Head-to-Head: iPad Mini With Retina Vs. Kindle Fire HDX 8.9

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The new iPad mini (like iPad Air) is built around an Apple A7, the industry-first 64-bit SoC introduced with the iPhone 5S last month. The A7 packs onto a 102mm die, two 64-bit ARMv8 application cores -- more than a billion transistors -- plus a modern instruction set. The A7 reportedly runs at 1.3GHz. The iPad mini also contains an M7 dedicated motion processor that continually measures data coming from the accelerometer, gyro and compass and is accessed using Apple's new CoreMotion API. A7 also reportedly includes a dual-core PowerVR G6430 four-cluster GPU, which maker Imagination Technologies describes as "an advanced scalable compute cluster architecture."

While Amazon might not include a cluster in its SoC, the Kindle Fire HDX does pack the impressive Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, a quad-core processor running at 2.2GHz. It houses four Krait 400 cores similar to the ARM Cortex-A15, and its Adreno 330 GPU is reported to be 50 percent faster than its Adreno 320 predecessor.

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