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Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX bests iPad Air in display test

post #1 of 96
Thread Starter 
In his latest display shootout, DisplayMate's Raymond Soneira found the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 to outperform Apple's Retina-toting iPad Air in a number of lab tests, crowning Amazon's device as the best performing tablet he has ever tested.

Display Shootout
Source: DisplayMate


For his latest "Flagship Tablet Display Technology Shoot-Out," Soneira put the iPad Air, Kindle HDX 8.9 and Google Nexus 10 through a battery of in-depth tests, including brightness and contrast, color and intensity, viewing angles, and more. In the end, Amazon's tablet won out after "significantly" outperforming the iPad in multiple categories.

"Most impressive of all is the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9, which has leapfrogged into the best performing Tablet display that we have ever tested," Soneira writes.

Of note, the Kindle HDX logged a better showing than the Air in brightness, screen reflectance, high ambient light contrast and absolute color accuracy. The HDX scored a "very good" rating for the latter, despite being what Soneira calls a "very challenging" category. By comparison, the iPad managed a "good" rating, while the Nexus' performance was "poor."

Soneira points out that Amazon is using a high-quality Low-Temperature Poly-Silicon (LTPS) LCD in the HDX, the same technology seen in Apple's iPhone, but on a bigger scale. He says the HDX boasts the largest LTPS panel currently employed in a mobile device.

As for the Air, Apple has made "incremental" but significant changes and improvements over the third- and fourth-generation iPads. These include decreased reflectance, higher brightness levels and better contrast ratings. Soneira says the switch from amorphous silicon to IGZO was the "most important under the hood display improvement" for the Air, boosting power efficiency by 57 percent from last year's model.

It should be noted that the Google Nexus 10 first debuted in 2012 and is nearing the end of its production cycle. The tablet was included due to its extremely high pixel count -- 2,560-by-1,600 pixels -- which was the highest on the market when the device launched.
post #2 of 96
Grabs popcorn........
post #3 of 96
So the kindle display in the final summary is "slightly better" making the news here what? Ridiculous!
post #4 of 96

I find it interesting that the chart says slightly better in the categories the kindle ranked better but the article says significantly out performed.  

post #5 of 96
The iPad also has a 27% bigger screen in square inches.
post #6 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

So the kindle display in the final summary is "slightly better" making the news here what? Ridiculous!

Click the link in the article.
Max display power consumption :
Kindle = 3.4 watts
Ipad air = 4.8 watts

Significant.
post #7 of 96
Perhaps the operating system matters too?
Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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Enjoying the new Mac Pro ... it's smokin'
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini.
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post #8 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

The iPad also has a 27% bigger screen in square inches.
But is a much lower density screen.
Kindle: 339ppi, 4.1Mpixels
Air: 264ppi, 3.1Mpixels
post #9 of 96
Kindle MAY have slightly better display, however, I'll take the iPad Air because it lacks a MAYDAY button... Mayday means your in deep kimchi! Are Kindle Fire HDX tablets that "highly" valued by Amazon?!

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #10 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by genovelle View Post
 

I find it interesting that the chart says slightly better in the categories the kindle ranked better but the article says significantly out performed.  

to some people it is significant.

 

Hey... this is like a faster processor, a bigger screen, longer battery life, HDMI interfaces... the iPad will lose on many single point shootouts.

Great for kindle... it's designed to have a fantastic display.  and I think Amazon is in the end the real competitor in the tablet wars... Samsung just doesn't have an ecosystem.    

 

Now... would you want to run your business on a kindle?  can you play decent games on a Kindle?  Is it easy to buy/download/manage your apps on a Kindle?   

 

With Apple you're getting a total experience.   Kindle... not so much.   All that said, It's showing that Apple has to mind the details, as the big stuff is easy to overcome.

post #11 of 96

The iPad Air is IGZO? Rumors have been mentioning IGZO displays for years now, but I didn't know that Apple finally started using them.

 

I read that the iPad Air display is the same as on the iPad 3 and 4, but if it's IGZO, then that can't be true now, can it?

 

I'm pretty sure that my iPad 3 is not an IGZO display.

post #12 of 96
Who cares. So the kindle has a slightly better display. I bet 99% of the population can't tell the difference. While the ipad destroys the kindle with regards to OS, ecosystem, customer service (real not virtual), resale, build quality, premium look, battery life, and free software apps.

Anyone can produce a tablet with a nice screen. The trick is putting it all together: apps, OS, user experience, ect. This is like saying my steak is better than Peter Luger's Porterhouse because I use more expensive salt.

FYI I own both the air and a kindle fire. The fire is basically a toy while the air is a life companion!
post #13 of 96
Very subjective and unsubstantiated !!! It sounds like a paid opinion !

How about the proccessor and performance and all other specs where ipad is years ahead!
post #14 of 96

I was just wondering - doesn't Amazon run the risk of being sued by Apple for infringing on the Steve Jobs multitouch patents on the Kindle HDX devices?

post #15 of 96

I think it is great that Amazon pulled this tech off. But a review from DisplayMate on...well.. only displays, is hardly adequate  for an informed buying decision. When you buy a car, is 'windshield' your highest category - over performance, engine quality, seating comfort, safety, fuel economy? When you look at their summary chart, IMO there does not seem to be a great deal of difference and the difference between an A and A- seems to be highly subjective. But if you want the Kindle, and it does what you need, go for it. You will even save some dollars. But when you want it do something that is best done on an iPad, which is almost everything, then you will kick yourself. And you will deserve it.

post #16 of 96
Apple is charging a significant premium over the other devices...i wonder why Apple went with IGZO and not something more power efficient like the LPTS.
post #17 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yojimbo007 View Post

Very subjective and unsubstantiated !!! It sounds like a paid opinion !

How about the proccessor and performance and all other specs where ipad is years ahead!
Emm... This is from a company that focuses on display diagnostic technology, they don't review processors. Most of this measuring is done using specialized test equipment and is not "subjective" at all.
post #18 of 96
Shit man, I wanna throw all my shit away and buy the best there is, but I'm confused. Is it Kindle? JDPowers sez it's samsung. Anandtech sez iPad. Isn't Feiteng the best, at $66?
post #19 of 96

Uh, whatever. Wake me up when people can actually notice this supposed increase in quality in real life. Every single review of the iPad Air I've read makes it a point to state that the display is absolutely gorgeous, and possibly the best on the market. Also, keep in mind that it's quite possible that Apple asessed whatever tech Amazon is using, and deemed it unfeasible, either from an engineering or supply standpoint, for the amount of units Apple needs to ship and the demand they have to fill. When you sell like 5 tablets a month, you can experiment with any tech that you like. When you need to sell 15 million a quarter (at least) the equation changes, and much more has to be taken into account. As far as I know, Kindle HDX sales are pretty horrible, I've never seen one in the wild, and it's pretty much an irrelevant tablet for anything other than consuming amazon stuff. Is the screen perceptively better? Can 99% of people notice a difference? Does it outweigh all other downsides to that product? I somehow doubt it. 

post #20 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

Who cares. So the kindle has a slightly better display. I bet 99% of the population can't tell the difference. 

Most of the differences are subtle, but there is one quite large difference that I think most people would appreciate. The Kindle has 50% higher contrast when used in an environment with high ambient light.  And it does that while using less power per square inch.

post #21 of 96
Amazon Fire HDX is more closed than iOS. I like Amazon and buy stuff from them but not their Amazon buying device otherwise known as the Amazon kiosk. Im still wondering why Apple elected not to use the best display tech around.
post #22 of 96
It doesn't use IGZO. It says right in apple's tech specs it's an IPS display. In-plane-switching is used in LCD displays. It has a new touch technology though, GF2 or something, they probably got those mixed up. Though, you'd think they would know the difference, being in the business if displays...
post #23 of 96
This review didn't surprise me. I've been using the Kindle Fire HDX and it is the perfect e-reader tablet combo. I probably won't need the Mayday button, but it beats calling Applecare and being asked for my credit card for basic troubleshooting. I use my iPad for some things at home but for an on-the-go tablet, reader, browser device, this Kindle cannot be beat.
post #24 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stellar1616 View Post

It doesn't use IGZO. It says right in apple's tech specs it's an IPS display. In-plane-switching is used in LCD displays. It has a new touch technology though, GF2 or something, they probably got those mixed up. Though, you'd think they would know the difference, being in the business if displays...

 

A display can be IPS and IGZO, just like an apple can be red and smooth. (they are different characteristics of the same object)

post #25 of 96

Not sure why anyone would decide to compare these devices. The Kindle with it's 16:9 ratio is made to consume content sold by Amazon. It will be fairly popular with Amazon Prime members. The iPad is a different animal. The HDX is a good product for those that want to watch a lot of movies.

 

The HDX appears to be a nice bump compared to the Fire HD.

post #26 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlApple View Post
 

Not sure why anyone would decide to compare these devices. The Kindle with it's 16:9 ratio is made to consume content sold by Amazon. It will be fairly popular with Amazon Prime members. The iPad is a different animal. The HDX is a good product for those that want to watch a lot of movies.

It's 16:10.

Its display is essentially an Retina iPad Mini that's 1¼" taller.

post #27 of 96
Still not buying a Kindle… 1oyvey.gif hate those things. Still going for an iPad Air. 64bit and iWork… much better.
post #28 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

Amazon Fire HDX is more closed than iOS.

The Kindle Fire is more open than iOS.  It lets you install apps without going through their store or jailbreaking/rooting.

But it does have a worse app selection.

post #29 of 96
I would have bet big the first IGZO screen would have been touted to the rooftops.

Did APPLE really just let that slip out unmentioned?
post #30 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfc1138 View Post

I would have bet big the first IGZO screen would have been touted to the rooftops.

Did APPLE really just let that slip out unmentioned?

They did tout it.... indirectly. They even changed the iPad's name because of the advantages it brought.  No reason to mention it by name, especially when the Fire uses the even better LTPS (which the iPhone also uses)

post #31 of 96
Test the screens after 6 months of real world use, and then let's talk. Do the same for the battery, the speakers, the processor etc. You will find that Android garbage degrades rather quickly.
post #32 of 96
Love the Amazon shills who just joined to tell us how great the Fire is. Sorry I wouldn't buy one just because of that stupid mayday commercial they keep running. And why aren't all the privacy nuts complaining about this feature? We know if Apple was able to remote access someone's device the media would be all over it.

Oh and as far as AppleCare, I've used it recently and I didn't have to provide any credit card information. It worked really slick and they solved my problem right away.
post #33 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Love the Amazon shills who just joined to tell us how great the Fire is. 

I'm the only one who just joined, so you must be talking about me? Except I never said (or even implied) that the Fire is great. Now I'm confused. Who are you talking about?


Edited by Shadowxaf - 11/4/13 at 10:52pm
post #34 of 96
Apple gets beaten out by Amazon in display hardware? Pathetic. Go ahead, Tim, just keep sitting on that $146B cash hoard like it was your own piggybank and Apple is going to get passed up by a profit-less Amazon. No wonder why Amazon's share price is relatively so high and Apple can barely get past $530. There shouldn't be any non-hardware company that has anything close to what Apple should be able to do with its abundance of wealth.
post #35 of 96

Nice to learn there's room for future improvement in efficiency for the Air without loss of image quality.

Going into the biggest shopping season of the year, I can't imagine Apple would want to risk production of millions of units right now on what would be the largest by far LTPS display at 9.7" diagonal (16:10). The 8.9" (only 16:9) HDX isn't even available for over a month, on Dec. 10th. The display area of the Air is roughly 30% larger than the HDX. The Displaymate tests would seem to be on a pre-production model, too, so I'm not sure how representative these results will be when the HDX goes into production. I wonder why results for the 7" HDX weren't included, since it is in production.

 

As in the past, I expect we'll never know how many HDXs are sold by poor, unprofitable Amazon.:embarrass 


Edited by Cpsro - 11/4/13 at 11:24pm
post #36 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post
 

Nice to learn there's room for future improvement in efficiency for the Air without loss of image quality.

Yay! Finally someone looks at the bright side! An article educating people on displays is good for everyone.

The Fire uses 23% less power per area while having a display that is 65% more dense.  Because the Air is unlikely to increase in pixel density, it looks like there is quite a lot of room for efficiency improvements.

post #37 of 96

I'd be more interested in these comparisons were the competition not employing malware as an OS. Let's be quite clear, from the perspective of the user, Android is malware, in that it is designed to deliver to Google's clients, its advertisers, a product, being users of the OS. To deny this is to live a fairytale. In respect of performance, Apple is an Earthly company, with access to Earthly technologies, the same as Amazon. The overall user experience however, is what is selling Apple products.

 

All the best.

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Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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post #38 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowxaf View Post
 

I'm the only one who just joined, so you must be talking about me? Except I never said (or even implied) that the Fire is great. Now I'm confused. Who are you talking about?

They've probably already been culled lol. :) Look forward to your contribution.

Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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post #39 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post
 

I'd be more interested in these comparisons were the competition not employing malware as an OS. Let's be quite clear, from the perspective of the user, Android is malware, in that it is designed to deliver to Google's clients, its advertisers, a product, being users of the OS. 

The Kindle Fire fork of Android is as free of Google services as iOS.  

Actually, scratch that.

The Kindle Fire uses fewer Google services than iOS.  The Kindle's default web search engine isn't Google.

post #40 of 96
Well, interesting and balanced article. That's cool!

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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