Technology with attitude

Apple iPad Air vs Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 – Can Amazon Defeat Apple?


The first iPad Air was released back in 2013 and it received many positive reviews because of its generous screen and beautiful design. Because it was successful, Apple cast the dice again, hopefully that the fans will ditch their 1 year-old tablet and but the new generation, which had the same screen size. One of Apple’s rivals is Amazon, which launched an 8.9inches tablet called Fire HDX. Below, we’ll compare the two devices.


Apple equals high quality design and the iPad Air 2 is, without a doubt, a luxurious tablet with an aluminum construction and having a thickness of only 7.5mm. Its physical buttons (power and volume) sit on the right side, near the top corner, and on the front side there’s only a home button (with a fingerprint scanner) below the screen, which measures 9.7inches and supports 1536 x 2048 pixels at 264ppi. The display is LED-backlit IPS LCD, it’s very clear and crisp and the viewing angles are great.

The Fire HDX has a thickness of 7.8mm and its body is made of magnesium and it’s covered in plastic, having angled back edges in a trapezoidal way for ergonomic purposes and for a better grip. Its bezels are much thicker and the screen measures 8.9inches, being an IPS LCD with a higher resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels at 339ppi. Its colors are a bit more vivid and brighter.


The chipset inside the iPad Air 2 is 64bit Apple A8X with a triple core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, which scored 1470/2650 in the Geekbench 3 single-core/multi-core tests. The RAM capacity is 2GB, and the internal memory comes in variants of 16/64/128 GB, but there’s no slot for expansion.

The Fire HDX has a 32bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chip which is powered by a quad core Krait 450 processor running at 2.5GHz along with 2GB of RAM, and this configuration obtained a score of 1080/3050 in the same test. The tablet has also unexpandable internal storage, but it’s available in variants of 16/32/64 GB.


Both tablets have rear cameras of 8MP, but only the Fire HDX is equipped with LED flash. The iPad Air 2 has a 1.2MP front camera with additional features such as face detection, HDR, FaceTime over WiFi/Cellular, while the Fire HDX has a secondary camera with a resolution of 720p.


Amazon hasn’t specified the capacity of Fire HDX’s battery, but its predecessor had a 4500mAh unit. However, according to some tests, it seems that the second generation Fire HDX lasts around 8 hours under mixed use. The iPad Air 2 has a 27.3 Wh battery which lasts 10 hours under the same conditions.


While the Fire HDX runs on Android v4.4 (KitKat – customized) with Fire OS 4 Sangria UI on top of it, the iPad Air 2 was upgraded to iOS 8.4.

Amazon has an application that can open and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, but the Air 2 has Exchange support and allows its users to install the full version of Microsoft Office.