So, recently I was asked by a friend what would make the best e-reader – the Kindle or the iPad. Â It’s a great question. Â I think it boils down to five key issues. Â I’ve listed them below (and made them all start with “P” – isn’t that cool?).
Before I start, let me throw out my disclaimer… Â I own the latest Kindle. Â And, I absolutely love it. Â And, I don’t own an iPad. Â So, while I think my thoughts about the two as e-readers are accurate, realize that I have some obvious bias.
Now, with that out of the way, here are the five issues I think anyone should consider when buying an e-reader:
| The first and most important question is “What is your purpose?” Â Are you looking to read books? Â read Magazines? Â read a little bit and surf the web a little bit? Â Your purpose matters a great deal.|
In my opinion if you purpose is to read book, then without any doubt, I would recommend the Kindle. Â It is simply a better format to read from. Â The “e-ink” technology it uses on the screen is MUCH easier to read than the computer-like back-lit display that the iPad uses. Â Simply put, I couldn’t imagine truly reading on the iPad for 20-30 minutes straight. Â The eye strain would simply do me in. Â However, if I want to be able to surf the web, watch a quick video while I read, etc., then the iPad is the only choice.
For true, simple reading, I think the Kindle is the platform of choice.
| By place, I am thinking of the location and time you will be reading. Â And, once again, this boils down to the way the two devices display the text. Â If you are reading in a dark environment or at night in bed without lights turned on, then the iPad is the only choice (although eye strain is still a consideration – see above). Â The Kindle simply cannot be seen with out the lights turned on. Â Obviously, there are third party lights available, but the fact remains that without assistance the Kindle can’t be red when it is dark.|
However, if you want to read outside, in bright light, by the pool or beach, etc. Â Then the Kindle is the only choice. Â Bright, direct light (especially sunlight) makes the iPad unreadable. Â If you have a laptop, try taking it outside and working on it in bright sunlight. Â You can’t read the screen. Â The same is true for the iPad. Â It simply can’t be red in bright sunlight.
So, your LOCATION and your LIGHTING will affect your choice. Â No clear winner here – it simply depends on where you want to read.
| This relates to battery life. Â While the iPad boasts an impressive battery lie of “up to ten hours”. Â The Kindle can easily go for ten DAYS (yeah, days). Â So, you could easily fly from New York to Los Angeles and not have to charge your iPad. Â But, you could travel around the world and not have to charge your Kindle.|
While Kindle is the clear winner on batter life, the question has to be asked: how important is it for a battery to last for days and days? Â Is it a burden to have to recharge the ipad every day or so?
| For portability, I am thinking about size and weight. Â And, while the iPad is small and light (9.56″ x 7.47″ x 0.5″ and weighing only 1.5 pounds), the Kindle is even smaller (7.5″ x 4.8″ x 0.335″ and weighing only 8.5 ounces).|
If your desire is to get the smallest and lightest device possible, the Kindle is the solution.
But, once again, the question is how much does this matter. Â And, more importantly, is the bigger iPad better. Â Does the bigger screen make reading easier. Â The answer is yes, but…
Yes, a bigger screen is typically easier to read. Â But, the backlit led screen is just not that easy to read for an extended period of time when compared to the Kindle.
|This issue is pretty simple. Â The cheapest Kindle (wi-fi only) is $139. Â The cheapest iPad Â is $499. Â That’s a $360 difference!|
| For pick, I am thinking about the selection of books available to read.|
While there is no doubt that Amazon has a huge selection of books available for the Kindle, all of these are also available for the iPad (via the Kindle app on the iPad). Â Plus there are many other options for the iPad – Apple’s bookstore, other epub formats, etc.
If you what you want is the largest selection, then the iPad is the choice. Â Thanks to the Kindle app, there is nothing you can read on the Kindle that you can’t read on the iPad. Â And, there are many books available for the iPad that aren’t available for the Kindle.