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iPad mini vs Amazon Kindle Fire: let's kick-off the mini-tablet match

iPad mini and Amazon Kindle Fire
(Image credit: TechRadar)

With many Prime Day deals still to choose from like a sweetshop, there's also plenty of opportunities to see if a tablet can fit around your home at a lower price.

With iPad mini and the Fire, both are great tablets in their own right, but with their own uses that make them a better fit than their bigger brethren. The mini-tablets are seen more as e-readers in color, but with the option to use them for something else when the opportune time comes.

With Prime Day well on its way, we wanted to show you just what the benefits were between each device, and which one you may want to pick out of the two.

iPad mini vs Fire HD: the Prime Day deals running right now

As we near the end of this year's Prime Day deals (opens in new tab), those of you keen to buy a cheap tablet can check out the models below. 

We're seeing discounts on both the iPad mini and Fire HD tablets in both the US and UK – and while Amazon's range appears to have the price advantage in its own sales (no surprises there), the iPad and its App Store ecosystem may just tempt you to spend a little bit more for that instead.

iPad and Fire US deals

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2019 Apple iPad Mini (Wi-Fi, 256GB): $549.99 $489.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Save $60 -
The latest iPad mini model from Apple that has the powerful A12 Bionic chip inside, alongside TouchID and up to 10 hours of battery life. A perfect companion to have around the house for reading, watching movies and creating content, especially if you have the Apple Pencil.

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Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet (64GB): $119.99 $74.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Save $45 -
This 64GB tablet is at its best price ever for Prime Day 2021. Designed for entertainment, you can use this to stream everything from Netflix to Disney Plus, with up to 12 hours of battery life to support you through any long, boring journeys coming up. 

iPad and Fire UK deals

(opens in new tab)

2019 Apple iPad Mini (Wi-Fi, 64GB): £399.99 £369.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Save £30 -
The latest iPad mini model from Apple that has the powerful A12 Bionic chip inside, alongside TouchID and up to 10 hours of battery life. A perfect companion to have around the house for reading, watching movies and creating content, especially if you have the Apple Pencil.

(opens in new tab)

Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet (64GB): £119.99 £69.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Save £50 -
This 64GB tablet is at its best price ever for Prime Day 2021. Designed for entertainment, you can use this to stream everything from Disney Plus to BBC iPlayer, alongside up to 12 hours of battery life to support you through any long journeys finally coming up.

What are the key differences? 

When you think about Amazon and its devices, the first point of call will be Alexa and its many devices, from the Echo Dot, to the Echo Show.

There's a whole ecosystem built on voice, but with the Fire tablets, Amazon has been able to carve a niche that has made mini tablets affordable and alluring to many.

These have become an ecosystem on themselves, running on Google's Android operating system, but with Amazon's own look across the tablet, orange color-scheme included.

For an even cheaper price, you can buy a which features a variety of ads while you use the tablet, which may hinder your experience somewhat. But if you're only buying it to read books on and watch movies, it's a small price to pay.

Apple iPad Mini 5

Pictured: iPad mini and its many features. (Image credit: Apple)

While Apple and their iPad mini devices are not just about content consumption, but content creation, especially due to the fact that the Apple Pencil can be used here, able to allow artists to turn these into mini art books.

The iPad mini has been around since 2012, and there's been no compromise taken here - everything that you know in iPadOS is here, but in a 7.9 inch display. There's no ads in the OS here, and you also have access to the software updates that Apple brings out every year, with iPadOS 15 due to arrive later this year.

If you already have an Apple device, whether that's an iPhone or a Mac, you can log in with your iCloud and AppleID account, and in an instant, your apps and information will appear, ready to go.

Which one has more content? 

It's a tie here, as Amazon and Apple both have a huge amount of content, especially when it comes to TV shows and films. There's Apple TV+, their exclusive home of shows and movies, while Amazon has their own studio, and most recently, buying up MGM, home of James Bond.

However, when it comes to apps, Apple wins here, but with a caveat. Amazon has its own app store, but there are ways to enable the Google Play Store, opening up your Fire to even more apps, not sanctioned by Amazon.

But with Apple, you've got a multitude of apps, with many of them tailored for iPad. But alongside this, many also work on an iPhone, other iPad models, and now Macs that have an M1 chip. You can sync your progress across all these devices, and carry on with an iPhone for example if the iPad mini is somewhere else.

Prime Day deals 2021 Fire HD 8 Plus

Amazon Fire 8 HD Plus

Which one is cheaper? 

The Fire wins out here, no question. If you're looking for a tablet to do the basics, to be used by more than one person, and be kept in one location, then for £79 you can't go wrong. The apps it offers are plenty and all of them useful for what you want to do on the tablet.

It's a content consumption device - it's meant to be used to have your eyes follow the content on the screen.

Which one is better? 

This really depends on why you want a mini-tablet.

If you already have a few Apple devices and knee-deep into the whole ecosystem, from iCloud to Apple TV+, then the iPad mini will make you feel right at home in a 7.9-inch display

But if you're someone who's deeply entrenched in the Amazon ecosystem with Alexa devices everywhere and a recurring Amazon Prime subscription, then the Amazon Fire family of devices is probably your better option, especially if you're on a budget.

More Amazon Prime Day deals in the US

More Amazon Prime Day deals in the UK

Daryl Baxter
Software & Downloads Writer

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', alongside podcasting and usually found playing games old and new on his PC and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.