Apple launched its new iPad mini with Retina Display last week, and Cupertino’s slate will be compared to every compact tablet out there, including the likes of the Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire range.
So here we’re going to see how it stacks up to the Fire HDX 7in, a powerful tablet with an impressively sharp display. What’s more, the HDX has a budget price in line with the Nexus 7 at £199 for the 16GB model, which is £120 less than the iPad mini Retina. Price isn't everything, though, and the new iPad mini's specs are not to be sniffed at.
For starters, the iPad mini has a higher resolution screen than the HDX, finally putting a Retina Display in a 7.9in form factor. While the Kindle Fire HDX’s 1,920 x 1,200 resolution 7in display is no slouch, the iPad mini's 2,048 x 1,536 resolution is slightly better, offering a few more pixels per inch (3 to be precise, so there isn’t exactly a lot in it at 326 ppi versus 323 ppi).
Comparing processors is a tricky business here, even more so now that the iPad mini has Apple's 64-bit A7 processor with M7 coprocessor. Still, the Kindle Fire HDX isn't slow by any means, sporting a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU. In the initial tests with the iPhone 5S against Snapdragon 800-equipped smartphones, the A7 blew the 800 out of the water. The A7 is faster and will probably win in the long run as the iPad gets more 64-bit-optimised apps to further improve performance.
If you want to take snapshots or movies, the iPad mini is the tablet to choose. While both tablets have front-facing cameras for video chats, the Kindle Fire HDX lacks any rear-facing camera. The iPad mini has a 5-megapixel iSight camera capable of 1080p video recording. The Kindle Fire HDX, on the other hand, boasts a better stated battery life of 11 hours of general use or 17 hours of reading only, compared to the iPad mini's stated 10 hours of battery life.
For networking, the iPad mini and Kindle Fire HDX are neck and neck, with both sporting dual-band MIMO Wi-Fi and extensive LTE options for their 4G models. In terms of size, the HDX isn’t quite as tall, and a touch less wide too, but the iPad mini is a tad thinner. The iPad weighs just a touch more – 28 grams to be precise.
For more on these tablets, see our review of the Fire HDX 7in, and we’ve got a hands-on with the iPad mini Retina (the review will be coming soon). You might also want to have a read of our spec comparisons between the iPad mini Retina and iPad Air, the iPad Air versus the iPad 4, and the iPad Air pitted against the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition).
Kindle Fire HDX 7
Apple iPad mini Retina
1,920 x 1,200 pixels
2,048 x 1,536 pixels
Processor and battery
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
Claimed 11 hrs life
Claimed 10 hrs life
Storage and memory
16 / 32 / 64GB
16 / 32 / 64 / 128GB
Rear: No camera
186 x 128 x 9mm
200 x 134.7 x 7.5mm
303g (Cellular model: 311g)
331g (Cellular model: 341g)
Fire OS 3.0 (based on Android 4.2.2)
Wi-Fi: £199 (16GB); £229 (32GB); £259 (64GB)
Wi-Fi + Cellular: £269 (16GB); £299 (32GB); £329 (64GB)
Wi-Fi: £319 (16GB); £399(32GB); £479 (64GB); £559 (128GB)
Wi-Fi + Cellular: £419 (16GB); £499 (32GB); £579 (64GB); £659 (128GB)