Amazon’s latest flagship tablet, the Kindle Fire HD, has a couple of days left atop the headlines before the consumer world’s love affair with the iPhone 5 begins in earnest, though the new 7in device may not be making the most of its remaining time in the limelight.
The Fire HD, which was announced by Amazon at a blockbuster event last Thursday, will retail in Britain for £159 when it arrives on 25 October as the focal point of the Kindle line-up’s first ever appearance in the UK.
This week, the tablet is facing increased scrutiny, with its competitive pricing – which undercuts its chief rival, the Google Nexus 7, by about £40 – looking decidedly illusory when placed under the microscope.
First, there’s an advertising opt-out, which Amazon originally said they would not offer before experiencing a change of heart. Now, users who do not wish to view the company’s ‘special offers’ every time they lock their device can remove the ads – for an additional $15, or the best part of £10 in old money.
The opt-out will be available as an add-on after purchase, not as a special ad-free Fire HD model. Initial reports haven’t confirmed if the fee is a one-off, or if it could evolve into a yearly subscription package, and the scheme hasn’t been confirmed as part of the UK rollout at this stage.
In addition, it has also been noticed that Amazon’s latest flagship device is set to ship without a wall charger. Instead, Amazon has packaged the new product with a basic USB cable and is promoting its Kindle PowerFast charger alongside the Fire HD for those who want to plug-in to the mains.
On the plus side, the PowerFast is compatible with all Kindle devices, but it also entails an extra cost of £17.99 in the case of UK consumers.
In other words, yes, Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD is £40 cheaper than the Nexus 7, and on the surface this might seem like an ample saving to compensate for the inferior spec sheet. However, tack on the extras – a speculative £10, say, for the ad-opt out and nearly £20 for a wall charger – and you’re most of the way to the £199.99 charged for Google’s 7in tablet.
Suddenly, Amazon’s latest unveil looks considerably less appealing. Android devices typically don’t feature integrated advertising, while the Nexus 7 also comes packaged with a mains charger. That just leaves a Kindle Fire HD vs Nexus 7 spec comparison, and as we’ve already established, the Google product easily bests its upstart rival, its quad-core Tegra 3 processor putting the Fire HD’s dual-core engine to shame.
Rather than burning brightly, the Kindle Fire HD may instead have emerged as a dull flame compared to it main rivals – and that’s before the arrival of the heavily rumoured iPad mini becomes part of the equation later this year.Leave a comment on this article