Monday, March 29, 2010

AP compares Kindle and iPad advantages

The AP today compares E-book advantages on the Kindle and the iPad.

They advise that, if choosing between a Kindle or an iPad for reading e-books, buyers keep in mind some advantages of both products.
' Kindle:
  . Lower price. ($259)

  . Light weight. (10.2 ounces. The iPad is 1.5 pounds.)

  . Can wirelessly download books any time, anywhere from Amazon's Kindle Store without a monthly fee.
    The $499, entry-level iPad goes online only in Wi-Fi hot spots.

  .   Wireless connectivity anywhere requires an iPad that is $629 and up, plus a monthly service fee.

  . Gray-scale "e-ink" screen that can be read in direct sunlight.

  . Battery lasts up to a week with wireless connection on, or two weeks with it off.

  . LCD color touch screen is 9.7 inches diagonally, compared with 6 inches on the Kindle.  That can give a more complete Web-surfing experience.

  . It also functions as an iPod and video player.
    [ But doesn't support Flash video -- No Hulu, no ESPN videos]

  . It can download music and videos from Apple's iTunes Store and games and applications from its App Store — including e-reading apps from Apple and other companies, such as Amazon. '
In other words, it depends on whether you want it to mainly read books, even in direct sunlight, and want to be able to download a book to your reader wherever you are, or whether you also (or mainly) want a device that allows you to surf the web in color and download reading when you are around a WiFi network (for about twice the $-amount -- you'll need to buy an adapter kit to transfer files).

 The e-ink screen is monochrome and slower but works really well for reading books but while its web browser is free it is also slow. The iPad will dazzle with color and variety but will cost considerably more and it may be harder to read books on the large LCD screen for long periods of time.  For some it'd be no problem.

See the ongoing Guide to finding Free or Low-Cost Kindle books and Sources
Also, a page of links that confine searches to mid-range priced e-books. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

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  1. I don't see much point in comparing the two devices.

    The iPad is like a large iPod (media device) that also happens to do ebooks, but ebooks are not its strong points maily due to battery life and LCD screen.

    The Kindle is a dedicated ebook reader that just happens to do web and mp3.

    It is like comparing Apples to oranges.

    PS: They mention the iPad 9.7" screen as an advantage but they forgot the kindle DX also has a similar sized screen...

  2. Anonymous,

    Comparing apples to amazons. :-)

    While we both know the merits of a Kindle for our needs, others don't and are perplexed about what to get and may have other needs.

    So this gives others pros of each, which I think is good. It's not for us but for others who don't know where to begin with assessing which one they might want if being able to choose only one.

    The 9.7" screen for the Kindle is only $10 less than the iPad's lowest WiFi-only device so that is a harder comparison for people who have not been interested enough to get an e-reader already.

  3. What bugs me is that the e-ink screen keeps being pointed out as a benefit for reading in sunlight, as if the LCD was a good choice indoors. But e-ink is a better under any light. Of course, admitting that the iPad has a screen completely unsuitable to reading due to its backlight would show that the rest of the comparison is rather frivolous, so perhaps that is why they ignored the obvious fact that the iPad is useless as a book reading device. I think the only useful comparison is to say that the iPad is better for magazines and textbooks with diagrams, while the Kindle is better for books.

  4. Anonymous,
    Any light except dim light :-)

    There really are people who won't find it at all useless as a book reading device. Eyes just differ a lot, but my own don't do well with the sustained focus on book lines on an LCD.


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