iPad Alternatives for College Students: Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD

In those classrooms and schools lucky enough to have them, iPads remain the most popular tablet computers in education. But ever since Steve Jobs—may he rest in peace—debuted the innovational device, competitors like Google and Amazon have been offering their alternatives to customers seeking to go mobile. If you’re a college student uninterested in the iPad (or you just simply can’t afford one) but really want a tablet, you might want to check out Google’s Nexus 7 or Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD.

Our friends over at Hack College matched up the two devices head to head, noting that college students are growing more attracted to eBook versions of expensive textbooks and need the appropriate device to view them. And of course, college students will traditionally resort to sneakiness in order to save a few bucks. There forms a kind of brotherhood between the 20-somethings at institutions of higher learning, especially when you see one kind soul scans a chapter from a textbook and then email the PDF to all the students in the class. Together—through what essentially amounts to theft—we can all save money!

Save money for say, purchasing a Kindle Fire HD or a Nexus 7!

Kindle Fire HD

Hack College praised the Fire HD’s connection to Amazon’s extensive media library including the growing textbook market, which is considerably cheaper than buying physical copies. They took issue with the device’s closed operating system, meaning no access to Google Play or any real method a tech-savvy user could tweak with the internal software.

Google Nexus 7



The Nexus 7 features far better tech specs than the Fire HD, and its graphical capabilities will certainly appeal to gamers. But you’re a college student; shouldn’t you be studying or something? The Nexus 7 also includes Google’s signature open-source Android software, which allows for a lot more customization.

Hack College ended up siding with the Fire HD, but both devices have appeal to different types of users. Be sure to read their full run-down, and tell us if you use either of these devices in the comments below.