Reader Rocket Review Our evaluation of Touch vs Fire HD 8.9"

Display

How do the screens stack up?

Resolution, pixel density, Screen size and anti-glare

Bookstore

How good is the supporting ecosystem?

e-bookstore size, average NYT best sellers price, NYT's top selling titles and 4 more

Performance

How responsive and how long does the e-reader last?

SunSpider and Recharge time

Reviews

How do our trusted review sites rank these products?

Reviews from wired.com

Reader Rocket Score

Display, Bookstore, Performance and Reviews

Winner
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 

Reader Rocket recommends the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9"  based on its display, bookstore, performance and reviews.

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Differences What are the advantages of each

Front view of Kobo Touch

Reasons to consider the
Kobo Touch

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Much lighter weight 184 g vs 567 g 3.1x lighter weight
Expandable memory microSD (up to 32GB) vs None About half of E-Readers have an expansion slot ; store more content with a removable microSD card
Is readable in direct sunlight Yes (E-Ink) vs No (LCD) Somewhat common; text doesn't look washed out in direct daylight
Supports the ePub open format Yes vs No About half of E-Readers support the ePub open format
Uses an open platform Yes vs No Somewhat common; can download ebooks from any source offering formats supported by device
Front view of Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9"

Reasons to consider the
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9"

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Has a built-in light LED backlight vs None Most E-Readers have a built-in light
Has an app store Kindle Store vs None Most E-Readers have an app store
Has cellular connectivity 4G vs None Very few E-Readers have cellular data ; download content anywhere with a cellular connection
Customer loyalty program Yes (Kindle Store) vs No (Kobo Books) About half of E-Readers support customer loyalty program
Has reader-to-reader lending Yes (Kindle Store) vs No (Kobo Books) Somewhat common; e-books can be loaned to a friend for a 14 day period; each e-book can only be loaned once
Noticeably bigger screen 8.9" vs 6" Around 50% bigger screen
Can display full color Yes (LCD) vs No (E-Ink) Somewhat common; view images, read comics, and web-browse in full color
Can run Android apps Yes vs No About half of E-Readers support
Significantly higher resolution screen 1920 x 1200 vs 800 x 600 More than 4.8x higher resolution screen
Directly download library e-books to device Yes vs No Somewhat common; offers quick access to browsing public library titles available for e-readers
Much faster web browser 1,412ms vs 4,903ms 3.5x faster web browser
No black flash when turning pages No (LCD) vs Yes (E-Ink) Somewhat common; provides less obtrusive page turns
Much faster processor 1,500 MHz vs 800 MHz Around 90% faster processor; a faster processor improves responsiveness
Thinner 8.8 mm vs 10 mm More than 10% thinner ; easily slides into bags
Bigger bookstore 4 M book (Kindle Store) vs 3.2 M book (Kobo Books) Around 25% larger e-bookstore size; totalling paid & free books, this reader's bookstore offers a larger selection of reading material
Automatically adjusts screen orientation Yes vs No Somewhat common; auto-adjusts between portrait & landscape based on orientation
Supports text to speech Yes vs No About half of E-Readers support text to speech

Reviews Word on the street

Touch  vs Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 

7.0
9.0

7.1
7.3

Overall

7.1 Out of 10
8.0 Out of 10

Specifications Full list of technical specs

screen

Touch  vs
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 
Screen resolution 800 x 600 1920 x 1200
Screen size 6" 8.9"
Pixel density 166 ppi 254 ppi
Built-in light None LED backlight
Screen type E-Ink LCD
Touchscreen Infrared Capacitive
Multitouch Yes Yes
Flashes screen black during page turns Yes No

features

Sync across multiple devices Yes Yes
Text to speech No Yes
Directly download library e-books to device No Yes
Web browser Yes Yes
Stereo speakers No Yes
Evernote integration No Yes
Landscape mode Yes Yes
Accelerometer No Yes
Parental controls No Yes

storage

Expansion slot microSD (up to 32GB) None
Memory 2 GB 64 GB

form factor

Size 114 x 165 x 10 mm 240 x 164 x 8.8 mm
Weight 184 g 567 g
Interface touchscreen touchscreen
Headphone jack No Yes

connectivity

Touch  vs
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 
Input/Output port micro-USB micro-USB
Cellular data None 4G
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth connectivity No Yes

technical specs

Processor 800 MHz 1,500 MHz
Document support
AAX
DOC
PRC
AZW
PDF
TXT
RTF
ePUB
CBR
CBZ
HTML
MOBI
KF8
Image support
JPEG
PNG
TIFF
GIF
BMP

bookstore

Uses an open platform Yes No
Bookstore Kobo Books Kindle Store
EBookstore size 3.2 M book 4 M book
Free content free content 1.89 M books 2.5 M books
Customer loyalty program No Yes
Average NYT best sellers price $9.95 $9.24
Number of NYT top-selling titles offered+ 38 38
Reader-to-reader lending No Yes
Cloud storage Yes Yes
Reading apps iOS, Android, BlackBerry, PC and Mac iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, PC and Mac
Additional electronic offerings newspapers, magazines and comics/graphic novels newspapers, magazines, comics/graphic novels, textbooks, audio-books and blogs
Has retail store locations No No
Kobo Touch
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Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9"
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