iPad vs. Kindle

I used a Kindle for two years. As of today, I’ve been using my iPad for two weeks. I thought I’d share some initial thoughts and impressions between the two units.

User Interface

The iPad interface is intuitive and gorgeous. The Kindle interface can’t compete. While Amazon has made strides, its lack of user interface experience combined with the lack of touchscreen prevent it from matching the iPad. Once you get in the process of actual reading on the Kindle, the interface is fine. Click a button, turn the page. It is everything else that feels like pulling teeth compared to the iPad

About the Screens

There is a lot talk about how much better the Kindle is in direct sunlight. All of it is true. The idea that everyone is bringing their electronic devices to the beech sort of baffles me. I can’t imagine bringing my iPad or Kindle to a place where sand always gets in everything. Reading on a park bench or in the backyard however is a different story. Outside on a sunny day is right in E-Ink’s wheelhouse.

The Kindle simply doesn’t work in the dark. iPad, however, is very low light friendly. The built in brightness slider in iBooks was a stroke of genius. For daily use, both devices look great, but different. The full color screen of the iPad trumps the text clarity of the Kindle in my opinion but to each his own.

The Weight

The iPad a significantly heavier than the Kindle. This could be an issue for some people. If you are used to reading for long stretches holding your book (or Kindle) in front of you, this will be difficult with an iPad. Having used the iPad for several weeks, the weight has not been an problem for me although I have found myself reading it on my side in bed, as opposed to holding it up in the air while laying on my back. I generally read books laying on a table so your mileage may vary on this point. Since my transitions is from a generation 1 Kindle (which had a sharp corner in the lower left side that always dug into my palm), the easier form factor trumps the weight.

The Battery Life

The Kindle runs for days. Because the battery lasts so long, I often forget to charge it and am shocked when I find my Kindle battery is drained. If you are going somewhere without power for several days, the Kindle can keep you occupied. The backlit iPad will not compete with the Kindle battery. However, it certainly holds its own often lasting more than 10 hours in a day. Because I use the iPad as a picture frame at the office (when not working on it) my charge rarely gets below 70%

Unitasker vs. Multitasker

At the end of the day, a comparison between the Kindle and the iPad is not fair. They are entirely different devices. The Kindle is an outstanding book reader. It doesn’t work so well with periodicals (navigation is a pain), and is not much good for anything else, if you like to read books cover to cover, you’ll be happy with the Kindle.

While the iPad is a very capable book reader, it is much more. We are only a few weeks into the iPad and there are already amazing productivity, news, and gaming apps that could never exist on the Kindle. As an example, I use the Instapaper service, a lot. While there are solutions to get your Instapaper documents on a Kindle, they aren’t pretty and they don’t sync. Instapaper on the iPad is, for lack of a better word, luxurious.

Take Away

I’m giving my Kindle to my daughter. Unless you only want to read books in the sun, save an extra month or two and get the whole enchilada.

38 Comments iPad vs. Kindle

  1. MikeB

    While your review is clearly aimed at a technical comparison, I’d have been interested to read your experience in relation to any comparison shopping you might have done: more titles on the Kindle? Higher cost on the iPad? It’s an ephemeral comparison (possibly) because Apple is likely to add more titles and prices are always subject to change. Still, I would have been interested to see if you’d noticed any differentials in that regard. Cheers

    Reply
  2. smithdavid31@gmail.com

    be;ieve it or not apple still can not meet the demand that the ipad has released. Over 1 millions ipads have been pre-ordered and they have delayed the release worldwide to first meet the demand here in the us. – I never really knew the kindle was around for that long especially 2 years. |

    Reply
  3. smithdavid31@gmail.com

    be;ieve it or not apple still can not meet the demand that the ipad has released. Over 1 millions ipads have been pre-ordered and they have delayed the release worldwide to first meet the demand here in the us. – I never really knew the kindle was around for that long especially 2 years. |

    Reply
  4. smithdavid31@gmail.com

    be;ieve it or not apple still can not meet the demand that the ipad has released. Over 1 millions ipads have been pre-ordered and they have delayed the release worldwide to first meet the demand here in the us. – I never really knew the kindle was around for that long especially 2 years. |

    Reply
  5. smithdavid31@gmail.com

    be;ieve it or not apple still can not meet the demand that the ipad has released. Over 1 millions ipads have been pre-ordered and they have delayed the release worldwide to first meet the demand here in the us. – I never really knew the kindle was around for that long especially 2 years. |

    Reply
  6. smithdavid31@gmail.com

    be;ieve it or not apple still can not meet the demand that the ipad has released. Over 1 millions ipads have been pre-ordered and they have delayed the release worldwide to first meet the demand here in the us. – I never really knew the kindle was around for that long especially 2 years. |

    Reply
  7. allan2@allans-stuff.com

    I completely agree. Not only is the iPad a better looking and far more functional device, the multimedia and color in it’s books blows away the competition as far as I am concerned. Besides, one reason I like the iPad is that I can use it as a portable portfolio for my customers.

    Reply
  8. allan2@allans-stuff.com

    I completely agree. Not only is the iPad a better looking and far more functional device, the multimedia and color in it’s books blows away the competition as far as I am concerned. Besides, one reason I like the iPad is that I can use it as a portable portfolio for my customers.

    Reply
  9. allan2@allans-stuff.com

    I completely agree. Not only is the iPad a better looking and far more functional device, the multimedia and color in it’s books blows away the competition as far as I am concerned. Besides, one reason I like the iPad is that I can use it as a portable portfolio for my customers.

    Reply
  10. allan2@allans-stuff.com

    I completely agree. Not only is the iPad a better looking and far more functional device, the multimedia and color in it’s books blows away the competition as far as I am concerned. Besides, one reason I like the iPad is that I can use it as a portable portfolio for my customers.

    Reply
  11. allan2@allans-stuff.com

    I completely agree. Not only is the iPad a better looking and far more functional device, the multimedia and color in it’s books blows away the competition as far as I am concerned. Besides, one reason I like the iPad is that I can use it as a portable portfolio for my customers.

    Reply
  12. free ipad now

    Interesting comparisons, although I agree it is a stretch to really compare the two. I agree with what you say about bringing either device to the beach! It baffles me also, too much sand for such nice devices.

    Reply
  13. yuyan0903@gmail.com

    Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you taking the time to put this post together. I once again find myself spending way to much time both reading and commenting. But who cares, it was still worth it!

    Reply
  14. yuyan0903@gmail.com

    Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you taking the time to put this post together. I once again find myself spending way to much time both reading and commenting. But who cares, it was still worth it!

    Reply
  15. yuyan0903@gmail.com

    Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you taking the time to put this post together. I once again find myself spending way to much time both reading and commenting. But who cares, it was still worth it!

    Reply
  16. yuyan0903@gmail.com

    Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you taking the time to put this post together. I once again find myself spending way to much time both reading and commenting. But who cares, it was still worth it!

    Reply
  17. yuyan0903@gmail.com

    Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you taking the time to put this post together. I once again find myself spending way to much time both reading and commenting. But who cares, it was still worth it!

    Reply
  18. James Jones

    So, in conclusion, which one is better.. I guess, getting a Kindle. One thing that attracts me is the product's weight. The iPad is obviously heavier than the Kindle. So, that explains it.

    James Jones
    html code: James Jones

    Reply

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