Kindle vs iPad – Kindle, iPad comparison from iPad reviews

There are lots of Kindle vs iPad comparisons in the first set of iPad reviews – Unfortunately, their Kindle, iPad comparisons are half-baked. None of the reviewers read a couple of books each on the Kindle, iPad and took notes on the differences in experience, reading speed, eye strain and so forth.

Most of them were busy with the hard task of watching movies back to back to see how long the iPad’s battery would last. Only one reviewer (Walt Mossberg) mentions actually reading a complete book on the iPad.

This post will look at Kindle vs iPad by compiling all the reading related Kindle, iPad differences listed across the top 5-6 iPad reviews and adding on some of what’s missing.

Kindle vs iPad – iPad advantages from the reviews

  1. iPad has sizzle, flash, and looks very pretty. 
  2. iPad has a color screen. It’s IPS LCD so it’s better looking than most LCDs.
  3. The iPad screen is bigger and you can go to two page view.
  4. Easier to navigate than the Kindle as it has a touchscreen. Also, search is supposedly excellent.
  5. The page turns are applauded both for the fancy animation and the quicker speed. 
  6. The backlit LCD screen means reading at night doesn’t require a reading light. Plus you can adjust screen brightness.
  7. Walt Mossberg said he did not feel any eye strain from reading on the iPad. Please check for yourself as most/some people do get eye strain from extended reading on LCD screens.
  8. iPad is called ‘vastly superior’ for magazines and newspapers. 
  9. You can bookmark individual words.
  10. You don’t need to buy a separate ebook reader.

iPad advantages that don’t get mentioned

  1. It supports ePub books that don’t have DRM. That means free Google Books etc. ought to work.
  2. There are PDF apps that will let you read PDFs on the iPad.
  3. There are lots of apps for writing (like AwesomeNote, My Diary, Memento) that you could use to turn the iPad into eReader + eWriter. 
  4. Text to Speech via the VoiceOver feature.
  5. Automatic screen rotation with screen orientation lock button – The Kindle only has manual rotation.

Will be updating this list (and the next one) as more data trickles in.

Kindle vs iPad – Kindle advantages from the reviews

  1. Kindle has 450,000 books as compared to the iPad’s starting selection of 60,000 titles. 
  2. Kindle books are cheaper for non-Agency Model Publishers.  
  3. Kindle is much cheaper at $259.  
  4. Kindle is lighter (10.2 ounces) and you can read with one hand. iPad is ‘much heavier’ (1.5 pounds) and ‘most people will need two hands to use it’ according to Walt Mossberg.
  5. Kindle has much better battery life (2 weeks with wireless turned off). iPad’s battery life is 10 to 12 hours.
  6. Kindle lets you add notes – iPad doesn’t.
  7. You can read on the Kindle in direct sunlight.
  8. You can use various Kindle Apps to read Kindle books on Mac, PC, Blackberry, iPhone, and even iPad. iBookstore books only work on the iPad (they might add Mac support and iPhone support down the line).

Kindle Advantages that don’t get mentioned

  1. eInk is better for longer reading spells than LCDs – even IPS LCDs. If you read in 15 to 20 minutes bursts then a LCD screen is good enough. Longer and eInk will most probably work much better for you.  
  2. Free Wikipedia access via 3G and free Internet Access via 3G. If you buy a Kindle in the US you get free Internet Access in over 100 countries. The Browser is very primitive but it lets you access the mobile email sites and Google.
  3. Text to Speech via the Read to Me feature. Publishers sometimes block it out – However, those Publishers will probably block it out on iPad too. 
  4. There’s a Kindle App Store on the horizon and it ought to add at least some good apps – perhaps even a few great ones.

The reason so many journalists feel that ‘it remains to be seen’ whether eInk is better than LCD for reading is that they didn’t really read entire books – they were too busy reviewing the iPad. Perhaps 5 to 10% of the population finds no difference between 4 hours of reading on eInk and 4 hours reading on LCD screens (including Walk Mossberg) – So please check for yourself.

A Note of Thanks and a Conclusion

First, a quick note of thanks to the reviews referenced -

  1. Ed Baig’s iPad Review which includes a lot of Kindle vs iPad comparison points.
  2. Walt Mossberg actually read a few books on the iPad.  
  3. David Pogue also included good Kindle vs iPad points
  4. PC Mag’s Tim Gideon actually wrote an entire, long section comparing iPad’s iBooks App with the Kindle

What’s the Conclusion?

The conclusion is that you have to check out reading on the iPad yourself before buying.

  1. If your focus is on reading books or $500 is too much for you then the Kindle is the easy choice.
  2. If your focus is on multi-tasking or watching movies or playing games then the iPad is the right choice.
  3. If you read less than 1 book a month the iPad is probably the right choice. 

The Kindle is focused on reading and leads to owners reading more. The iPad will have a lot of different things to do and it’s rather unlikely you will read more or even as much.

Just consider the lists above and factor in what’s important to you – iPad and Kindle are both really good at what they’re supposed to do (let’s trust the iPad reviews). Kindle vs iPad comes down to what you want to use them for, how much reading you’ll do, and whether you want to read more than you currently do (Kindle) or less.

82 Responses

  1. I am still not clear. Can you elaborate? Does the iPad (from the box) allows you to read PDF or create a document? Or, do you have to buy apps ($2.99 or more) to do these two tasks (read PDF and create a document)? How come there is no page or FAQ that states something like:

    – This is what you will be able to do with an iPad.

    – This is what you will be able to do after buying an app.

    – This is what you will NOT be able to do till Apple comes up with iPad Plus (April 2011).

    Thanks.

    • Read PDF – iPhone browser (free), iFiles, PDFViewer.
      Create PDF – don’t know.

      That’s a good idea. If this were an iPad blog I’d certainly write something of that sort. Perhaps an iPad blog has that information.

      • I am sorry I do not understand. Please would you clarify.
        – When one opens up iPad out of the box, will one be able to read PDF? Or, one has to buy an application?
        — Is it possible to write a note on an editor on iPad out of the box?

        I am just interested in out-of-the box iPad functionality?

        Thanks.

      • Please get in touch with Apple. I haven’t got an iPad and have no idea what the out of box experience will be like.
        There will almost certainly be a notes app that will allow writing notes. Don’t know whether you’d call it an editor. It’s close to Notepad than to Word.
        iPads aren’t coming out till tomorrow and I’m in canada and haven’t even bought one yet (not sure paying a premium on eBay is worth it).

  2. I already have an iPhone so to me iPad is an oversized, overpriced, overweight, underpowered iPhone without the phone! (or the camera among other things) Not to mention it will come out too late, what do I mean by late? Well it should have came out today, which would have been more appropriate considering how iPad is a joke and today is april FOOLS day! Which is exactly what I would be if I bought this when I own an iPhone.

    I remember apple referring to tablets as something they didn’t like the idea of and/or were not interested in them… I can’t find the article now because when I try a google search anything with steve jobs and tablet brings up all iPad stuff. He talked about how they didn’t offer anything that couldn’t be done on another platform. I hope someone on here knows what i’m referring to, anyway this all makes me have a feeling some overconfident employee at apple said “I bet even if it’s crap and we take that crap and make it shiny and still sell millions.”

    Then as more of an inside joke they named it “iPad” Which is obviously not the coolest name. Then they decided they could even release it on April fools day but they felt it made their little inside joke too obvious so they pushed it back a couple days. As for me i’ll pass. I’m waiting for kindle 3 which can offer me something unique and more adept to reading.

    • I laughed so hard when I read this response about the iPad. I also think its ludicrous that anyone would buy and iPad when they have an iPhone.
      Plus with apple planning to force feed marketing on us on the front end of running their apps and that they wont let Flash run on their products, they scare me.
      Apple: clever quirky start up turned into greedy marketing machine.

      • What an incredibly ignorant statement! Or is it a bunch of statements? I mostly refer to your thinking it is ludicrous that somebody would have an iPad and an iPhone. I have both, and I use them for different things. I find your statement ludicrous. As you clearly don’t have both, you are not in a position to judge.

      • Please keep your language civil. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion – If you’d like to argue that’s fine. Please don’t call anyone ignorant.

      • To Switch11: before you get up on your high horses, I suggest that you look up the definition of ignorant. I didn’t say this person was stupid, I said that this person was ignorant of iPads and iPhones. I stand by that statement. Save your kneejerk reactions for when they’re warranted.

      • Well, I have both an iPhone and an iPad and use the iPad once a week for a few minutes – at most. So the original commenter’s comment is valid for some people and not valid for some people.
        It’s because the iPhone is better for apps and is a phone so it’s with me all the time.

        You’re on the fine line between attacking something somebody says and attacking them. You just did it again with this comment.
        This is not like Engadget or any of the other populist blogs where people come to be rude – Please be careful with your language or all your comments will be deleted.

      • Well, I have both an iPhone and an iPad and I use both daily. The OP stated: “I also think its ludicrous that anyone would buy and iPad when they have an iPhone.” S/he is condemning anybody with both, and yet you criticize him/her and not me. I’ll walk that fine line, thank you, and criticize BS when I see it.

      • You could have just written your last post explaining how you use both instead of attacking her statement.

        Besides this is a Kindle blog and Apple is pretty much treated the way it would be at any non-Apple blog – not very nicely.

      • And Switch, as you admit to having both an iPhone and an iPad, YOU are one of the people that s/he called ludicrous! And you defend this person??!!
        And then, of course, there’s the insult to Apple. How about that insult? Don’t care about that one, either?

      • It makes me happy that someone would insult Apple. However, everyone commenting on the blog – it’s my job to make sure no one talks to them rudely.

        See – I do feel I made a mistake buying the iPad. I needed it to review it so perhaps there wasn’t another choice. However, if you have an iPhone its usefulness is much less than if you didn’t. This is my opinion.

      • Now I get it, Switch. Insulting Apple and people who swear by Apple products is okay. It’s just standing up for the products and calling out the fact that such people are being insulted is not okay. So Kristen can call people who buy both ludicrous and that’s okay, but let somebody call him/her on the “ludicrous” statement and that’s not okay. It’s okay to insult tens or hundreds of thousands if Apple and Apple afficionados are being attacked, but have one person called on the carpet, not attacked but just admonished, for being rude and that’s okay. Glad to finally get your prejudice.

      • Yup. That’s pretty much it.

        The thing is – everyone is biased. We just admit it. So, we’re being frank with you and telling you we like the Kindle and don’t like Apple.

        When Apple starts making a DEDICATED ebook reading device then it’ll start making sense for Apple people to come here and protest. Until then don’t see why anyone would come here – This is a blog dedicated to reading and to dedicated reading devices.

        There are lots of great Apple blogs – Daring Fireball and Mac Rumors for example. Perhaps you could choose one of them instead.

      • I could not agree more. Too bad.

  3. I don’t have a Kindle…yet. I do plan to get one. My question is, should I get one now, or wait until fall when there should be a newer model? any clue when the next edition comes out? will it be worth the wait? Will the current edition be up-gradeable? Or become quasi-obsolete? Thanks. :)

    • Tough question to answer. Kindles hold their value well because of the free Internet. used kindle us versions are still selling for $200 or more. used kindle international versions for $220 or so.

      I’d say wait till end of April and then get the Kindle 2 if a new one isn’t available by then.

      • thanks for the feedback. :)

      • I have both Kindle2 and Iphone. I love them both. I travelled all over the world, and could download any book fron Amazon on Kindle wireless, and browse the internet. The only thing I miss is a non-lit screen. If there was a way of kindle adding an internal screen light, it would be perfect.
        Hope this helps.

  4. I have an iPhone and I have a Kindle. The kindle is a perfect book reader. It’s not a color LCD because it is designed to reflect light like paper. It is fantastic. If you want to watch movies, get a real laptop. Plus in this economy who wants to pay $20 a month for the priveledge of downloading books (and still paying for the books) when the much better sprint serivice on the Kindle is free!

    • I bought the 3G model, but I’ve never subscribed to the AT&T service. I am glad that I have it if I need it, but I’ve been in such a Wifi-rich environment since getting my iPad that it hasn’t been necessary. That said, I’ve downloaded several hundred books, most of them out of copyright and free, and I haven’t had a problem at all doing so. I’ve paid for fewer than a dozen books, because I love the classics, and my iPad as a reader, production device, and web browser has been worth every cent. I have an old shoulder injury and cannot carry a laptop around easily. The iPad is perfect.

  5. I always felt that the LCD eyestrain thing is overblown. I read various types of texts on my LCD screens continuously for hours and haven’t felt any eye strain as long as I adjust the brightness of the LCD to match the lighting in my environment.

    As long as the iPad provides a good control over the screen brightness with the advertised 10 hour battery life, I’ll be more than happy with using the LCD screen for reading. If one needs to read for long period of time outdoors in bright sunshine and needs the device to last for a few hours, then the eInk is superior but I think for most people the LCD screen is good enough.

    • But, do you read BOOKS on your desktop computer or notebook? Most of us can and do read for hours on end on LCD monitors, and yet we prefer not to read books, either non-fiction, or especially fiction on them. Why is that?

      And why would the iPad make people, who until now have been loathe to replace their physical books for Word documents or PDF’s on their computer, anymore likely to read for pleasure on a backlit screen?

      I submit it’s largely due to the eyestrain issue. The sort of reading we do online or at work, or even just surfing the web, is qualitatively different than the more immersive experience of reading a favorite novel.

      For myself, I find myself skimming more frequently, and scanning and reading portions of sentences or lines instead of entire passages when reading on a computer monitor. By contrast, when I read a book, I can focus more easily on whole pages of material, while not losing the details of fine sentence structure, word choice, and rhythm.

      The virtue of the Kindle, the Nook, or Sony Reader, is that they come very close to simulating the experience of reading a physical book. That’s why electronic paper devices are likely to prosper and develop irrespective of the success of the iPad or other tablet computers. .

      • Yes, I’ve spent countless hours reading old classics (Sherlock Holmes, Hugo, etc) on LCD screens, both on desktop monitors and smaller notebook screens, often very compulsively too, and yet eye strain has never been an issue for me. I do not think everyone will share my experience but I personally am very happy reading stuff on back-lit screens as long as the brightness is adjusted properly.

    • I agree with you. I’ve read in bed for many hours at a time and never suffered from any sort of eye strain. Just eye fatigue the next morning from lack of sleep! It sounds to me more like Kindle trying to make its own product look better. The only problem that I’ve ever had is glare if there is another light on. It’s a problem easily taken care of by turning off the light. I’ve also read that it’s hard to read an iPad in direct sunlight. Who would read it in direct sunlight?

  6. Even though the conventional wisdom suggests I was a fool to spend $420 for my Kindle DX with global wireless (on eBay), I really enjoy the reading experience on it, and the ability to use a very large font size and still have a full page of text displayed. The way I saw it, I would either pay that much for an e-ink based ereader with a sufficiently large screen, or not get one at all and go for the iPad. But eyestrain is an issue I take relatively seriously (as an over-40), and I’m not into the gadgets the iPad features. Also, I did want global wireless access, since I travel internationally a lot, and didn’t want to have to be limited by the iPad’s wireless access (the AT&T 3G will NOT work in Europe, as Apple sales reps have admitted, and they have not yet lined up a foreign carrier over there). So, I advise against dismissing the DX, if you are a serious reader and really are on the dedicated-device bandwagon — the reading experience on the DX blows away that on the K2, any of the Sonys, or the Nook.

  7. At this point people who are saying the Kindle is superior than an LCD for reading long periods of time are comparing the Kindle to the LCD screens on their laptops and desktops. Maybe the reason laptop and desktop LCD’s aren’t suitable for reading long periods of time has more to do with the viewing angle than the screen?

    I’m looking for a solid PDF reader that preserves as much of the formatting as possible (but like the bells and whistles too), so I’m looking forward to hearing about how the iPad holds up once people start getting them.

  8. I was one of the lucky few that got a 16GB iPad yesterday morning and spent most of the day configuring it/etc. I can tell you that the iPad comes out-of-the-box with a simple Notes application that is more like Notepad (WIn) or TextEdit (Mac), and although it doesn’t come out of the box with the Books app that Steve Jobs demoed, you’re offered to download it for free at the first opportunity.

    The interactivity with the books themselves in the Books app is great. While you’re reading a book in the Books app, you can do the following: bookmark pages, adjust the brightness (saves you time going back and forth to Settings to do this), change the font/font size, search for text in the book, turn pages (very realistically I might add), drag a slider to navigate to any page in the book, and jump to the table of contents.

    There are a few more additional features when you select text in the book (which you can do either a single word or a range of words)… you can look up a selected word in the built-in dictionary, search for other occurrences of the selected text, and bookmark the text (it highlights like a yellow highlighter – also very realistically – and after it’s highlighted you can change the color to yellow, green, blue, pink, or purple).

    Also, the controls (if displayed) disappear with a single tap or page turn, and reappear with a single tap – so it gets all the *stuff* out of the way when you’re reading.

    I also had a similar experience as Simon: ‘I always felt that the LCD eyestrain thing is overblown. I read various types of texts on my LCD screens continuously for hours and haven’t felt any eye strain as long as I adjust the brightness of the LCD to match the lighting in my environment.’

    Just my 2 cents…

    • my 6yr old pc crashed…was looking at getting a netbook..because i travel alot. my sprint cell works better than ATT drop calls. no need for iphone…wondering if ipad would work…i’ve been reading blogs and it appears that most negative opinions have been from people who already have iphones and laptops/netbooks. i think if these folks could start over again they would be buying ipads…if they didnt have iphones…what do u think?

      • You should try out the iPad at an Apple Store and see whether you can work with the keyboard and weight and screen size.
        If you’re mostly using your laptop for checking email and reading sites and watching videos then it’ll be fine.

        When it comes down to writing longer stuff (anything longer than a few hundred words) and using software you better check. Also Microsoft have said they won’t build Office for iPad.

      • I agree with switch11, with one addition: If you do word processing, spreadsheets, or presentations, you can purchase the iWork apps for the iPad (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote). Although you’d be working in the native format on the iPad, you can either send them as attachments in Mail or export them in other formats that are more comfortable to use.

        I only purchased Pages and Numbers so I can only comment on them, but Pages exports/emails to Pages, PDF, or Word (.doc) format, and Numbers exports/emails to Numbers and PDF format (unfortunately not to Excel, though).

        If you need more info on how this works, let me know.

      • I got my 3G iPad on the first day that they were available, and I’ve had an iPhone for more than 2 years. I have no regrets buying an iPad. My iPhone is still great, but I rarely use it for reading books anymore. That function is 90% switched over to my iPad. I also use it for surfing and writing, with Pages. The iPhone is, obviously, used as a phone, OCR, camera, and for some games. There are some places in which cell phones are not allowed but computers are. So, in those spots the iPad has more than proven its worth.

  9. Is the ipad made for reading or does it have other uses as well?? Im thinking of getting one but dont want to be paying for a bunch of books.. Thankss

    • Shel, iPad can be used for a ton of things. There are 3,000+ iPad apps and 150,000 iPhone apps that work with it.
      It can be used to watch YouTube and movies, to surf the net, to check email, to view photos and as a photo frame, and a whole lot more.

  10. I checked and double checked and I am sure the iPad comes with an LED LCD, why not mention the difference?

    From that stand point, the article could be a little better with information for those of us unschooled in LCD, LED, eInk?????

    I have read countless hours on my iPod Touch and it works without a problem.

    Luckily I have electrical outlets close at hand so 10 hours is fine for me. I do understand how it could be a problem for those who spend weeks away from electricity.

    I think the iPad certainly has a place, but let’s let the market tell us what the truth is.

    Methinks the iPad might do really well.

    Possibly eclipsing the Kindle by …well lots.

    I can’t wait for the next generation of Kindle.

    If you want strictly a book experience, it makes no sense to buy an iPad.

    On the other hand if you want a book reader that also does a whole bunch of other things the Kindle is not for you.

    Thanks for the work on a comparison.

    I am not sure a comparison is warranted because the devices are so different except for about a 10% sharing of capabilities. (I made that 10% up).

    Interesting, nonetheless.

  11. I have a Kindle DX – right at $500. (purchased 112/25/09_ I wish it had ‘flip’ pages, but other than that i love it. The ‘no backlight has not been a problem. It does have search, book marks, and other bells. It is larger than the original model, but it is lighter than the ipad. I am an avid reader, so the selection of ebooks from Kindle store has a great advantage over the ipad. Customer service: Excellent. I had a problem – called – replaced the Kindle overnight. I have an iphone also, and if you are reading on the Kindle – then are in a WAIT situation somewhere – the iphone syncs to the last page that you were reading on the Kindle. Also, sync from iphone to Kindle. Wonderful!

  12. This whole idea of Kindle and I-Pad are just great, but the technology for us old timer writers (age 66) to convert our digital books to the I-Pad formula are beyond my reach anyway. I have 90 titles, most of them are in hardcopy (typewritten back in the dinasaur era) and 20 of the digital books I have put on Kindle w/a friends help, but when I tried to get them on I-Pad thru my POD publisher it was far too complicated plus they charge an exhorbant fee if they do it for yuh.

    Red

  13. Depends what you want – I wanted a replacement for carrying loads of books around on trips and buying additional bookshelves for the house and paying less library fines. The last straw was the library being closed over a holiday weekend and not having anything new to read.
    I absolutely love the Kindle 2 – it felt perfectly natural within a couple of hours. It is perfect for business trips – fits in a handbag easily – no running out of a book to read before the flight back home.
    If I wanted something to play games on and use other applications then I’d look at the Ipad – but I wanted the closest thing to a book – and that is what the kindle is.

  14. I have the kindle and I just love it. I’m an avid reader and I love the convenience of the kindle. I also have an Iphone and occasionally will use the kindle app on my iphone which is just wonderful.
    I’ve had the opportunity to play with the ipad. It has pretty neat features. Its like having an Iphone extra large!. Only thing, comparing the ipad to the kindle is like comparing apples to oranges. If my purpose is to read books, then the ipad is overkill, it’s expensive, to big, slippery, and just inconvenient. Having the kindle is like carrying a library of books around in a small folder. I don’t fear dropping my kindle, scratching the screen, etc. like I did when handling the ipad. The kindle is not indestructible, however it just isn’t so dainty. If you’re a READER, I would recommend the kindle.

  15. Thank you for posting the first honest comparison of the Kindle and iPad. The iPad looks like it would be amazing for magazines and other chunked or multimedia reading experiences; but when it comes to reading books (e.g. Outside or on the beach), I’ll stick with my Kindle… With that said, I will be getting an iPad as soon as I can convince my wife that “we need one” :-)

  16. Regarding eInk vs LCD readability, remember to consider the pixels per inch of LCD screens. The iPad has 132-ppi, the iPhone has 163-ppi. Using the 200-pixel square at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixel_density I just measured my laptop screen is 100-ppi and my external monitor is 96-ppi. So it stands to reason characters displayed at the same number of pixels high will appear 30% smaller, but sharper on the iPad, viewed from the same distance. If you zoom the iPad’s font size so the text is the same height as on the laptop’s screen, there will be 70% more pixels making up the character (30% more vertically and 30% more horizontally.) So, I agree, try extended reading on the iPad before you buy. Don’t assume extended reading on your laptop or your iPhone are the same.

    But you still have to learn what is the optimum brightness for extended reading? Can anyone who’s experimented with brightness describe what is the best for extended reading?

  17. I have the standard size Kindle 2 and I love the thing. It is an avid reader’s bet friend. I started replacing the word “reading” with the word “kindling”.

    I have found no downside to reading books on the iPad. Any advantage the kindle has is more than overcome by the versatility of the iPad.

    My road device will be my iPad, but my kindle will continue to serve me well.

  18. My daughter is heading to college next year and is considering either a Kindle or an I Pad vs. traditional text books. Does anyone have experience in this area? Which one is better for a college student wanting to use one of these devices vs. paper text books? Or are you better with traditional text books?

    • Dave, at the moment there aren’t that many textbooks available. If your daughter’s heading to college next year she should wait for the next iPad and the next Kindle and most importantly for more of her textbooks to be available as ebooks.
      The best time to get her either Kindle or iPad would be a month or two before college starts. At that time you’d get a much, much better idea of how many of her textbooks are going to be available on each device and the pros and cons.

    • The website http://www.coursesmart.com has a ton of textbooks…you would just have to determine if the textbooks she is going to use are on there. CourseSmart has an iPad & iPhone app.

      I’m torn because I think eBooks are a much better way to go, but questioning whether or not $500 is worth it, and then the data plan on top of that.

      Good luck.

  19. I don’t have the time to read all of the comments above, but I do have some comments on the iPad. I have read several books on mine, and I have had no eyestrain problem. Before the iPad, I read several books on my iPhone (both Kindle and Stanza apps), and there was no eyestrain problem. I do not have a Kindle, and I’m deathly sick of all of the hype. I wouldn’t use one if it were given to me. Reading iBooks is a wonderful experience. It looks as though you’re reading a physical book. Reading on the Kindle app is far less pleasing. It is a blank piece of white “paper” with words on it. There is no elegance or styling to it. The only shortcoming to the iPad is that there is currently a very limited selection of books compared with the Kindle. I’m sure that will change over time. In the meantime, I will read what I can on iBooks and buy what I must to read on the Kindle app.

  20. “If your focus is on multi-tasking or watching movies or playing games then the iPad is the right choice.”

    The iPad doesn’t have multitasking either.

    • My mistake. I do appreciate you taking out the time to point out how it could be mistaken.

      By multi-tasking I meant the ability to do 50 different things using the device. Not multi-tasking in the sense of running 10 tasks at the same time and switching between them instantly as on Windows.

  21. My daughter has a reading disorder and will be leaving for college in a year. I am trying to discover the best resource for her. She will need access to text books and the Read to Me features is essential. I value the opinions of individuals who are familiar with both. what is the best device for her?

    • Lori, textbooks are still not available in ebook format in enough numbers.

      The Kindle has text to speech.
      The iPad has something called Voiceover.

      If you can delay the purchase up till the point she is about to leave you’d have much more information in terms of what’s the best textbook reader. At the moment there’s just potential.

    • Lori, look into BookShare.org … people with disabilities that prevent them from using printed books can find all manner of accessible electronic books there. They should be able to work with your daughter’s college to ensure she has her textbooks in a usable format.

  22. Thanks for the comparison — very helpful.

    I’m interested in an e-reader specifically for the ability to LISTEN to books and other material. Does anyone know how the Kindle2 and the iPad compare in the text-to-speech department?

    Thanks.

    • Kindle 2 has Text to Speech feature called Talk to Me that reads at 3 different speeds and in either a male or female voice. It’s a pretty mechanical sounding voice.

      iPad has Voice Over feature designed for blind people. So it’s more of an accessibility Text to Speech feature. Everything switches to listen mode including buttons. The voice is again pretty mechanical.

      Quite frankly – would go with the Kindle 2 for two reasons
      1) It’s half the price at $259.
      2) With the iPad you have to completely shift into the VoiceOver Mode – it’s more of Apple just pretending that their accessbility feature is a Text to Speech feature rather than them making an actual text to speech feature. It’s a bit of a bother that all the buttons etc. also become accessible (tapping on them tells you what they do and then you have to tap again to click them, etc.).

      Check the 3rd and 4th videos on the Kindle Video page for TTS examples. For the iPad check out an Apple store or video of Voiceover.

  23. Thanks for the comparison
    i have some question about kindle:
    dose kindle have memory and can i use PDF texts in candle?
    and i heard that with candle i can download any book for free. is it right?

    • Kindle has approximately 1.4 GB of free memory.
      Yes you can use PDF texts – you can zoom and view them in landscape mode. You cannot however add notes and highlights – only bookmarks.

      You have to pay for books. There are, however, millions of free public domain books at sites like Internet Archive that you can read on Kindle.

  24. I liked your blog and referenced it in my single post about the topic of eReaders titled “The Kindle is dead, long live the Kindle!” at http://bit.ly/givoly. Would love to get your take on my thoughts.

  25. i like the kindle but i dont have it yet,i’ve been dfeaming of having one around me. the kindle is like a motivator for me, i like reading and i need a kindle in my life.

  26. Someone said, about an early model of the Kindle, that it made a sound when it turned a page. Do the newer models still do that? Or is it totally silent like my iPod?

    • The Kindle 3 has quieter page turn buttons. They were definitely quieter – However, it’s not totally silent since it is a physical button.

      With the Kindle you had some people who were distrubed by the page turn noise and some who weren’t. With the Kindle 3 my suspicion would be most people won’t be disturbed but some very sensitive sleepers might still be.

  27. My wife is an avid reader and would love a Kindle. However, she would like to upgrade her phone to an I Phone. Mostly for the apps. Should I simply buy her an IPad instead so that she can surf the web, read books, but keep her old phone to talk? Or, is it worth buying an I Phone and a Kindle?

    • Tough question. Both iPhone and Kindle are a lot more portable than the iPad.

      iPhone with the $139 Kindle WiFi would, in my opinion, be a better combination than the iPad. If you would let me know a little more about the top 3-5 things she wants from her devices I can weigh in.

      • Thanks for that.

        How about an I Pod Touch (WiFi) and a Kindle? She would use her normal phone for calls to friends, but have all the apps the I Phone would have in the I Pod Touch, but be able to read all the books she needs with the Kindle. Considering the cost of the Touch and the Kindle, would it be better to buy the I Pad, which would apear to do the work of both these other devices? What do you think?

      • size and focus are pretty important. The best example I could give is that my Mom had a blackberry which she upgraded to an iPhone and a Kindle and she wanted nothing to do with the iPad.

        The iPhone/iPod and Kindle are both a lot more portable and easier to hold etc.

        iPad allows for movies and better internet surfing.

        If she reads less than 1 book a month -> iPad.
        If she watches more than 1 movie a week or watches a lot of TV shows -> iPad.

        In most other cases the iPod+Kindle combo would win out.

  28. Thank you for the helpful comparison, however I have a question that will hopefully be new:

    My grandmother is an avid reader, however her eyesight is degenerating and often finds it difficult to obtain large print books. I’m thinking of getting her an e-reader that will enable larger font sizes, however the main two concerns are thus:

    1) Will her eyes be any more strained (this has been done to death I think, so don’t waste your time on it…) with one more than the other?
    2) The question I pose to you is which is easier for someone technologically illiterate? We’re talking inability to insert and play a DVD here. Obviously the upload of all e-books and set-up will be done by myself, but in terms of actually switching the thing on and reading whenever she wants – is it Kindle or iPad that she needs? I thought given the touch screen, one button nature of iPad that this would be easier, but I figured it can’t hurt to ask.

    Any feedback or thoughts from anyone is appreciated!

    • 1) There are people who experience eye-strain with LCDs and people who don’t. No one experiences eye strain with eInk. However, some people have a preference for LCDs because of color.

      2) Both are very easy to use. Super simple. Kindle is simpler in that it has no distractions. iPad is simpler in that it has a touch-screen.

      • I find your comment that pertains to eyestrain to be questionable. Wouldn’t it be possible to experience eye strain with eInk just the same as one would experience eye strain with regular print? I understand that eye strain would be more likely with LCD than eInk, but what about eInk compared to regular print? Also, is reading from iPad really full of that many distractions for someone who likes to read? I sit next to my computer and read print daily without distraction. It seems as if these points of interest are fairly uninteresting and vaguely pertinent.

      • You are absolutely right.

  29. I am planning to buy a Kindle.
    Can we use the Wi-Fi to check email and other websites besides downloading books.

  30. Just add a camera to the iPad and call it a day. but wait if u r interested in reading, then get the Kinddle

  31. Does the Kindle show magazines in color or is it strictly black and white?

  32. I have an iPhone. I know nothing about Kindle models, but wish to buy one soon. I am traveling to Europe and wish to avoid packing a load of dead tree books – both novels and travel guides. I assume the phone won’t work in Europe, but the Kindle might? Which model of Kindle should I buy?

    • Lisa, it depends.

      If you’re going to be places where there is lots of free WiFi then the Kindle WiFi at $139 will be enough.
      If you don’t want to deal with having to find WiFi then the Kindle 3G at $189 is the best choice. It comes with free 3G access that works outside the US.

  33. OK, so the 3G version is also known as the Kindle 3? And similar to an iphone, you are advised to get some type of case to protect the screen? Any other add-ons needed?
    Thanks!

  34. [...] a review of reviews – summarizing past reviews comparing multiple book read experiences and multiple reviews into [...]

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