Amazon and Barnes and Noble both have flagship large screen tablets in the form of the Fire HDX 8.9 2014 edition and the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1. These devices both cost over $300 and provide large screens to read digital books, newspapers, magazines, comics and graphic novels. How well do they compete against each other head to head? Today we compare the full experience to give you a sense of how the hardware and software elements play out.
Lately, I have not been going into full details about the specs during these comparison videos. Tablets these days all give you quad-core processors, plenty of RAM and internal storage, on paper they are fairly even. My opinion is that it is all about real world conditions and how content looks.
The Fire HDX 8.9 model has a few software functions that make it standout in a crowd. You can listen to a song and quickly ID it, and then buy it from Amazon, or scan a bar code, UPC and just snap a picture of a physical book and instantly get a price comparison. There is also the consumer friendly technical support system that allows you to talk to a real person via Mayday. The best aspect of the HDX, is the Dolby Audio, which really fills a room with full and vibrant sounds, currently the sound quality is the best of ANY tablet in the world right now.
The Nook 10.1 has the larger screen, which really makes visual content look really good. It is certainly no slouch in the sound department either, with the stereo speakers. I think the most compelling aspects is the ability to access the classic Nook Store to buy any content you need, but also the inclusion of Google Play greatly enhances customers ability to download other reading apps, such as Kindle, Kobo, Comixology, and thousands of others.
In this comparison video we mainly look at how the same content looks side by side, to give you a sense of the resolution and quality. We look at an eBook, magazine, and comic book experience.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.