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

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 95
    EDIT: Never mind. I changed my mind.
    (I had something snarky, but decided to delete it)
  • Reply 2 of 95
    Grabs popcorn........
  • Reply 3 of 95
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,589member
    So the kindle display in the final summary is "slightly better" making the news here what? Ridiculous!
  • Reply 4 of 95

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

  • Reply 5 of 95
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    The iPad also has a 27% bigger screen in square inches.
  • Reply 6 of 95
    freerange wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 95
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,295member
    Perhaps the operating system matters too?
  • Reply 8 of 95
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,295member
    EDIT: Never mind. I changed my mind.
    (I had something snarky, but decided to delete it)

    Oh go on ... Go for it ... :)
  • Reply 9 of 95
    nagromme wrote: »
    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
  • Reply 10 of 95
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    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?!
  • Reply 11 of 95
    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.

  • Reply 12 of 95
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,680member

    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.

  • Reply 13 of 95
    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!
  • Reply 14 of 95

    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?

  • Reply 15 of 95

    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.

  • Reply 16 of 95
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,772member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 95
    yojimbo007 wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 95
    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?
  • Reply 19 of 95
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,154member

    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. 

  • Reply 20 of 95
    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.

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