Nook vs Kindle .Info
With so many options becoming available, our goal is to provide information about the various ebook readers on the market, especially the Kindle and Nook as they are the top sellers. But rather than counting on “experts” or pay people to write reviews, the reviews you find here are from regular people sharing their experiences or opinions on the product they are reviewing.
Have you ever heard of "Nokla" or "Sansumg?" There's a sleazy underworld out there of electronics manufacturers trading on famous names and designs, capturing unwary buyers' hard-earned dollars. The Chromo Noria Slimx 7.9 ($189.99 list) comes pretty close to that realm of shadiness. It's designed to look just like an iPad mini (down to the aluminum build) but doesn't come close to matching the performance or build quality of any reasonably-priced device. The Dell Venue 7, Amazon's Kindle Fire HD, Barnes Noble Nook HD, and several other competitors should knock the thought of this tablet out of your mind.
The Noria is almost identical to Apple's tablet, at least at first glance. It measures 8.25 by 5.75 by 0.375 inches (HWD) and weighs 14.5 ounces. It has curved corners, a front with a white bezel, a flat aluminum back with a single speaker on the bottom right corner, and a camera in the top left corner.
Inside is an inaccessible 4,000mAh battery. Holding the tablet revealed some structural issues, mainly a creaking noise with any pressure on the bezel. The Noria lacks any physical buttons, instead relying on Android's capacitive navigation buttons. It takes minimalism to the extreme, adding software-based screenshot and volume buttons and eschewing the physical volume rocker. This is, by the way, an extremely bad idea.
Every port and button is on the bottom of the device, putting the power button, mini HDMI port, micro USB port, headphone jack, and microSD slot all on one side.
The Noria's 7.9-inch, 1,020-by-600 display is low quality. Compared to similar tablets like the Kindle Fire HD, Dell Venue 7, and Nook HD, the Noria isn't up to snuff. At 150 pixels per inch, text and images are fuzzy and dull. Color saturation is poor, and ever-shifting colors at different angles make it a device unsuitable for watching videos. The low resolution makes for a giant keyboard, however.
Connectivity and Performance
Low-end tablets usually lack bells and whistles, and the Noria is no different. The tablet has basic 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.0. Its mini HDMI port is useful for HDTV playback. In our video playback battery test, the Chromo Noria Slimx 7.9 lasted only 3 hours and 20 minutes. It doesn't come close to the 9 hours of the Hisense Sero 7 Pro or the 7 hours and 56 minutes of the Venue 7.
Benchmark scores confirm the Noria's sluggishness. On the computation-intensive benchmark test Antutu, it scored a 10529. The Dell Venue 7, by comparison, scored a 19091. In the graphics test GFXBench, the Noria's 16 frames per second weren't suitable for even medium-strength gaming. In short, there is no application this tablet is good at.
Multimedia and Camera
The Noria Slimx played every one of our test files, including FLAC audio and 1080p MP4 videos. The low quality of the display and speaker don't make it a recommended device for enjoying much of anything, however.
The built-in mini HDMI port allows you to mirror content from the Noria to an HDTV. It outputs at 720p and, with our 1080p test files, stuttered occasionally. Internal memory tops out at 13.18GB, but a 64GB microSD card can easily expand that.
The Noria's 2-megapixel main camera isn't good, either. There's no flash on the camera, so low-light shots are very noisy. Bright lights cast a glow on directly and indirectly illuminated subjects, and contrast is incredibly poor. Video recording was similarly overexposed, and recorded at a consistently low 16 frames per second. The front-facing VGA camera had similar exposure and recording issues.
At $189, buying the Chromo Noria Slimx 7.9 is a bad idea. Its low resolution display, slow processor, and lousy construction relegate it to being just another throwaway tablet that isn't worth the money or frustration.
For a more worthwhile experience, tablets like the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and the Dell Venue 7, not to mention our Editor's Choice Google Nexus 7, offer more power, higher resolution, and better battery life in the same price range.
Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2428728,00.asp
Chicago, IL (PRWEB) December 07, 2013
Dozens of Android tablets have been manufactured, however, only a few have become popular among the masses. According to a recent study, the Amazon Kindle Fire is more popular than the Barnes and Noble Nook, the Samsung Galaxy and the Google Nexus 7 tablets, among Americans. But how does the latest Kindle Fire HDX compare to the Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display and Google Nexus 7 tablets? The Kindle Fire HDX Review by TabletXRay.com compares and contrasts different specs of the three tablets in a unique and practical manner.
Something that the review highlights is that not all tech specs are equally important when someone is trying to decide between the 3 tablets. For example, the Google Nexus 7 tablet has Near Field Communication (NFC) and wireless charging features whereas neither the Kindle Fire HDX nor the Apple iPads have them. But the question is, is someone going to purchase a Nexus 7 purely based on these 2 criteria? Another example is the minor differences in battery life. Amazon boasts 11 hours of mixed use and 17 hours when used for reading. In comparison, the other two have 9-10 hour battery lives. But should a consumer buy the Kindle because it has 1-2 hours more battery life? The answer is no, there are other important features to consider. The full scoop of the Kindle Fire review and comparison can be found on http://tabletxray.com/kindle-fire-hdx-vs-new-apple-ipad-vs-google-nexus-spec-comparison/
According to this comparison, one of the biggest advantages of the Kindle Fire HDX is in the price of the device and the content that goes in it. The tablet itself is $170 (16 GB Wi Fi only model) to $320 (64 GB Wi Fi + 4G LTE model) cheaper than the Apple iPad Mini. In addition, according to various studies, music albums, movie rentals and purchases, eBooks as well as apps are generally cheaper at the Amazon digital store compared to the Apple iTunes store. This is not to say that all MP3 albums or all movie rentals are cheaper with Amazon, but that a certain percentage is cheaper at Amazon compared to iTunes. Savings may be as little as penny or a few dollars, nevertheless in the long run, the savings can be significant as more and more content is consumed. The more videos downloaded, the more Kindle books read, the more apps purchased, the greater the savings over the years.
In addition to money savings, the 3rd generation Fire HDX tablets are also superior when the overall picture quality and processor (CPU)/RAM speeds are concerned. However, the Kindle doesn’t win all the comparisons compared to the iPad and the Nexus. One major drawback of both 7” and 8.9 inch Kindle Fire HDX tablets, at least in some people’s minds, is the ‘Amazon-centric’ nature of the operating system (OS). Even though it’s based on the latest Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean OS, it’s heavily modified and some of the core Android features are lost. Some people don’t appreciate this because it limits their ability to purchase content from the Google Play Store. The Top 5 Limitations of the Kindle Fire, addressing these potential drawbacks is an essential read for anyone considering buying a tablet this holiday season.
In addition Kindle Fire 7" review, they also review the 8.9” Fire HDX tablet while comparing it to the Apple iPad Air and Google Nexus 10.
Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/kindle-fire-review/kindle-fire-hdx-vs-ipad/prweb11402513.htm
£119 for an Amazon tablet with these specs is an amazing deal, however, this is a tablet running a heavily customised version of Android with restricted access to the Google Play App store. Read our review of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD (2013) tablet to find out whether paying £119 for this tablet is such a good deal.
When Amazon launched the original Kindle Fire tablet, there wasn’t a great deal of competition. Now, though, the budget tablet market is awash with high-quality models including Tesco’s Hudl, Asus’ Memo Pad HD7 and Barnes Noble’s Nook HD+. There's also the old Kindle Fire HD, which you can still buy.
The “all-new” Kindle Fire HD costs exactly the same as the Hudl, making the supermarket tablet the most direct rival. We’ll look at the differences in a minute, but it’s important to understand where Amazon is pitching the Fire HD.
First, nothing has changed in terms of the walled garden. Unlike regular Android tablets such as the Hudl, the Fire HD has a highly customised version which has one clear aim: to let you get at (read: purchase) Amazon’s digital content. That means your apps, books, videos, music and magazines come from Amazon rather than Google. There’s no access to the Google Play store, just as you would expect.
This is still primarily a content consumption device, although the new Fire OS 3.0 does bring email and web browsing into the foreground more than the earlier Fire tablets.
There are no cameras (the old model had a front-facing webcam), no cellular capabilities and a fixed amount of internal storage that can’t be expanded via microSD cards. The base model has just 8GB of storage - the Hudl has 16GB - and offers on the lock screen (you can choose to pay an extra £10 when ordering to remove these). Bearing in mind that the 8GB model has less than 5GB of usable storage, you might want to spend the extra £20 on the 16GB version.
Unlike the old model, the new Fire HD has no HDMI output, nor support for Miracast. There’s just a microUSB port for charging and synching.
The new, angular design matches the new Fire HDX models but the Fire HD doesn’t get the ‘X’ suffix as its screen has a 1280x800 resolution, rather than Full HD. It also lacks the 100 percent sRGB gamut, meaning colours aren’t quite as accurate.
Honestly, though, the screen is perfectly good for reading, watching videos, playing games and browsing the web. You barely miss the extra pixels offered by the Hudl: the Fire HD’s screen is brighter and colours are a touch more vibrant; viewing angles are excellent as you would expect from an IPS panel.
The stereo speakers are decent, too, and we like the new button positions on the rear. They’re much easier to find without looking.
Weight-wise, the Fire HD is 50g lighter than before, making it fractionally lighter than the Hudl. It isn’t that slim at 10.6mm but you don’t notice because of the tapered edges.
Kindle Fire HD (2013) review: Fire OS 3.0
It might look similar, but Amazon has made big strides forward with the new version of Fire OS, which is based on Android Jelly Bean. It will be instantly familiar to existing users, but both small and large changes make it much nicer to use.
The home screen is now scrollable. Your recent content remains on a carousel but swipe upwards and your apps come into view. In portrait mode a list of suggested content appears, related to whichever item in the carousel is selected. This is a clever way to tempt you to buy more content.
At the top are text links to the different types of content. As before each has two views: ‘Cloud’ and ‘On device’. The default view is Cloud and so displays everything that you’ve purchased or downloaded, as well as the stuff that’s stored locally. A single tap downloads anything currently in the cloud so, as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection, it’s relatively quick to play a game or listen to some music on-demand.
The web browser is both faster and easier to use and has a handy reading view that strips pages of clutter so you can read a cleaner version of the article. The email app is better equipped for viewing attachments and sorting email threads. Plus, if you have a Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo! Or AOL account, you need only enter your username and password to get it working.
Twitter and Facebook are integrated so you can share photos and make posts easily enough. The Photos app has also been updated, and now includes your videos instead of having the separate (and confusing) Personal Videos app.
There are several ways to transfer photos to the Kindle Fire HD. One is to use Amazon’s Cloud Drive which gives you 5GB of online storage. You can also import photos from your Facebook account and use the Amazon Cloud Drive Photos app (for iOS and Android) to automatically upload photos you take on your smartphone. Finally, as with any Android tablet, you can drag and drop photos – and other content – via Windows explorer.
Swiping down from the top of the screen brings up the settings bar. There’s a lot on offer, including a new Quiet Time feature which is similar to Do Not Disturb in iOS. It mutes all sounds and pop-up notifications between times you specify or during certain activities.
Although not yet released, an imminent update (Freetime) promises user profiles and ‘proper’ parental controls.
Swipe in from the right and you’ll see a list of running apps so it’s easier to switch between them without returning to the home screen each time.
We were also happy to see that the confusing ‘back’ button has been removed when the keyboard is on-screen in landscape mode. Its placement meant it was easily mistaken for a Backspace key. Tap it and you lose what you just typed as you return to the previous page.
What you don’t get is the new Mayday button for customer support: that’s a feature exclusive to the two HDX tablets.
Kindle Fire HD (2013) review: Performance
The screen may not have changed, but the new Fire HD has a beefier processor. Along with the updated operating system it makes Amazon’s tablet feel a bit speedier. Apps load faster and the annoying delay when loading and scrolling up and down web pages has gone.
The casual games we tried all played fine: there’s a decent boost in power compared to the old Fire HD. In GFXBench the Egypt HD test ran at 17fps, versus 8fps scored by the outgoing model.
The new Fire HD completed Sunspider 1.0.2 in 986ms, and scored 824 in Geekbench 3. In Geekbench 2 it produced 1376, which is only slightly ahead (not the 60 per cent Amazon claims) of the old tablet, which managed 1124.
Tesco’s Hudl, meanwhile, scored 1583 in the same test, and matched the Fire HD at 17fps in the 3D test.
Battery life, which is more important for most people, wasn’t quite as good as we were hoping. In our looping video test the new Fire HD lasted for 6 hours, 11 minutes. That’s worse than the old model which ran for an extra 90 minutes. Amazon says you can expect around 10 hours with mixed use.
Kindle Fire HD (2013) review: bottom line
Even with the clever storage optimisation which offloads little-used apps and content to the cloud, the 8GB Kindle Fire HD won’t have enough for most people. That leaves the 16GB model which, with the ‘offers’ removed will cost you £149.
Add to this the fact that Amazon’s Appstore still lacks many apps you’ll find on Google Play, particularly UK-specific ones such as ITV Player, 4oD and other TV catchup services (but also certain big names such as Dropbox), and the Fire HD is clearly not the best choice for everyone. Before you ask, no, you can’t watch programmes from ITV or Channel 4 through the web browser.
If, for some reason, you’re happy to be limited to using Amazon’s services for apps, games, books, music and videos, then you won’t be disappointed with the Fire HD.
For everyone else, it makes more sense to opt for the Tesco Hudl or Nook HD+. Those with a slightly bigger budget should look to the new Nexus 7.
The bump in size from a 7-inch to an 8-inch tablet seems almost trivial. Can a single inch really make a difference?
Yes, it can.
I finally got my hands on the new Dell Venue 8 Pro, and have had a chance to compare this 8-inch tablet running Windows 8.1 to the Google Nexus 7 and Kindle HDX, both of which are solid representatives of the 7-inch form factor. My verdict? You will take the Venue 8 Pro away from me when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers. That extra screen real estate is crucial for reading email, books, and news, but the device is still comfortable in the hand.
The Venue 8 Pro isn’t flashy, design-wise. The front panel is all glass, with a discreet black bezel and a 1.2 MP camera. The back is black plastic with a 5 MP camera above the trademark Dell logo; the plastic is ribbed, making it easy to hold the device in one hand without fear of dropping it.
But what the Venue 8 Pro lacks in sizzle it makes up for in substance. At just under 400 g (about 14 ounces), with a Bay Trail Atom CPU (Z3740D, to be specific) it’s light, fast, extremely portable, and capable of running for a full day—long enough to keep you entertained and reasonably productive without weighing you down. At $299 (for the 32 GB version) or $349 (for 64 GB), it’s also unlikely to break your budget.
It also has a reasonable collection of ports and slots, tucked unobtrusively around the edges. Along the right side (when held in portrait mode, with the front-facing camera at the top), above the power button and volume controls, there’s a micro-USB connector that supports USB 2.0 devices as well as the 10-watt trickle charger. At the bottom right, a port cover hides a micro-SD slot that supports up to 64 GB of extra storage. A dual headphone/microphone jack is at the top, next to a button that functions as the Windows key. (I’ve heard some complaints about the unconventional location of this button, which normally is located on the front of the device. I actually prefer this out-of-the-way design, because it’s less likely that I’ll tap it by accident.) A single speaker along the bottom of the device delivers adequate (not great) sound.
In my day-to-day use over the past week the Venue 8 Pro has been an absolutely delightful companion. Unlike the Windows RT-powered Surface 2, this device runs the full desktop version of Windows 8.1. That means it’s capable of running any Windows desktop app. In practice, though, I’ve been perfectly happy with a handful of Windows Store apps: the built-in Mail and Bing apps, Xbox Music and Videos for entertainment, the Nook and Kindle apps for reading magazines and books, both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal apps, the just-updated NextGen Reader for RSS feeds, and Tweetro+ for Twitter.
The Venue 8 Pro includes a license key for Office Home Student 2013, with a link on the Start screen that downloads the installer files using the same Click-to-Run technology as Office 365. I didn’t bother installing the Office software. It might be useful for viewing files and light editing tasks but this is not a device for building a financial model or writing the Great American Novel. (I’m not writing this post on the Venue 8 Pro, either.) If you want to press this tablet into service for Office work, though, you could attach a Bluetooth or USB keyboard and mouse and use the optional folio style case to create a tiny workstation.
This device literally would not have been possible without Windows 8.1, which reduced the minimum resolution and screen size for Microsoft-certified devices and increased app-snapping options so that the bright and clear 1280 x 800 IPS display is usable. Acer beat Dell to market with a similar device, the W3-810 Iconia, last summer. The screen quality of that device was absolutely terrible, though, so as far as I’m concerned this is the first true 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablet. (Lenovo has a similar design for sale now, with a refreshed Acer W4 tablet and a Toshiba entry due shortly.)
One of the subtle but important changes in Windows 8.1 makes this device much more usable than it would have been under Windows 8. The micro-SD card integrates effortlessly into Windows document and media libraries with no technical tricks required. That’s good news, because the Windows 8.1 system and recovery files take up a healthy chunk of space. On the 64 GB model, you start with roughly 42 billion bytes of free space. An inexpensive 64 GB micro-SD card adds a substantial amount of free space, making the quibbling over OS size mostly irrelevant. (Insider trick: format the micro-SD card using NTFS and you can relocate the SkyDrive sync folder there.)
I haven’t done any formal battery testing with this device, but in sustained use it has lived up to the “all day” claim. The only hardware glitch I’ve encountered is an annoying tendency of the audio to distort when the screen shuts down while running on battery power. That issue will no doubt be fixed with a driver update sometime soon.
Meanwhile, this tiny tablet has earned a place in my travel bag. And based on reviews I’ve read from buyers at Amazon and Dell, I have lots of company. Dell appears to have a genuine hit on its hands.