Amazon.com Inc.'s new Kindle Fire models are the latest challengers to the iPad and come amid expectations that Apple will start selling a mini iPad soon.

Here's a look at the key differences between a mid-range model closest to the iPad, along with the original Kindle Fire, the iPad and other leading competitors.

Amazon.com Inc.'s mid-range Kindle Fire HD (available Nov. 20):

— Price: $299 for 16 gigabytes of storage

— Screen size: 8.9 inches diagonally

— Screen resolution: 1920 by 1200 pixels

— Weight: 1.25 pounds.

— Cameras: Front-facing camera.

— Battery life: Undisclosed.

— Operating system: Modified version of Google's Android

Pros: Cheap and portable. Convenient access to Amazon store. Large high-definition screen. Dolby audio. Available with access to fast 4G wireless broadband networks, for $499.

Cons: Small selection of third-party applications available from Amazon. No rear camera for taking video and photos.

Amazon.com Inc.'s original Kindle Fire:

— Price: $199 for 8 gigabytes of storage (includes 2 GB for operating system)

— Screen size: 7 inches diagonally

— Screen resolution: 1024 by 600 pixels

— Weight: 0.9 pounds

— Cameras: none

— Battery life: 8 hours.

— Operating system: Modified version of Google's Android

Pros: Cheap and portable. Convenient access to Amazon store.

Cons: No-frills tablet lacks camera and microphone. Small selection of third-party applications available from Amazon. Data storage cannot be expanded with memory cards. No option for cellular wireless broadband.

Apple Inc.'s iPad:

— Price: Starts at $499 for 16 gigabytes of storage, goes up to $699 for 64 gigabytes, more for versions with cellular data access. (Apple still sells the older, iPad 2 for $399.)

— Screen size: 9.7 inches diagonally

— Screen resolution: 2048 by 1536 pixels

— Weight: 1.44 pounds

— Cameras: 5-megapixel camera on back and a low-resolution camera on front, for videoconferencing

— Battery life: 10 hours.

— Operating system: Apple's iOS

Pros: Unmatched access to third-party applications, high-quality Apple software and the iTunes store. Unique high-resolution screen. Widest range of cases and accessories available. Available with access to fast 4G wireless broadband networks, starting at $629.

Cons: Data storage cannot be expanded with memory cards.

Google Inc.'s Nexus 7

— Price: $199 for 8 gigabytes of storage, $249 for 16 GB.

— Screen size: 7 inches diagonally

— Screen resolution: 1280 x 800 pixels

— Weight: 0.75 pounds

— Cameras: Front-facing, 1.2 megapixel camera

— Battery life: 9.5 hours

— Operating system: Google's Android

Pros: Access to a variety of games, utilities and other software for Android devices, though not as extensive as apps available for iPad. More features than Kindle Fire at same price.

Cons: Integrates with Google Play store, which is still new and isn't as robust as Apple or Amazon's stores. Data storage cannot be expanded with memory cards. No option for cellular wireless broadband.

Samsung Electronic Co.'s Galaxy Tab 2 10.1:

— Price: $399 for 16 gigabytes of storage

— Screen size: 10.1 inches diagonally

— Screen resolution: 1280 by 800 pixels

— Weight: 1.24 pounds

— Cameras: low-resolution front camera, 3-megapixel back.

— Battery life: 11 hours.

— Operating system: Google's Android

Pros: Also with 7-inch screen for $250. Storage is expandable with microSD memory cards. Can act as a universal remote control for an entertainment center.

Cons: Selection of third-party applications not as good as iPad's, but wider than Kindle. Screen resolution lower than iPad's. No option yet for wireless broadband.

Samsung Electronic Co.'s Galaxy Note 10.1:

— Price: $499 for 16 gigabytes of storage, $549 for 32 gigabytes

— Screen size: 10.1 inches diagonally

— Screen resolution: 1280 by 800 pixels

— Weight: 1.3 pounds

— Cameras: low-resolution front camera, 5-megapixel back.

— Battery life: 9 hours.

— Operating system: Google's Android

Pros: Comes with a pen, for jotting notes and drawing on the screen. Slightly thinner and lighter than an iPad. Longer, narrower screen better suited to movies. Storage is expandable with microSD memory cards. Can act as a universal remote control for an entertainment center.

Cons: Selection of third-party applications not as good as iPad's, but wider than Kindle. Screen resolution lower than iPad's. No option for wireless broadband. Pen sensor slightly shortens battery life.

Barnes & Noble Inc.'s Nook Tablet:

— Price: $199 for 8 gigabytes of storage, $249 for 16 gigabytes

— Screen size: 7 inches diagonally

— Screen resolution: 1024 by 600 pixels

— Weight: 0.9 pounds

— Cameras: None.

— Battery life: 11.5 hours.

— Operating system: Modified version of Google's Android

Pros: Cheap and portable. Storage is expandable with microSD memory cards. Easy access to Barnes & Noble book store.

Cons: Selection of third-party applications is small. Barnes & Noble lacks wide range of content. Lacks cameras and option for wireless broadband.

Microsoft Corp.'s Surface (available Oct. 26):

— Price: Not yet announced. Storage options will range from 32 to 128 GB

— Screen size: 10.6 inches diagonally

— Screen resolution: Not yet announced.

— Weight: About 1.5 pounds for low-power version, 2 pounds for version running PC-style Intel processor.

— Cameras: Front and back cameras

— Battery life: Not yet announced.

— Operating system: Microsoft's Windows 8.

Pros: Some compatibility with programs available for traditional Windows computers. Storage can be expanded with microSD memory cards.

Cons: Operating system lacks good track record on tablets, and selection of tablet-adapted third-party applications will be small.

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