Those price points will be key, it turns out. Amazon is selling its Kindle Fire HD 8.9" for just $299 with 16GB. That's $100 less than the least expensive iPad, but that model—last year's iPad 2—sports a lower-resolution display. The best comparison for the Kindle Fire HD's 1,920-by-1,200-pixel screen is the new iPad, which has a 2,048-by-1,536-pixel Retina display. Those make for almost identical pixel density figures, at 254 ppi for the Kindle Fire HD and 264 ppi for the Retina display. Suffice to say text will look super sharp on both tablets.
That's not all, though; a 4G LTE-enabled, Kindle Fire HD 8.9" starts at $499 with 32GB, which is $230 cheaper than the equivalent iPad. And a 250MB data plan for Amazon's tablet costs just $49.99, or almost $130 less than what it would cost with the iPad.
The iPad has a 5-megapixel rear camera that records 1080p video; the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" lacks a rear camera entirely, although its front-facing camera is HD compared to the iPad's VGA sensor. Amazon stepped up the Kindle Fire HD's Wi-Fi capabilities significantly, with a pair of antennas (compared to the iPad's single antenna) and MIMO support. It also supports 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz bands, which the iPad already did (but the original Kindle Fire did not).