality apps as well as edit videos on the device itself. Neither will particularly be a pleasant experience on the Fire HD 10.

Both tablets are available at a base internal storage of 32GB. The Fire HD 10 is also available with double the storage at 64GB, while the iPad 7th Gen has double that, at 128GB. However, the big difference here is that the Fire HD 10 has a microSD slot like most Android tablets. This lets you increase storage by up to 512GB. The only way to get something close to that on the iPad is through cloud storage.

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Battery and Accessories

The Kindle Fire HD 10 has a longer battery life but the iPad 7th Gen has excellent accessories.

iPad vs Kindle Fire HD 10 (iPad 7th Gen) Battery and Accessories
Watch videos and play games longer on the Fire HD 10, which also has a Kids’ Edition.

Amazon improved the battery capacity of the Fire HD 10 tablet, which now provides up to 12 hours of surfing, video playback, reading, etc. It’s up from the 10 hours max of its previous generation. The iPad 7th Gen meanwhile didn’t get any increases in this regard, as it’s still only capable of up to 10 hours of use just like the 6th Gen model.

Apple’s accessories for the iPad are way better though. The Apple Pencil remains one of the best styluses ever for a tablet, and the Smart Keyboard does double-duty protecting the device while giving you a full-size keyboard for a variety of apps. These two accessories enhance the overall tablet experience of the iPad with an extra cost, but they’re well worth it if you know you’ll find plenty of uses for them.

There aren’t any specific accessories for the Fire HD 10, but you can choose from any number of Android tablet compatible gadgets if you wish. What Amazon uniquely offers is a Kids’ Edition that comes in a Kid-Proof Case along with a 2-year guarantee. It’s a fully-featured Fire HD 10 built-in with parental controls and free 1-year access to FreeTime Unlimited, giving your kids a huge library of children’s apps, shows, and books.

Verdict

The Kindle Fire HD 10 is an affordable entertainment device, but the iPad 7th Gen is easily better if you want something more.

Amazon’s highly popular Fire tablets owe their success to a sturdy build, reasonable performance, and excellent price. The Fire HD 10 won’t wow you with impressive specs or features, but it’s excellent at what it does, which is providing you a portable device for entertainment. Just don’t expect too much from it aside from that and you’ll be amazed at the value you received for your money. You can get up to three Fire HD tablets for the price of an iPad when it’s on sale, or you can get the Kids’ Edition for your children without worrying about breaking since the 2-year guarantee gets you a free replacement.

Those who want more in a tablet should definitely spend more for the Apple iPad 7th Gen. It lets you do everything you can do with a Fire tablet, only better. It’s faster, responds more smoothly, and is capable of running more demanding apps and games. You can actually get some work done with it and the iPad becomes even better for students and professionals both with the Apple Pencil. You’ll want to be more careful handling it due to this investment, but you won’t regret spending that much once you experience what this premium tablet offers.

Last update on 2020-08-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Derick Bondoc
Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.