iPad 2 vs. Kindle Fire

Dec. 13th, 2011   /  

Apple’s iPad 2 has strategically formed an alliance with today’s legal world. We have commented before on the many helpful apps that Apple offers to attorneys both in the court room and when compiling research. The iPad 2 has been great but as a new rival enters the market, could that loyalty be compromised? On November 15, 2011 Amazon released its Wi-Fi tablet, the Kindle Fire.

From a strictly aesthetic perspective the two tablets look similar enough. The Amazon Kindle Fire sports a 7 inch screen and offers 8GB of memory. The Apple iPad 2 enjoys a 10 inch screen, accompanied by 16GB of memory. However, what the Kindle Fire lacks in memory it compensates in price. The Kindle Fire is priced at $199, which is a steal next to the iPad 2’s intimidating entry level price tag of $499. In the iPad 2’s defense, it does offer two cameras and a microphone where as the Kindle Fire lacks cameras and microphones. Although all that that really means is that the Kindle Fire does not offer Skype video chat, which in regards to the legal world may be irrelevant anyway. Also, the Kindle Fire runs Flash, a program that allows users to stream videos and TV shows from websites like Sidereel.com and other such websites. iPad users will not enjoy this luxury, as Apple tablets do not support Flash software. They may watch TV shows either through subscriptions to HBO and Netflix or by purchasing individual episodes and movies from iTunes, which can surely rack up a huge bill. Once again, the streaming of free TV shows has little relevance as to which tablet will better suit your needs in the court room, so for the purpose of this article we will excuse that flaw on Apple’s behalf.

The real core of the debate lies not in the appearances of the devices, but rather in their abilities. Apple’s iTunes app store offers many attorney friendly apps at various prices, some of which are free. Journals like The American Lawyer and the ABA Journal are available to catch up on the latest legal news. Black’s Law Dictionary is available to instantly offer definitions and refreshers of legal jargon. The Bloomberg app offers current news, stock quotes, company descriptions, market leaders/laggers, price charts, market trends analysis, and more. Law Box is another app and it provides access to the text of the United States Code and the state statutes of Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas. Fastcase, is another web-based research service that provides access to U.S. cases and statutes. These apps, among so many more, are part of the ever growing pool of legal resources available only via iTunes to iPad users.

However while the Kindle Fire may be new, it too has some tricks up its sleeve. Amazon’s Android app store has made some of the apps available on iTunes available in their store as well, such as Docket in Your Pocket. For attorneys practicing in Pennsylvania, the Docket in Your Pocket app provides unlimited access to the dockets of Pennsylvania’s Criminal Courts of Common Pleas, Magesterial District Courts, and Municipal Court. Also, Amazon’s Android app store has created some of its own apps to rival those in iTunes which sell similar products under alias names. An example of this is iTunes Congress+ app, which offers information about the current session of Congress. The app is available in iTunes for $4.99 and offers the ability to identify elected officials in the House and Senate, obtain their contact information, legislative activity and campaign developments. The Android app store offers an almost identical app in their store for free. This is just one instance of many where the Kindle Fire rivals the iPad for all of your legal needs.

There are several reviews that, between the two competing tablets, recommend purchasing the Kindle Fire, especially in today’s economy. There are also those reviews that endorse purchasing the iPad 2, claiming that it is faster than the unpolished Kindle Fire. Remember the first generation of personal computers, talk about unpolished. The iPad 2 is Apple’s second generation of the iPad, the first generation iPad had many glitches and lesser features than the current generation. In the end, Amazon was smart to offer their product at such a low price, drawing in an abundance of attention. Be on the lookout because the second generation Kindle Fire may be just around the corner and equipped with both high megapixel cameras and high quality microphones, sans the glitches and ready to give Apple a run for their money. In a professional legal setting, for now, it does seem that the iPad has more to offer, although the Kindle Fire is a worthy competitor. However in a few generations with some further developments, the Kindle Fire may just be the smarter tablet of choice.

For questions or to obtain legal advice, please contact the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green at 561-266-9191 or email us at daronberg@aronberglaw.com.

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