Microsoft Surface vs. Amazon Fire Tablet: Which One Is The Best Tablet?

By Rick Gonzales | 1 month ago

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With the holiday season rapidly approaching, some of you may be in need of a Christmas gift idea or two. Although we are experiencing a major chip shortage across the globe and some tech products may be a little more difficult to find, don’t let our following recommendations fall on deaf ears. You can still find the Microsoft Surface or the Amazon Fire Tablet, you just may need to move quickly or look a bit harder.

Which one, you may be wondering, is worth their price? Well, we are going to compare models and let you decide which one may work best for your needs.

MICROSOFT SURFACE VS AMAZON FIRE – HISTORY

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Both the Microsoft Surface and the Amazon Fire were built to offer some competition for Apple’s iPad. While they haven’t quite made the dent they intended, they have made enough waves to stick around for nearly a decade.

The Amazon Fire tablet is the older of the two and actually, for the longest time, carried the name Kindle Fire. Its initial design was simply as an e-book reader and internet surfer. There wasn’t a lot put into it in terms of advanced features, but it got the job done and for a much cheaper price than the ever-expensive iPad.

Amazon kept the Kindle name until 2014 when the tablet’s fourth generation was introduced. Since that time, Amazon has called it the Fire and they are now on their 11th generation models, the Fire HD 10 and the Fire HD Plus.

The Microsoft Surface has also enjoyed a productive past, starting first with the Surface in 2012. They then offered the Surface Pro in 2013 and from there both tablets grew.

The regular Surface lasted 3 generations before changing over to the Surface Go in 2018 and to date offers the Go 2 and its most recent release, the Surface Go 3.

The Surface Pro has been through a number of generations starting with the original moving up all the way through the Surface Pro 7, the Surface Pro 7+, and its newest release, the Surface Pro 8. Microsoft also released a Surface Pro X model in 2019 and recently released their newest version of the Surface Pro X in October 2021.

MICROSOFT SURFACE VS AMAZON FIRE – THE ALL-IMPORTANT OS

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This is where the differences between the two models begin. Amazon Fire, while becoming more and more impressive over the years, still has its roots in an e-reader and internet explorer. But, as the upgrades came with each new generation, the tablet also became one good to stream movies or TV shows on.

Amazon Fire uses its own OS (operating system). The 7th Generation Fire Tablet used the Fire OS 5.3.6, which was based on Android’s 5.1.1. The newest Fire Tablet, the 8th Generation, has since upgraded with Fire OS 6.3.0, based on the Android 7.1 OS. Nice and solid OS’s.

As the Surface Go and Surface Pro are both Microsoft tablets, they come equipped with the Windows OS. Although Windows recently upgraded Windows to Windows 11, the newest Microsoft Surface comes with the latest Windows 10 version.

It appears, though, that the newer Microsoft Go and Pro will start being shipped with Windows 11. This will be nice for those wanting to take advantage of what the new Windows OS has to offer.

MICROSOFT SURFACE VS AMAZON FIRE – SPECS

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As you will see pretty quickly, Microsoft has built their Surface tablets to compete directly with the iPad whereas Amazon’s Fire tablets are built to sell and sell quickly.

The first thing that separates the Surface from the Fire is resolution. The Surface comes in at 1920 x 1080px while the Fire offers 800 x 1080px. That’s a pretty significant difference, though watching movies on those small screens, you may not be able to tell.

Where you will notice a difference is the processor speeds. The Fire clocks in with a 2 x 1.2GHz speed while the Surface almost triples the speed with 4 x 1.7GHz.

RAM memory is also a big factor when comparing the two tablets. The Amazon Fire HD brings in 0.5GB of RAM while the Surface has 4GB.

Speaking of memory, the Surface shines here as well. While the Fire has a mere 32GB of internal storage the Surface offers 128GB.

MICROSOFT SURFACE VS AMAZON FIRE – FEATURES

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So where, exactly, does the Amazon Fire have the advantage over the Microsoft Surface? Size is one area that the Fire can brag about. It’s not as bulky or heavy as the Surface, which many people find attractive. It also has an HDMI port that makes connecting the smaller device to a bigger TV a snap.

While the small nature of the Fire makes it easy to handle, the smaller screen could be (and was) a turn-off. This is why Amazon brought out its big guns with their 10” screen to challenge the bigger brands. They aren’t quite as big as Microsoft Surface Pro X’s 13” screen, but at least they are finally into double digits in terms of viewing capacity.

MICROSOFT SURFACE VS AMAZON FIRE – PRICING

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While Microsoft Surface pretty much dwarfs the Amazon Fire Tablet in every known category, the one thing they will never take away from the Amazon Fire is their attractive price. In fact, once you see the prices, you may not even look in the Microsoft Surface X direction.

Let’s start with the Microsoft Surface X. In their need to compete with the iPad, Microsoft is now also competing with Apple’s pricing point. The Surface Pro X, now being released with the new Windows 11 OS, will run you $899.99, just to start with. The price definitely goes up from there.

On the complete other side of the spectrum, the Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus with 1080p full HD and 32GB of storage will set you back $179.99 on Amazon. If you wanted to upgrade that 32GB to 64 GB it would only kick the cost up to $219.99 on Amazon. Can you say, “what a deal?”

MICROSOFT SURFACE VS AMAZON FIRE – CAN YOU CHOOSE?

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Okay, we understand there are vast differences when you compare the two tablets. One is built for speed and the other is built for wallet comfort. Basically, as with most things in life, it comes down to what you need out of your tablet. If you are simply wanting to knock back a few e-books, stream some movies or TV shows and call it a day, you can’t beat the price of the Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus.

Now, if you need a little more meat on the bone with your tablet, the Microsoft Surface is one outstanding tablet, but it will definitely set you back a few bucks.

Speed or price? The choice is yours.