Apple iPad mini full review - Page 2

We continue our iPad mini vs Kindle Fire HD 8.9 comparison with a look at the respective battery lives of our two chosen tablets.

Kindle Fire HD vs iPad mini: battery life

The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 and the iPad mini are closely matched in terms of battery life. Here we found the mini didn't quite live up to Apple's 10-hour claim. Running our usual video-looping test, we recorded just 7 hours and 21 minutes with Wi-Fi turned on. That was at maximum screen brightness, however, so at a lower brightness, you might just reach 10 hours.

Simularly Amazon claims that you will get more than 10 hours of continuous use out of the Kindle Fire HD 8.9. In our tests we managed 7 hours and 15 minutes playing back video at full brightness with Wi-Fi switched on. This is a good result for a tablet with a 9in screen. It would certainly allow you to watch movies throughout a long flight, for instance (although you'd need to be online to watch the movie.)

Note that the Fire HD 8.9in will take a foot-tapping 14-odd hours to charge via your laptop or PC's USB port. That drops to around four hours with the optional Kindle charger – it's well worth budgeting for that when you buy if you don't already have a USB charger.

All's fair in love, war, and a comparison between the respective battery lives of the Amazon Kindle HD 8.9 and the iPad mini.

Kindle Fire HD vs iPad mini: storage

You can purchase 16GB and 32GB models of the Kindle Fire HD 8.9. (In our tests the 16GB Kindle Fire HD 8.9 had 12.7GB available for storage. With the 32GB model we found 27.1GB of usable storage. Those are fairly standard ratios of storage to usable space. We haven't yet tested the mini in this regard.)

The iPad mini comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB flavours. Again, there's no expansion slot.

Kindle Fire HD vs iPad mini: cameras

Here's where the iPad mini makes its money back. The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 has a camera, but it really isn't much to write home about. It's a 1.3Mp front-facing webcam to allow you to video call.

By contrast both cameras on the iPad mini are brilliant, the rear one especially so. It takes sharp photos in dingy conditions and great-looking images with accurate colours in good light.

It's great for videos too (it has stabilisation as well), and you'll feel more at home using this smaller iPad rather than the big version for capturing what's going on. Plus, there's face recognition on both cameras for photos and videos.

If having a camera on your tablet matters, go for the iPad.

Kindle Fire HD vs iPad mini: the bottom line

If you want to do more than just consume media, the iPad mini is the only choice. And if true portability matters then the mini again wins out. The decision is harder if you aren't concerned about these factors. It may boil down to which ecosystem you prefer: iOS or Amazon. And whether a 8- or 9in device best suits your needs. Finally, if all else is equal, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is cheaper.

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