Should I get a Kindle or an iPad?

Posted by David Chism | Mon, Nov 28, 2011

 Should I get a Kindle or an iPad?
If you are ready to move more towards the small gad­gets for your read­ing, web search­ing, email­ing and so on, then you are prob­a­bly won­der­ing if you should get an iPad, a Kin­dle or an Android Tablet, right? I hope to shed some light on some of the main dif­fer­ences between the iPad and the Kin­dle. I will not be focus­ing on Android Tablets or the Barnes & Noble Nook. I do have an Android Tablet but just don’t use it. I did not pur­chase the Nook as I was already a pret­ty loy­al Ama­zon cus­tomer. I use both the iPad and the Ama­zon Kin­dle, and I like them both. Why a Kindle? The Kin­dle uses an E Ink tech­nol­o­gy which basi­cal­ly looks sim­i­lar to ink on a news­pa­per. The ben­e­fit to this type of tech­nol­o­gy and the device: 
  1. It is easy on the eyes com­pared to a com­put­er or tablet screen.
  2. The Kin­dle weighs less than most books so it is easy to hold in your hand(s).
  3. It is so con­ve­nient. I per­son­al­ly like hav­ing books at my fin­ger­tips instead of a huge col­lec­tion of loose books. I real­ly don’t need to show off a room full of books to all my friends. Plus, I tend to lose books and spent too much time look­ing for them. I’ve also nev­er been a big book­mark fan. The Kin­dle helps me get through a book from cov­er to cov­er because it keeps track of where I left off reading.
  4. The bat­tery life is prob­a­bly 10 – 20x longer than any com­put­er tablet. The new­er mod­els of the Kin­dle can last up to two months on nor­mal read­ing with the wire­less set­tings turned off.
  5. Less dis­tract­ing than oth­er gad­gets. We live in a world of dis­trac­tions more than ever before. When using the Kin­dle, there isn’t much else to do on them than read. You can search the web using a WIFI con­nec­tion, but it just isn’t worth it using E Ink tech­nol­o­gy. A Kin­dle was made for lis­ten­ing to audio­books and read­ing a good book – that’s it.
  6. You can still allow oth­er Kin­dle friends bor­row your e‑books and even check out books from your local library.
The iPad
The iPad keeps get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter as more qual­i­ty appli­ca­tions and updates are released. I find myself pick­ing up my iPad more than my lap­top these days, because I can do a bit more with it. Here are some of the key fea­tures and dif­fer­ences between the iPad and Kin­dle when it comes to reading:
  1. The bat­tery life is far less than a Kin­dle yet still very pow­er­ful: 7 – 10 hours (approx­i­mate­ly).
  2. The iPad is more of a tablet com­put­er than it is an e‑reader. Yes, it has an iBook, Nook and Kin­dle App. And the Apps work great. You can pick up your iPad and con­tin­ue read­ing where you left off on your Kin­dle. But it uses a full col­or screen, not E Ink tech­nol­o­gy. Although it is fine for a while, your eyes need a break from this full-col­or dis­play. It can­not com­pare to E Ink.
  3. It is heav­ier than a Kin­dle. After 20 mins of read­ing a book while hold­ing the iPad in your hands, you are def­i­nite­ly ready to put the device down. The kin­dle is around a 13 of the weight of an iPad, mak­ing it easy to hold for extend­ed time periods.
  4. The iPad has so much to do and can be very dis­tract­ing if your goal is to read a book. Believe me, I’ve tried it plen­ty of times before using the Kin­dle. I kept get­ting emails or think­ing about some­thing I need­ed to search the web for, which takes just sec­onds to do on the iPad. I real­ly was­n’t get­ting any­where. When read­ing on a Kin­dle, I do just that: I read.
  5. The price of the iPad ranges from $500 to $650. While the Kin­dle e‑readers range from $79 – 189.
Which Device Wins?
Although the iPad can do what the Kin­dle does, the two gad­gets are very dif­fer­ent. If you are on the look out for a good e‑reader, then get a Kin­dle over an iPad. You can­not beat the price. I use a Kin­dle Touch (lat­est Gen­er­a­tion) and it is fan­tas­tic. I got the 3G ver­sion, but it was a waste of $50 since the WiFi is all I need. The old­er gen­er­a­tion (Kin­dle 3 and ear­li­er) were great too. The iPad, on the oth­er hand, is an e‑reader, a mini-lap­top and a tablet. It does 10x more than a Kin­dle, but the price point of the iPad makes it out of reach for those look­ing to read more books. I also think you’ll read more books on a Kin­dle and get less distracted!
One Quick Word about the Nook vs the Kindle
Now, I did not real­ly men­tion the Barnes and Noble Nook for a rea­son. I don’t own one. I also men­tioned that I was already an Ama­zon cus­tomer. Ama­zon and B&N cre­at­ed their e‑readers pri­mar­i­ly to gain more cus­tomer loy­al­ty. If you own a Nook, you can only buy e‑books from B&N. If you own a Kin­dle, you can only buy from Ama­zon. Makes sense, right? So you must decide who you like doing busi­ness with more. I like Ama­zon because I have one account for all my oth­er online pur­chas­es. Ama­zon has the upper hand because they car­ry just about any­thing you need! BUT the B&N Nook is incred­i­ble. The design fea­tures and usabil­i­ty are bet­ter than the Ama­zon Kin­dle. I absolute­ly love hold­ing the Nook Touch. It is just about per­fect. Yet, I won’t switch because I don’t want anoth­er online account and have already pur­chased a dozen or so books from Amazon.
(note: Don’t go with the Kin­dle Fire as then you’ll get more dis­tract­ed and search the web…and the bat­tery life isn’t great. It is Ama­zon’s first attempt at an Android Tablet).

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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